Earlier today, the Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) released its year-end awards. Up in the Air, the acclaimed comedy adapted from the Walter Kirn novel, received three nods, including best picture, best actor (George Clooney) and best adapted screenplay (Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner).
Other top awards: Meryl Streep took best actress honors for her turn as Julia Child in Julie & Julia, Christoph Waltz received best supporting actor for his sensational turn as a Nazi officer in Inglourious Basterds and Mo'Nique claimed best supporting actress for her role as an abusive mother in Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire.
Taking the Wyatt Award for best Southern film was That Evening Sun, with Hal Holbrook. Ramin Bahrani's Goodbye Solo, which was shot in North Carolina and played in the Triangle last summer, was the runner-up.
The complete press release is below. Indy freelancer Neil Morris is a member of SEFCA and participated in the voting.
And, by the way, be sure to visit the Indy Web site and vote for your favorite films of the year and the decade. The Indy's year in movies issue will be out Jan. 6.
DECEMBER 14 - The Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA)
yesterday named Up in the Air the Best Picture of 2009 in its 18th
annual voting. Director Jason Reitman's seriocomic look at the travels
of a downsizing expert earned a total of three awards, with its other
victories coming in the categories of Best Actor (George Clooney) and
Best Adapted Screenplay (Reitman and Sheldon Turner, adapting Walter
Spreading the wealth around, no other film won more than one award.
Kathryn Bigelow earned the Best Director prize for the Iraq War drama
The Hurt Locker, a critical favorite that managed to place second in
the SEFCA voting in the categories of Best Picture, Best Actor (Jeremy
Renner) and Best Original Screenplay (Mark Boal).
In addition to Clooney, the other victorious performers were Meryl
Streep as legendary cook Julia Child in Julie & Julia, Christoph Waltz
as an opportunistic Nazi officer in Inglourious Basterds, and Mo'Nique
as an abusive mother in Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire.
While three of the four acting contests were blowouts, the Best Actress
race was tight, with Streep in a three-way battle with newcomers
Gabourey Sidibe from Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire and
Carey Mulligan from An Education.
In other categories, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber landed the
Best Original Screenplay citation for the romantic comedy (500) Days of
Summer, France's Summer Hours earned the Best Foreign-Language Film
prize, and Food, Inc. prevailed in the Best Documentary category.
Pixar earned its umpteenth award in the Best Animated Feature category,
this year for Up. However, it came close to being upset by Fantastic
Mr. Fox, which was also runner-up in the Best Adapted Screenplay
category and placed in the SEFCA Top 10.
In its fifth year, the Wyatt Award went to writer-director Scott Teems'
That Evening Sun, a drama starring Hal Holbrook as an elderly Tennessee
farmer trying to reclaim his home. Named after the late SEFCA member
Gene Wyatt, the prize seeks to honor one film each year that best
embodies the essence of the South.
In addition to naming its Best Picture, SEFCA also releases its Top 10
for the year. The complete list follows.
1. Up in the Air
2. The Hurt Locker
4. Inglourious Basterds
5. A Serious Man
6. (500) Days of Summer
7. Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
8. The Messenger
9. Fantastic Mr. Fox
10. District 9
George Clooney - Up in the Air
* Runner-up: Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker
Meryl Streep - Julie & Julia
* Runner-up: Gabourey Sidibe - Precious: Based on the Novel Push by
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
Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
* Runner-up: Jason Reitman - Up in the Air
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Scott Neustadter & 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 & Noah Baumbach - Fantastic Mr. Fox
BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
Summer Hours (France)
* Runner-up: The White Ribbon (Germany)
* Runner-up: The Cove
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
* Runner-up: Fantastic Mr. Fox
That Evening Sun
* Runner-up: Goodbye Solo