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George Clooney & Carey Mulligan Win More Film Critics Awards

Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie in The Hurt Locker
Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie in The Hurt Locker (Jonathan Olley / Summit Entertainment)

Kathryn Bigelow's Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker, which follows a bomb disposal unit as they go about doing their work, was the big winner with the Chicago Film Critics Association. The film won in each of the five categories it was nominated for: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay (for Mark Boal), Best Actor (Jeremy Renner) and Best Cinematography (Barry Ackroyd).

This is one of Mark Boal's few wins thus far. Despite the popularity of The Hurt Locker among US film critics, Boal has been usually bypassed in favor of the screenwriters of Up in the Air, A Serious Man, or (500) Days of Summer. It must have helped that the Chicago critics, unlike many of their counterparts, have two screenplay categories. In fact, Up in the Air's Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner received the Best Adapted Screenplay award.

Among the Chicago critics' other multiple winners were Pete Docter's animated hit Up, which won for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score, and Carey Mulligan, named both Most Promising Performer and Best Actress for Lone Scherfig's coming-of-age drama An Education.

The White Ribbon, Michael Haneke's drama about strange goings-on in a small village in pre-World War I Germany, was named Best Foreign Language Film, while Anvil: The True Story of Anvil, described in the Chicago critics' release as “a real-life This is Spinal Tap following a long-running and low-selling heavy metal band as they make one final attempt at achieving stardom,” won the award for Best Documentary. Neill Blomkamp was voted the Most Promising Filmmaker for the sleeper hit District 9.

But the Chicago critics' most astounding surprises were found in the supporting categories: Christoph Waltz and Mo'Nique won for, respectively, Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds and Lee Daniels' Precious.

2009 Chicago Film Critics winners: Dec. 21, '09

("*" denotes the winner in each category)

BEST PICTURE
* The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
A Serious Man
Up in the Air
Where the Wild Things Are

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
Broken Embraces
Red Cliff
Sin Nombre
Summer Hours
* The White Ribbon

BEST DOCUMENTARY
* Anvil!: The True Story of Anvil
Capitalism: A Love Story
The Cove
Food, Inc.
Tyson

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Coraline
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Ponyo
The Princess and the Frog
* Up

BEST DIRECTOR
* Kathryn Bigelow (-) The Hurt Locker
Joel & Ethan Coen (-) A Serious Man
Spike Jonze (-) Where the Wild Things Are
Jason Reitman (-) Up in the Air
Quentin Tarantino (-) Inglourious Basterds

BEST ACTOR
Jeff Bridges (-) Crazy Heart
George Clooney (-) Up in the Air
Matt Damon (-) The Informant!
* Jeremy Renner (-) The Hurt Locker
Michael Stuhlbarg (-) A Serious Man

BEST ACTRESS
Abbie Cornish (-) Bright Star
* Carey Mulligan (-) An Education
Maya Rudolph (-) Away We Go
Gabourey Sidibe (-) Precious
Meryl Streep (-) Julie & Julia

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Peter Capaldi (-) In the Loop
Woody Harrelson (-) The Messenger
Christian McKay (-) Me and Orson Welles
Stanley Tucci (-) The Lovely Bones
* Christoph Waltz (-) Inglourious Basterds

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Vera Farmiga (-) Up in the Air
Anna Kendrick (-) Up in the Air
* Mo'Nique (-) Precious
Julianne Moore (-) A Single Man
Natalie Portman (-) Brothers

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Away We Go (-) Dave Eggers & Vendela Vida
* The Hurt Locker (-) Mark Boal
Inglourious Basterds (-) Quentin Tarantino
A Serious Man (-) Joel & Ethan Coen
Up (-) Bob Peterson

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
An Education (-) Nick Hornby
In the Loop (-) Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci & Tony Roche
The Informant! (-) Scott Z. Burns
* Up in the Air (-) Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner
Where the Wild Things Are (-) Spike Jonze & Dave Eggers

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Avatar (-) Mauro Fiore
Bright Star (-) Greig Fraser
* The Hurt Locker (-) Barry Ackroyd
Inglourious Basterds (-) Robert Richardson
Where the Wild Things Are (-) Lance Acord

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
* Up (-) Michael Giacchino
Avatar (-) James Horner
Fantastic Mr. Fox (-) Alexandre Desplat
The Informant! (-) Marvin Hamlisch
Where the Wild Things Are (-) Carter Burwell & Karen Orzolek

MOST PROMISING PERFORMER
Sharlto Copley (-) District 9
Christian McKay (-) Me and Orson Welles
* Carey Mulligan (-) An Education
Max Records (-) Where the Wild Things Are
Gabourey Sidibe (-) Precious

MOST PROMISING FILMMAKER
* Neill Blomkamp (-) District 9
Scott Cooper (-) Crazy Heart
Cary Joji Fukunaga (-) Sin Nombre
Duncan Jones (-) Moon
Marc Webb (-) (500) Days of Summer

Anna Kendrick, George Clooney in Up in the Air
Anna Kendrick, George Clooney in Up in the Air

Up in the Air bagged one more US film critics' award: The St. Louis Film Critics have chosen it as the best film of 2009. The runner-up was the Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker.

