NBR Picks Jason Reitman's Up in the Air as 2009's Best Film
by Brandon Lee Tenney
December 3, 2009
The National Board of Review of Motion Pictures released its awards for the 2009 year in film today (via their official website). Topping the list is Jason Reitman's latest film (in limited release starting this Friday) Up in the Air. Founded in 1909, the NBR is made up of approximately 110 knowledgeable film enthusiasts, academics, filmmakers, and students in the New York area. Since 1929, the Board of Review has recognized the top ten films, as voted by its members, of the calendar year. Awards are now given out in twenty-three different categories, including awards for best screenplay, actor, actress, director, and foreign language film.
Some other notable victories include George Clooney (Up in the Air) and Morgan Freeman (Invictus) sharing the award for Best Actor, Jeremy Renner's win for Breakthrough Performance by an Actor for The Hurt Locker, Gabourey Sidibe's win in the same category for Precious, and Carey Mulligan's win for Best Actress for her performance in An Education, beating out Mo'Nique's performance in Precious (an upset if I've ever seen one). And though Up won for Best Animated Feature, the splendid (in my opinion, better animated film) Fantastic Mr. Fox and its director Wes Anderson were given the Special Filmmaking Achievement award.
It's Up in the Air that's the big story, though. Jason Reitman took home wins for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay (with Sheldon Turner), and wins in both the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress (Anna Kendrick) categories. Having just seen the film myself, I'm elated to say that it deserves all of these awards without doubt. It's a beautifully directed, well-written, solid film. And what's more, it's an important film, tackling the very real (and extremely topical) issues of unemployment, The Lost Generation, and the issues of disconnectedness amid such a connected world.
Should you be lucky enough to be living in a city that will be playing Up in the Air come Friday, it's one that's worth your time, money, and brain. It'll even provide the heart for you. Should you not be in either New York or Los Angeles, gather the family together and check out Up in the Air on Christmas Day.
Below you'll find the complete list of the NBR Awards for 2009:
UP IN THE AIR
Top Ten Films
(In alphabetical order) AN EDUCATION, (500) DAYS OF SUMMER, THE HURT LOCKER, INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, INVICTUS, THE MESSENGER, A SERIOUS MAN, STAR TREK, UP, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
Best Foreign Language Film
Top Five Foreign Films
(In alphabetical order) THE MAID, REVANCHE, SONG OF SPARROWS, THREE MONKEYS, THE WHITE RIBBON
Top Five Documentaries
(In alphabetical order) BURMA VJ: REPORTING FROM A CLOSED COUNTRY, CRUDE, FOOD, INC., GOOD HAIR, THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA: DANIEL ELLSBERG AND THE PENTAGON PAPERS
Top Independent Films
(In alphabetical order) AMREEKA, DISTRICT 9, GOODBYE SOLO, HUMPDAY, IN THE LOOP, JULIA, ME AND ORSON WELLES, MOON, SUGAR, TWO LOVERS
GEORGE CLOONEY, Up In The Air; MORGAN FREEMAN, Invictus
CAREY MULLIGAN, An Education
Best Supporting Actor
WOODY HARRELSON, The Messenger
Best Supporting Actress
ANNA KENDRICK, Up In The Air
Best Ensemble Cast
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
CLINT EASTWOOD, Invictus
Best Adapted Screenplay
JASON REITMAN and SHELDON TURNER, Up In The Air
Best Original Screenplay
JOEL AND ETHAN COEN, A Serious Man
Best Animated Feature
Special Filmmaking Achievement
WES ANDERSON, The Fantastic Mr. Fox
William K. Everson Award For Film History
JEAN PICKER FIRSTENBERG
Freedom Of Expression
BURMA VJ: REPORTING FROM A CLOSED COUNTRY; INVICTUS; THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA: DANIEL ELLSBERG AND THE PENTAGON PAPERS
Reader Feedback - 10 Comments
no District 9? Probably 11th
cheater on Dec 3, 2009
in the Top 10 i mean
cheater on Dec 3, 2009
Up In The Air definitely deserves such an award. Highly recommended to anyone who has the opportunity to see it!
Dark Fist on Dec 3, 2009
Was never a fan of NBR, they had good picks before the 2000's, but now they pretty much pick what people want to see.
Nikhil Hariharan on Dec 3, 2009
They gave "Up in the Air" a pretty good review over at Breitbart's BigHollywood as well.
Vegegeeta-geeta on Dec 3, 2009
didn't like the cove, the scenes of them 'planting the cameras' seemed to be done after the fact and even though i do not in any way support whaling or dolphin-ing the movie didn't do anything for me except i learned a bit more about flipper i also can't believe district 9 isn't in the top 10... by far my favorite movie of the year and for the sheer fact that they were able to create something so damn entertaining for such a small budget (relative to those types of movies) it deserves a load of credit also... even though its listed as the best film... why isn't 'up in the air' in the top 10... i mean i know why, but it just bugs me... the have 'best film' and 'top 10' yet they won't put it in there... they should take a note from spinal tap and have it go to 11
Janny on Dec 3, 2009
Is this the Oscars? No. So why should I care?
Six Three on Dec 4, 2009
#8, you should care because the NBRs best picture winner usually wins best picture at the Oscars as well. Also, when their winner doesn't win at the oscars, its usually because a film they had in their top ten wins instead, basically all nominated oscar films usually show up on their top ten list. Basically, with this should this top ten should be more or less the nominees this year for the oscars....if traditions continue.
Al on Dec 4, 2009
Up in the Air was so mediocre. In itself, having a serious or important subject matter isn't aesthetically good; it depends what a film does with it. As far as unemployment was concerned, for example, there wasn't a compelling depiction of it, nor was any interesting statement made about it, in the film. Instantly forgettable, in my opinion. Reminds me a lot of Crash; superficial and pretentious, but absolutely convinced that it's important. This film will strike everyone, including its current champions, as boring and overrated a few years from now.
Petoria on Jan 13, 2010
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