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Monday, December 14, 2009

Southeastern critics name Up in the Air best picture; Streep, Clooney best actors

Posted by on Mon, Dec 14, 2009 at 6:01 PM

click to enlarge Up in the Air likely will open in the Triangle Christmas week. (Photo by Dale Robinette/ Paramount)
  • Up in the Air likely will open in the Triangle Christmas week. (Photo by Dale Robinette/ Paramount)

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

Kirn's novel).

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

3. Up

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



Christoph Waltz - Inglourious Basterds

* Runner-up: Woody Harrelson - The Messenger


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


Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber - (500) Days of Summer

* Runner-up: Mark Boal - The Hurt Locker


Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner - Up in the Air

* Runner-up: Wes Anderson & Noah Baumbach - Fantastic Mr. Fox


Summer Hours (France)

* Runner-up: The White Ribbon (Germany)


Food, Inc.

* Runner-up: The Cove



* Runner-up: Fantastic Mr. Fox


That Evening Sun

* Runner-up: Goodbye Solo

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