The Hurt Locker and Nine were named, respectively, best film drama and comedy/musical by the International Press Academy on Sunday evening, Nov. 20.
Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, who won the IPA's Satellite Award for best director, The Hurt Locker follows a bomb squad through the dangerous streets of an Iraqi city. The film has been winning tons of accolades and it's one of the favorites for the 2010 Academy Awards. Its lead, Jeremy Renner, was named the year's best actor.
Daniel Day-Lewis, Judi Dench, Penélope Cruz, Marion Cotillard, Sophia Loren, Stacy Ferguson, Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson star in Nine, Rob Marshall's film adaptation of the Broadway musical based on Federico Fellini's semi-autobiographical 1963 hit 8½.
8½ earned Fellini a best director Oscar nomination, and was chosen the best foreign-language film of 1963. Both Nine and 8½ revolve around a temperamental Italian filmmaker facing various problems in his career and private life, as he must deal with both a dearth of new ideas and with his many women, including his actresses, his mother, his wife, and his lover.
Shohreh Aghdashloo was the surprise winner in the best actress drama category for The Stoning of Soraya M., while Meryl Streep was the expected winner in the best actress comedy/musical category for Julie & Julia. Michael Stuhlbarg for A Serious Man -- not Daniel Day-Lewis -- was the best actor in a comedy/musical.
Some of the other top winners were expected: best supporting actor Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds (above), best supporting actress Mo'Nique for Precious, best animated feature Fantastic Mr. Fox . But there were a few surprises as well: Sebastian Silva's The Maid and Pedro Almodóvar's Broken Embraces shared the best foreign language film award, while Every Little Step -- not The Cove -- was named best documentary.
Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber won the best original screenplay award for the sleeper hit (500) Days of Summer, while Precious' Geoffrey Fletcher was the best adapted screenplay winner.
On the IPA's website, the winners in two categories, film editing and costume design, were still a mystery as of Dec. 21, ca. 1 a.m. (PT)
Photo: Inglourious Basterds (François Duhamel / The Weinstein Co.)