'Out of Sight' Is Not Out of Mind With National Critics


"Out of Sight," director Steven Soderbergh's romantic crime caper, won three major awards, including best picture of 1998, on Sunday from the National Society of Film Critics.

Soderbergh was named best director for the film, which starred George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez, and Scott Frank won for his screenplay, based on the Elmore Leonard novel.

Runners-up in the best picture category were Paul Schrader's dark drama "Affliction," and Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan," which previously won top honors from the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. and the New York Film Critics Circle.

Spielberg and Terrence Malick ("The Thin Red Line") tied for runner-up in the directing categories.

The society, which comprises 51 of the country's leading movie critics, held its 33rd annual meeting at the Algonquin Hotel in New York.

Best actor honors went to Nick Nolte for his performance as a dysfunctional part-time cop in "Affliction." Nolte, who is nominated for a Golden Globe, also won the New York Film Critics Circle honor for his role. Ian McKellen was runner-up for "Gods and Monsters."

Ally Sheedy was named best actress for her role as a lesbian artist in the drama "High Art." Last month, the former Brat Packer picked up the L.A. Film Critics' honor. Cate Blanchett's performance as Queen Elizabeth in "Elizabeth" placed second.

Bill Murray was named best supporting actor for his part in the quirky comedy "Rushmore." He also won both the L.A. and New York critics' honors for his performance and is nominated for a Golden Globe. Donald Sutherland was runner-up for "Without Limits."

Dame Judi Dench was named best supporting actress for her role as Queen Elizabeth in the romantic comedy "Shakespeare in Love." Runner-up was Patricia Clarkson for "High Art," and "Friends" star Lisa Kudrow placed third for "The Opposite of Sex."

John Toll received the best cinematography honor for his work on "The Thin Red Line," with Janusz Kaminski the runner-up for "Saving Private Ryan."

Iran's "Taste of Cherry," directed by Abbas Kiarostami, took best foreign film honors. Takeshi Kitano's "Fireworks" was runner-up.

Peter Rainer, critic for New York magazine, was reelected as chair of the society. Scrolls will be sent to the winners.

The list of winners:

Best picture: "Out of Sight."

Best director: Steven Soderbergh, "Out of Sight."

Best actor: Nick Nolte, "Affliction."

Best actress: Ally Sheedy, "High Art."

Best supporting actor: Bill Murray, "Rushmore."

Best supporting actress: Dame Judi Dench, "Shakespeare in Love."

Best screenplay: Scott Frank, "Out of Sight."

Best cinematography: John Toll, "The Thin Red Line."

Best foreign language film: Abbas Kiarostami, "Taste of Cherry."

Best nonfiction film: "The Farm: Angola U.S.A.," directed by Jonathan Stack, Liz Garbus with Wilbert Rideau.

Best experimental film: "Mother and Son," directed by Aleksandr Sokurov.

Special award: Walter Murch, Rick Schmidlin, Bob O'Neil and Jonathan Rosenbaum, the team behind the reediting of Orson Welles' "Touch of Evil."

The Manny Farber Award: "Negative Space," seminal collections of film criticism.

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