There are no surprises, major or otherwise, in the Houston Film Critics Society's list of the best 2009 had to offer. Critics' faves The Hurt Locker (above) and Up in the Air won three prizes each. The former for best film, best director (Kathryn Bigelow), and best cinematography (Barry Ackroyd); the latter for best actor (George Clooney), best supporting actress (Anna Kendrick), and best screenplay (Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner).
Other Houston winners matched those found in best-of-the-year lists compiled by other US-based critics' groups, including Carey Mulligan as best actress for An Education, Cary Fukunaga's Sin Nombre as best foreign language film, Pete Docter's Up as best animated feature, Louie Psihoyos's The Cove as best documentary, and Christoph Waltz as best supporting actor for Inglourious Basterds. Additionally, Up earned composer Michael Giacchino an award for best original score.
Houston native Patrick Swayze received a posthumous Lifetime Achievement Award, while the Outstanding Achievement Award went to veteran local publicist Margaret Stratton, who's retiring after decades representing film-industry clients in the Houston area.
And finally, the 2009 Humanitarian of the Year Award was given to actor G.W. Bailey for his work with the Sunshine Kids Foundation.
Photo: (Jonathan Olley / Summit Entertainment)
Houston Film Critics Awards 2009
Best Picture: The Hurt Locker
Best Foreign Language Film: Sin Nombre
Best Documentary: The Cove
Best Animated Film: Up
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Best Actor: George Clooney, Up in the Air
Best Actress: Carey Mulligan, An Education
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Best Supporting Actress: Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
Best Screenplay: Jason Reitman and Shelton, Up in the Air
Best Cinematography: Barry Ackroyd, The Hurt Locker
Best Original Score: Michael Giacchino, Up
Best Original Song: “Petey's Song” from Fantastic Mr. Fox
Lifetime Achievement Award: Patrick Swayze
Outstanding Achievement Award: Margaret Stratton
Humanitarian of the Year Award: G.W. Bailey