Jason Reitman's 'Up in the Air' is Best Picture, but Kathryn Bigelow is Best Director: Southeastern Film Critics Awards
Director Jason Reitman's Up in the Air, the tale of a corporate-downsizing expert and frequent flyer (George Clooney) who begins to question both his ethics and his life's purpose, was the Best Film of 2009 according to the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Their Best Director, however, was critics' favorite Kathryn Bigelow for the Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker.
More awards for George Clooney, Meryl Streep
Among the other Southeastern Film Critics' award winners were Best Actor George Clooney for Up in the Air, Best Actress Meryl Streep as Julia Child in Nora Ephron's Julie & Julia, Best Supporting Actor Christoph Waltz as a nasty Nazi in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, and Best Supporting Actress Mo'Nique as a mean mom in Lee Daniels' Precious.
All four performers have won awards elsewhere and, at least for the time being, all four could be considered the top contenders for the 2010 Academy Awards.
Here's a partial list of their previous wins:
- 2009 National Board of Review (Clooney).
- Boston Society of Film Critics (Streep, Mo'Nique, Waltz).
- Los Angeles Film Critics (Mo'Nique, Waltz).
- New York Film Critics (Clooney, Streep, Mo'Nique, Waltz).
- New York Film Critics Online (Streep, Mo'Nique, Waltz).
- San Francisco Film Critics (Streep, Mo'Nique).
- Washington Film Critics (Clooney, Mo'Nique, Waltz).
- 2009 Cannes Film Festival (Waltz).
- 2009 Sundance Film Festival (Mo'Nique).
Director Olivier Assayas' 'Summer Hours' is Best Foreign Language Film
Writer-director Olivier Assayas' Summer Hours, starring Jérémie Renier, Juliette Binoche, and Charles Berling, was the Southeastern Film Critics' Best Foreign Language Film. This is Summer Hours' fourth win this awards seasons, which is kind of a surprise as Assayas' family drama hadn't been getting all that much pre-awards season buzz.
In fact, the little-seen (in the U.S.) French film didn't seem to be getting any buzz at all. That has all changed after the Los Angeles, Boston, and New York Film Critics went for it.
Recognition outside critics' circles looks iffy. Not helping matters is the fact that the film is ineligible for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, as it opened in France in March 2008. This year, the French Academy Award submission is Jacques Audiard's acclaimed prison drama A Prophet, starring Tahar Rahim.
And finally, screenwriter-director Scott Teem's That Evening Sun, starring veteran Hal Holbrook, has at last won an award from a critics' group: the Southeastern Film Critics' Wyatt Award for a film “that captures the spirit of the South.”
See below the full list of the 2009 Southeastern Film Critics Association's winners and runners-up.
2009 Southeastern Film Critics' winners and runners-up
1. Up in the Air, directed by Jason Reitman.
2. The Hurt Locker, directed by Kathryn Bigelow.
3. Up, directed by Pete Docter.
4. Inglourious Basterds, directed by Quentin Tarantino.
5. A Serious Man, directed by Joel and Ethan Coen.
6. (500) Days of Summer, directed by Marc Webb.
7. Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire, directed by Lee Daniels.
8. The Messenger, directed by Oren Moverman.
9. Fantastic Mr. Fox, directed by Wes Anderson.
10. District 9, directed by Neill Blomkamp.
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Summer Hours, directed by Olivier Assayas (France).
Runner-up: The White Ribbon, directed by Michael Haneke (Germany).
BEST DIRECTOR: Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker.
Runner-up: Jason Reitman - Up in the Air.
BEST ACTOR: George Clooney - Up in the Air.
Runner-up: Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker.
BEST ACTRESS: Meryl Streep - Julie & Julia, directed by Nora Ephron.
Runner-up: Gabourey Sidibe - Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds.
Runner-up: Woody Harrelson - The Messenger.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Mo'Nique - Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire.
Runner-up: Anna Kendrick - Up in the Air.
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber - (500) Days of Summer.
Runner-up: Mark Boal - The Hurt Locker.
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner - Up in the Air.
Runner-up: Wes Anderson and Noah Baumbach - Fantastic Mr. Fox, directed by Wes Anderson.
BEST DOCUMENTARY: Food, Inc., directed by Robert Kenner.
Runner-up: The Cove; director: Louis Psihoyos.
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: Up.
Runner-up: Fantastic Mr. Fox.
WYATT AWARD: That Evening Sun, directed by Scott Teems.
Runner-up: Goodbye Solo, directed by Ramin Bahrani.
Director Jason Reitman and George Clooney Up in the Air image: Dale Robinette / Paramount Pictures.
Image of Juliette Binoche in director Olivier Assayas' Southeastern Film Critics winner Summer Hours: IFC Films.