Oscar 2009: NBR–Up in the Air Big Winner

Dec 3, 2009–The National Board of Review gave the Jason Reitman satire, "Up in the Air," multiple awards on Thursday, including Best Film and Best Actor.

Adapted from Walter Kirn's novel, the recession-centric picture also received prizes for Clooney (best actor, which he shares with Morgan Freeman for "Invictus"), actress Anna Kendrick (supporting actress) and scribes Reitman and Sheldon Turner (best adapted screenplay).

Major awards also went to Clint Eastwood, named best director for "Invictus;" thesp Carey Mulligan, actress for her turn in "An Education," and the Coen brothers for their "A Serious Man" screenplay. This is Eastwood's second consecutive NBR award – the multihyphenate took the best actor prize last year for "Gran Torino."

In a strong year for kids' films, the board not only named "Up" best animated feature but added a special filmmaking achievement award for Wes Anderson's labor-intensive old-school stop-motion picture "The Fantastic Mr. Fox."

Because of its early release date, the board's best film selection and top 10 films list is frequently cited in awards campaigns. NBR president Annie Schulhof called "Up in the Air" "bittersweet and poignant, with wonderfully strong performances, writing and direction."

The organization also names top foreign pics, indies, and docus. Indie pics selected this year were "Amreeka," South African sci-fi hit "District 9," "Goodbye Solo," "Humpday," "In the Loop," "Julia," "Me and Orson Welles," "Moon," "Sugar," and "Two Lovers."

The top five foreign films were "The Maid," "Revanche," "Song of Sparrows," "Three Monkeys" and "The White Ribbon.

Top documentaries included "Crude," "Food, Inc.," "Good Hair;" and "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers" and "Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country," both of which share an NBR freedom of expression award with "Invictus."

Duncan Jones ("Moon"), Oren Moverman ("The Messenger"), and Marc Webb ("(500) Days") shared the spotlight award for best directorial debut.

And the winners are:

Film: "Up in the Air"

Director: Clint Eastwood, "Invictus"

Actor (Tie): George Clooney, "Up in the Air"; Morgan Freeman, "Invictus"

Actress: Carey Mulligan, "An Education"

Supporting Actor: Woody Harrelson, "The Messenger"

Supporting Actress: Anna Kendrick, "Up in the Air"

Foreign Language Film: "A Prophet"

Documentary:"The Cove"

Animated Feature: "Up"

Ensemble Cast: "It's Complicated"

Breakthrough Performance by an Actor: Jeremy Renner, "The Hurt Locker"

Breakthrough Performance by an Actress: Gabourey Sidibe, "Precious"

Spotlight Award for Best Directorial Debut:

Duncan Jones, "Moon"
Oren Moverman, "The Messenger"
Marc Webb, "(500) Days Of Summer"

Original Screenplay: Joel and Ethan Coen, A Serious Man

Adapted Screenplay: Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air

Special Filmmaking Achievement Award: Wes Anderson, the Fantastic Mr. Fox

William K. Everson Film History Award: Jean Picker Firstenberg

NBR Freedom Of Expression: "Burma Vj: Reporting From A Closed Country"
"Invictus" "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellseberg and the Pentagon Papers"

Ten Best Films (in alphabetical order)

An Education
(500) Days Of Summer
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
The Messenger
A Serious Man
Star Trek
Where the Wild Things Are
Five Best Foreign-Language Films (in alphabetical order)
 "The Maid"
   "Song Of Sparrows"
   "Three Monkeys"
 "The White Ribbon"
Five Best Documentaries (in alphabetical order)
 "Burma VJ: Reporting From A Closed Country"
 "Food, Inc."
 "Good Hair"
 "The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers"
Top Ten Independent Films (in alphabetical order)
 "District 9"
 "Goodbye Solo"
   "In the Loop"
 "Me and Orson Welles"
 "Two Lovers"