“Breaking the Waves,” Lars von Trier’s intense, harrowing tale of the spiritual odyssey of a sheltered young woman, was voted the best film of 1996 by the National Society of Film Critics.
Von Trier’s direction and Robby Muller’s rough-edged cinematography for “Breaking the Waves” were also cited Sunday by the 48-member group, which includes critics representing national publications as well as Boston, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and other cities.
Emily Watson, the star of “Breaking the Waves,” was voted best actress. The group’s choice as best actor was Eddie Murphy for his multifaceted comic performance in “The Nutty Professor.” Martin Donovan and Barbara Hershey were named best supporting actor and actress for their work in “The Portrait of a Lady.”
The screenplay for “Mother,” written by Albert Brooks and Monica Johnson, was voted the year’s best. And “La Ceremonie,” Claude Chabrol’s coolly elegant thriller, was voted best foreign film.
The group’s choice as best documentary was “When We Were Kings,” Leon Gast’s documentary about the Muhammad Ali-George Foreman fight in Zaire. A special citation went to James Katz and Robert Harris for their restoration of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo.”
Scrolls will be sent to winners by the group.