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Category: Gotham Film Awards

National Board of Review names 'Up in the Air' best picture [Upated]

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UPDATED 1:25 p.m.: "Up in the Air," a serio-comic look at the world of corporate downsizing, was named best film of 2009 Thursday by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures.

Directed by Jason Reitman, "Up in the Air" revolves around a corporate downsizer (George Clooney) who begins to question his isolated life. The film, which opens today (see review on D1), also won awards for best actor (Clooney shared the prize with Morgan Freeman for his role as Nelson Mandela in "Invictus"), supporting actress for Anna Kendrick and best adapted screenplay for Reitman and Sheldon Turner.

Board of Review favorite Clint Eastwood earned best director honors for "Invictus," a drama about how South African President Mandela brought the country together in 1995 through the Rugby World Cup. Eastwood won best actor last year from the group for "Gran Torino." And his 2003 drama "Mystic River" and 2006's war drama, "Letters From Iwo Jima," won best film from the group.

The Board of Review comprises film professionals, educators, historians and students. The group is often a leading bellwether for the Academy Awards. For the last two years its best film selections -- "No Country for Old Men" and "Slumdog Millionaire" -- went on to receive the Oscar for best picture.

Carey Mulligan won best actress for "An Education" as a British teenager in the 1960s who falls in love with an older man. Woody Harrelson was named supporting actor for "The Messenger." And Joel and Ethan Coen earned original screenplay honors for "A Serious Man."

Jeremy Renner won breakthrough performance by an actor for "The Hurt Locker," and Gabourey Sidibe earned breakthrough performance by an actress for "Precious."

Earlier this week, "The Hurt Locker" won the Gotham Independent Award for best film, and "Precious" and "The Last Station" dominated the nominations for Film Independent's Spirit Awards. The awards season kicks into high gear the week of Dec. 13 with the American Film Institute, the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. and the New York Film Critics Circle making their selections along with the announcement of nominations for the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

The NBR awards will be presented at their annual gala Jan. 12 at Cipriani's 42nd Street in New York.

Other winners announced Thursday include:

Best foreign language film: "The Prophet"

Best documentary: "The Cove"

Best animated feature: "Up"

Best ensemble cast: "It's Complicated"

Spotlight Award for best directorial debut: Duncan Jones for "Moon," Oren Moverman for "The Messenger" and Marc Webb for "(500) Days of Summer."

Special filmmaking achievement award: Wes Anderson for "Fantastic Mr. Fox"

William K. Everson Film History Award: Jean Picker Firstenberg

NBR Freedom of Expression: "Burma VJ: Reporting From a Closed Country," "Invictus" and "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers"

For a complete list go to  <a href="http://www.nbrmp.org">www.nbrmp.org</a>

Original post: “Up in the Air,” which opens Friday, was named today as the best film of 2009 by the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures.

The dramedy directed by Jason Reitman revolves around a corporate downsizer (George Clooney) who begins to question his isolated life.

The film also won awards for best actor (Clooney tied with Morgan Freeman for “Invictus”), supporting actress for Anna Kendrick and adapted screenplay by Reitman and Sheldon Turner.

The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures consists of film professionals, educators, historians and students. The group is often a leading bellwether for the Academy Awards. Its past two best film selections — “No Country for Old Men” and “Slumdog Millionaire” — went on to receive the top Academy Award.

Earlier this week, “The Hurt Locker” won the Gotham Independent Award for best film, and “Precious” and “The Last Station” dominated the nominations for Film Independent’s Spirit Awards. The awards season kicks into high gear the week of Dec. 13 with the American Film Institute, the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. and the New York Film Critics Circle making their selections, along with the announcement of nominations for the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards

The Board of Review awards will be presented at the organization's annual gala on Jan. 12 in New York.

-- Susan King

Photo: George Clooney in "Up in the Air." Credit: DreamWorks


Monday roundup: Actors praise actors in SAG preview, award show previews

Photo_05_hires  Variety continues its Screen Actors Guild Awards preview with a series of enlightening quotes from actors -- including a number of Oscar and Emmy winners or nominees -- on their favorite performances of the year, many of whom are strong contenders for this year's award season. 

Among those contributing to the preview are Julianne Moore, who praises Meryl Streep's turn as Julia Child in "Julie and Julia"; Ben Affleck on "Hurt Locker's" Jeremy Renner; Tom Cruise on Peter Sarsgaard in "An Education"; Holly Hunter on Abbie Cornish in "Bright Star"; and Charlize Theron, who waxes enthusiastically on Michelle Monaghan's underrated starring role in "Trucker." The most moving of the lot is Martin Sheen's tribute to Hal Holbrook in "That Evening Sun"; Sheen reminisces about starring with Holbrook in the Emmy-winning 1972 TV movie "That Certain Summer," one of the first productions to deal with homosexuality in a serious manner before praising the 87-year-old for producing yet another seamless screen character. What might have been another round of actor-on-actor gladhanding is actually an insightful collection of observations, especially in regard to what catches an actor's eye when regarding another performance. The Screen Actors Guild Awards themselves will air Jan. 23 on TNT and TBS.

