The 2009 movie awards season kicked into high gear the past two days with the announcements from four major kudos groups of the results of their annual cinematic honors.
In a rare instance of solidarity, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the New York Film Critics Circle both chose Kathryn Bigelow's gritty war drama The Hurt Locker for Best Picture and Best Director.
They also agreed on the supporting acting races, bestowing honors on Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) and Mo'Nique (Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire). In the lead categories, LA went for Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart) and Yolande Moreau (Séraphine), while their Gotham counterparts chose George Clooney (for both Up in the Air and his vocal turn in Fantastic Mr. Fox) and Meryl Streep (for Julie & Julia but not It's Complicated).
The Hurt Locker also placed strongly in the nominations for the Broadcast Film Critics Association's Critics' Choice Awards with eight nods. But it was Inglourious Basterds and Nine that lead the pack with ten nominations apiece. Joining these three in the Best Picture race is Avatar, An Education, Invictus, Precious, A Serious Man, Up and Up in the Air. Winners will be announced on January 15 in a live ceremony scheduled to be broadcast on VH1 with Kristin Chenoweth hosting.
Meanwhile, the American Film Institute has revealed their own top ten for '09. The AFI Awards for film go to Coraline, The Hangover, The Hurt Locker, The Messenger, Precious, A Serious Man, A Single Man, Sugar, Up and Up in the Air. On the TV side, such Movie Dearest faves as The Big Bang Theory, Glee, Modern Family and True Blood were recognized. Click here for a special video tribute to all the AFI Award winners.
For a quick look at all the winners/nominees, see the comments section below. And the gold derby will continue to race on later this week with the nominations for the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild on Tuesday and Thursday, respectively.