George Clooney was voted best actor for Up in the Air, with Patton Oswalt for Big Fan coming in second place. The Best Actress was Carey Mulligan for her London school student ready to have her first sexual experience with a man about twice her age in Lone Scherfig's An Education. Mulligan was followed by Gabourey Sidibe's illiterate pregnant teen in Lee Daniels' Precious.

Nothing new among the supporting category winners. The Best Supporting Actor was Christoph Waltz for Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, followed by Stanley Tucci in The Lovely Bones. Mo'Nique was the Best Supporting Actress winner for Precious; the runner-up in this category was Marion Cotillard in Rob Marshall's musical Nine.

The Best Director award went to Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker. There was a tie for runner-up between Jason Reitman for Up in the Air and Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds. The Best Screenplay was Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber's (500) Days of Summer, followed by Reitman and Sheldon Turner's Up in the Air.

The Best Documentary was Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story, followed by the rockumentary Anvil! The Story of Anvil. The Best Animated Film was Pete Docter's Up and the runner-up was Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox. Red Cliff was the Best Foreign Film, followed by Treeless Mountain.

SLFC association's website.

2009 St. Louis Film Critics nominations: Dec. 14, '09

2009 St. Louis Film Critics winners: Dec. 21, '09

("*" denotes the winner in each category)

Best Film
(500) Days of Summer
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Invictus
Precious
Up
* Up in the Air

Best Foreign Language Film
The Baader-Meinhof Complex
Coco Before Chanel
The Maid
* Red Cliff
Sin Nombre
Treeless Mountain

Best Documentary
Anvil: The Story of Anvil
* Capitalism: A Love Story
Food, Inc.
Good Hair
Tyson

Best Animated Film
Coraline
Fantastic Mr. Fox
Ponyo
The Princess and the Frog
* Up

Best Director
Wes Anderson - Fantastic Mr. Fox
* Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
Oren Moverman - The Messenger
Jason Reitman - Up in the Air
Quentin Tarantino - Inglourious Basterds

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
* George Clooney - Up in the Air
Ben Foster - The Messenger
Morgan Freeman - Invictus
Patton Oswald - Big Fan
Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker

Best Actress
* Carey Mulligan - An Education
Saoirse Ronan - The Lovely Bones
Maya Rudolph - Away We Go
Gabourey Sidibe - Precious
Meryl Streep - Julie & Julia

Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall - The Road
Woody Harrelson - The Messenger
Alfred Molina - An Education
Stanley Tucci - The Lovely Bones
* Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds

Best Supporting Actress
Marion Cotillard - Nine
Vera Farmiga - Up in the Air
Anna Kendrick - Up in the Air
Melanie Laurent - Inglourious Basterds
* Mo'Nique - Precious
Samantha Morton - The Messenger

Best Screenplay (Original or Adapted)
* (500) Days of Summer - Scott Neustadter/Michael H. Weber
An Education - Nick Hornby
The Hurt Locker - Mark Boal
Inglourious Basterds - Quentin Tarantino
Up in the Air - Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

Best Cinematography
The Hurt Locker - Barry Ackroyd
Inglourious Basterds - Robert Richardson
* Nine - Dion Beebe
Red Cliff - Yue Lü and Li Zhang
A Single Man - Eduard Grau
Where the Wild Things Are - Lance Acord

Best Music
Crazy Heart
* Nine
Pirate Radio
The Princess and the Frog
Up

Best Visual Effects
* Avatar
District 9
The Lovely Bones
Star Trek
Where the Wild Things Are

Best Comedy
(500) Days of Summer
Away We Go
* The Hangover
Pirate Radio
Zombieland

Most Original, Innovative or Creative Film (“Most Artistic Film”)?
(500) Days of Summer
* Avatar
District 9
Fantastic Mr. Fox
The Lovely Bones

Special Merit (“Favorite Scene”)
(500) Days of Summer - Expectations vs. reality splitscreen sequence
(500) Days of Summer - Morning after dance number
Inglourious Basterds - The opening farm house scene
Precious - Mo'Nique's at social worker office scene
* Up - Opening marriage montage at beginning

Up in the Air image: (Dale Robinette / Paramount).