Meanwhile, over at indiewire.com, there's a comprehensive listing of upcoming award shows and nomination announcements, starting with tonight's Gotham Awards and wrapping with the Dec. 15 Golden Globe noms. Author Peter Knegt does a fine job of assessing each of the events and breaking down how wins at each of these shows may translate into Oscar gold (based on last year's awards) and potential box office returns. It's a useful guide to the dizzying schedule of award shows that seem to come every few days before and after the December holidays.

-- Paul Gaita

Photo: Hal Holbrook in "That Evening Sun." Credit: Freestyle Releasing.

More from The Envelope:

Producers Guild announces TV series and nonfiction TV nominees

2009 Satellite Awards nominees: Off-beat or Oscar predictor?

Inside track on the Oscars' supporting-actress race


Rockwell, Clarkson, Perez join indie-star lineup of judges, presenters for IFP Gotham Awards

86300515 The Independent Filmmaker Project's 19th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards has announced its lineup of judges and some presenters for the awards Nov. 30, and it's a quite a list of bright lights from the indie world.

The presenters will include Sam Rockwell, Patricia Clarkson, Rosie Perez and writer-director Richard LaGravenese.

The Best Picture jury includes: Oscar and Emmy nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo ("House of Sand and Fog"), Tony-winning director Julie Taymor ("Across the Universe"), Oscar winner William Friedkin ("The Exorcist," "The French Connection"), Oscar-winning producer Wendy Finerman ("Forrest Gump") and composer/Police drummer Stewart Copeland. 

The Hughes Brothers and Academy Award nominees Brett Morgen ("Chicago 10"), Julia Reichert ("Seeing Red") and Edet Belzberg ("Children Underground") are riding herd on best documentary, while William H. Macy, director Marc Forster ("Monsters' Ball") and the aforementioned Perez are among the jurors for breakthrough director.

Meanwhile, Oliver Platt, David O. Russell, ex-Lemonheads bassist Jesse Peretz and Oscar, Emmy and Tony winner Ellen Burstyn have the power to award the breakthrough actor award. And best ensemble performance is the domain of America Ferrarra ("Ugly Betty"), Richard LaGravenese, Brooke Shields and Dylan Baker, himself a Gotham Award winner for breakthrough actor in "Happiness."

The sixth category, Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You, will be handled by editors of Filmmaker magazine and a curator from the Museum of Modern Art's Department of Film, all of whom are surely considered celebrities by their friends and families.

The 19th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards will take place at Cipriani Wall Street; in addition to the awards handled by this esteemed panel of judges, career tributes will be award to actors Natalie Portman and Stanley Tucci, director Kathryn Bigelow and producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner of Working Title Film. The host is comedian Kumail Nanjiani.

A full list of Gotham nominees awaits after the jump.

-- Paul Gaita

Continue reading »

Kumail Nanjiani tapped to host IFP's Gotham Awards

Rising comic Kumail Nanjiani will be the host of IFP's 19th annual Gotham Awards, to be held in New York on Nov. 30. The performer, best known for his role on Comedy Central's "Michael and Michael Have Issues" and appearances on "The Colbert Report," was recently the focus of a New York Times profile and has amassed a growing following on the comedy circuit. Among his upcoming projects is a feature role in the big-screen comedy "Life as We Know It" with Katherine Heigl.

Nominees for the Gotham Awards' six competitive prizes include such festival favorites as "The Hurt Locker," "The Maid," and the Coen Brothers' "A Simple Man."

The ceremony will also pay tribute to actors Natalie Portman and Stanley Tucci, "Hurt Locker" director Kathryn Bigelow and producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner. 

-- Paul Gaita

More from The Envelope:

Gotham Independent Film Awards nominees announced

IFP to honor Natalie Portman, Stanley Tucci, Kathryn Bigelow at Gotham Awards


IFP to honor Natalie Portman, Stanley Tucci, Kathryn Bigelow at Gotham Awards

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The Independent Film Project, the oldest and largest organization of independent filmmakers in America, announced that career tributes will be given to actors Natalie Portman and Stanley Tucci, director Kathryn Bigelow, pictured, and producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner at the 19th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards. The ceremony, previously scheduled for Dec. 1, is slated for Nov. 30.

Each of the honorees has a lengthy career in independent film; Bigelow has alternated between offbeat and art-house fare ("The Loveless," "Near Dark," "The Weight of Water") and Hollywood products ("Point Break," "K19 The Widowmaker") throughout her career. Her most recent effort is the critical and festival hit "The Hurt Locker."Oscar-nominee Portman has also kept a foot in both worlds, with credits including "Garden State" and the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy, while Tucci -- one of the top character actors working today -- has maintained an interest in independent film from both sides of the camera. As an actor, he has appeared in features including the recent "Julie and Julia," the upcoming "Lovely Bones," "Road to Perdition" and countless others. He has also directed or co-directed such indie favorites as "Big Night," "The Imposters" (both with Campbell Scott) and the upcoming "Hunter."

Bevan and Fellner's Working Title Films have earned six Oscars, 26 BAFTA Awards and countless prizes from the Cannes and Berlin international film festivals. Among their 90-plus films are such acclaimed productions as "Frost/Nixon," "Four Weddings and a Funeral," "Notting Hill," both "Bridget Jones" movies, "United 93," "Shaun of the Dead" and seven collaborations with the Coen brothers, including the Toronto International Film Festival hit "A Serious Man."

Nominees for the 19th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards will be announced Oct. 19.

-- Paul Gaita

Photo: Getty Images



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