AFI, New York Online and LA Critics Reward Avatar, The Hurt Locker and Inglourious Basterds


It’s been a busy weekend for Awards season, the busiest thus far. The folks at AFI, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and our friends at the New York Film Critics Online group have all weighed in with some big pre-Oscar rewards to some major favorites.

Having just filed my own picks for the Austin Film Critics Association awards (due out later this week), I can feel the full swing of awards season. The race to Oscar has begun, and a few clear favorites are emerging, including The Hurt Locker and Up in the Air, with James Cameron sneaking in for some late-season shake-up with Avatar.

More below…

New York Film Critics Online

We begin with the online film critics from New York, a group that includes a lot of our own friends and neighbors from around the blogosphere. Members include Reject Radio regular Ed Douglas (, Katey Rich (, former Spout editor Karina Longworth and our own critic Robert Levin. Their awards mark the first big win for James Cameron’s Avatar, which took Best Picture. As well, they seem to be falling in line with the acting awards, taking Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart), Meryl Streep (Julie & Julia), Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds) and Mo’Nique (Precious) for the majors. Further down, you’ll see more love for Inglourious Basterds (Best Screenplay, Cinematography) and an expected win for Up in the Best Animated category. I have to say that I agree very much with many of these picks below:


Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”

Meryl Streep, “Julie & Julia”

Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker”

Supporting Actor
Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds”

Supporting Actress
Mo’Nique, “Precious”

Breakthrough Performer
Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds”

Debut Director
Marc Webb, “(500) Days of Summer”

Ensemble Cast
“In the Loop”

“Inglourious Basterds,” Quentin Tarantino

“The Cove”

Foreign Language
“The White Ribbon”


“Inglourious Basterds,” Robert Richardson

Film Music or Score
“Crazy Heart,” Steve Bruton & T. Bone Burnett
music supervisor: Jeffrey Pollack

Top 10 Films
“Fantastic Mr. Fox”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“The Messenger”
“A Serious Man”
“Two Lovers”
“Up in the Air”

American Film Institute (AFI)

The American Film Institute (AFI) selected their ten best films of the year. Among them are fan favorites The Hangover, Pixar’s Up and Best Picture frontrunner The Hurt Locker, along with the much talked about Precious. With the exception of surprises Coraline and Sugar (two quality films laying low so far in awards season), these are the most likely contenders for the 10 Best Picture nominees. Check out the full list below, in alphabetical order.

  • “Coraline”
  • “The Hangover”
  • “The Hurt Locker”
  • “The Messenger”
  • “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
  • “A Serious Man”
  • “A Single Man”
  • “Sugar”
  • “Up”
  • “Up in the Air”

Los Angeles Film Critics Association

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association — which includes writers from Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, The Los Angeles Times, as well as online friends Todd Gilchrist and James Rocchi (of Cinematical and MSN Movies fame, respectively) — delivered their highest honor to The Hurt Locker, with Up in the Air coming in as their Best Picture runner-up. Jeff Bridges, who seems to be sliding along with his performance in Crazy Heart, was named Best Actor and Yolande Moreau (Seraphine) wins her first award, beating out favorite Carey Mulligan (An Education) for Best Actress. It is nice to see Christoph Waltz get some Supporting Actor love for Inglourious Basterds, and it’s interesting to see Fantastic Mr. Fox beat out Up for Best Animated.

The fascinating, and in some ways predictable list from LAFCA is below:

Best Picture
“The Hurt Locker”
(Runner-up: “Up in the Air”)

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”
(Runner-up: Colin Firth, “A Single Man”)

Best Actress
Yolande Moreau, “Séraphine”
(Runner-up: Carey Mulligan, “An Education”)

New Generation Award
Neill Blomkamp, “District 9”

Best Supporting Actor
Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds”
(Runner-up: Peter Capaldi, “In The Loop”)

Best Supporting Actress
Mo’Nigue, “Precious”
(Runner-up: Anna Kendrick, “Up in the Air”)

Best Director
Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker”
(Runner-up: Michael Haneke, “The White Ribbon”)

Best Screenplay
Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, “Up in the Air”
(Runner-up: Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci and Tony Roche, “In The Loop”)

Best Cinematography
Christian Berger, “The White Ribbon”
(Runner-up: Barry Ackroyd, “The Hurt Locker”)

Best Documentary/Non-fiction Film
“The Beaches of Agnes” and “The Cove”

Best Foreign-Language Film
“Summer Hours”
(Runner-up: “The White Ribbon”)

Best Animated Film
“Fantastic Mr. Fox”
(Runner-up: “Up”)

Best Music/Score
T-Bone Burnett and Stephen Bruton, “Crazy Heart”
(Runner-up: Alexandrew Desplat, “Fantastic Mr. Fox”)

News »

Sundance ’10 Competition
News »

Spirit Noms
Features »

Gotham Pics
Best Production Design
Philip Ivey, “District 9”
(Runner-up: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg, ” Avatar”)

Douglas E. Edwards Independent/Experimental Film/Video Award
C.W. Winter and Anders Edstrom, “The Anchorage”

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet. As of yet, no one has stopped him.

Read More from Neil Miller
Get Film School Rejects in your email. All the cool kids are doing it:
Previous Article
Next Article
Reject Nation
Leave a comment
Comment Policy: No hate speech allowed. If you must argue, please debate intelligently. Comments containing selected keywords or outbound links will be put into moderation to help prevent spam. Film School Rejects reserves the right to delete comments and ban anyone who doesn't follow the rules. We also reserve the right to modify any curse words in your comments and make you look like an idiot. Thank You!