Florida Film Critics awards

Anna Kendrick, George Clooney in Up in the AirAnna Kendrick, George Clooney in Up in the Air (Dale Robinette / Paramount)

Up in the Air was the top choice of the Florida Film Critics Circle 2009 awards. Jason Reitman's comedy-drama about an expert corporate downsizer who travels the United States to fire people won a total of three awards; the other two were for Best Director Reitman and Best Actor George Clooney.

Lee Daniels' Precious also won three awards: a surprising one for Best Actress Gabourey Sidibe, who's usually been listed as a nominee or runner-up; an unsurprising one for Best Supporting Actress Mo'Nique, who has been winning awards left and right; and a more expected mention to Sidibe as the year's breakthrough talent.

Also expected were the following: Cary Joji Fukunaga's Sin Nombre as best foreign language film, Louie Psihoyos' The Cove as best documentary, Up as best animated feature, and Christoph Waltz as best supporting actor for Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds.

According to the Florida critics' press release, the group's closest competition was for Best Scr.: (500) Days of Summer's Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber narrowly defeated Reitman and Sheldon Turner's script for Up in the Air.

One more surprise: Mauro Fiore's Best Cinematography win for James Cameron's futuristic spectacle Avatar. The Hurt Locker's Barry Ackroyd has been getting most of the mentions in that category. Come to think of it, the fact that Kathryn Bigelow's Iraq War drama was completely shut out could be considered a surprise as well.

Founded in 1996, the Florida Film Critics Circle is comprised of 17 writers from state publications. Dan Hudak of hudakonhollywood.com has served as chairman since March 2008. FFCC website.

Florida Film Critics Awards 2009

Best Picture: Up In The Air

Best Foreign Language Film: Sin Nombre

Best Documentary: The Cove

Best Animated Feature: Up

Best Dir.: Jason Reitman, Up In The Air

Best Actor: George Clooney, Up In The Air

Best Actress: Gabourey Sidibe, Precious

Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique, Precious

Best Scr.: Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber, (500) Days of Summer

Best Cinematography: Mauro Fiore, Avatar

Pauline Kael Breakout Award: Gabourey Sidibe, Precious

Detroit Film Critics awards

The Detroit Film Critics Society has announced its list of 2009 nominees.

Those competing for the best picture award are Marc Webbs sleeper hit (500) Days of Summer, Kathryn Bigelows Iraq war drama The Hurt Locker, Quentin Tarantinos anti-Nazi fantasy Inglourious Basterds, Pete Docters animated Up, and Jason Reitmans socially conscious Up in the Air.

All of the aforementioned directors were also nominated.

Most of the other nominees were expected, e.g., George Clooney, Anna Kendrick, and Vera Farmiga for Up in the AirColin Firth for A Single Man, Carey Mulligan for An Education, Gabourey Sidibe and MoNiquefor Precious, Saoirse Ronan and Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bones, and Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia. There were, however, a few surprises, such as Sam Rockwell in the running for best actor for MoonStar Trek and Zombieland for best ensemble, and Woody Harrelson competing with himself in the supporting actor category for both Zombieland and The Messenger.

A couple of eye-popping surprises: The Hangover for best ensemble and Alison Lohman in the best actress race for Drag Me to Hell.

The winners will be announced on Dec. 18.

Best Film
(500) Days of Summer
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Up
Up in the Air

Best Director
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Pete Docter, Up
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
Marc Webb, (500) Days of Summer

Best Actor
George Clooney, Up in the Air
Matt Damon, The Informant!
Colin Firth, A Single Man
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, (500) Days of Summer
Sam Rockwell, Moon

Best Actress
Alison Lohman, Drag Me to Hell
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Saoirse Ronan, The Lovely Bones
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
Meryl Streep, Julie & Julia

Best Supporting Actor
Woody Harrelson, The Messenger
Woody Harrelson, Zombieland
Christian McKay, Me & Orson Welles
Stanley Tucci, The Lovely Bones
Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

Best Supporting Actress
Marion Cotillard, Nine
Vera Farmiga, Up in the Air
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
Mélanie Laurent, Inglourious Basterds
Mo'Nique, Precious

Best Ensemble
The Hangover
Inglourious Basterds
Precious
Star Trek
Zombieland

Breakthrough Performance
Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air
Christian McKay, Me & Orson Welles
Carey Mulligan, An Education
Chris PineStar Trek
Gabourey Sidibe, Precious
Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds


         
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