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More end of year awards...

Posted by Ty Burr  December 14, 2009 06:03 PM

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"The Hurt Locker" continues its dominance of critics' organizations: The New York Film Critics Circle named the bomb squad drama best of 2009 and Kathryn Bigelow best director a day after groups in Los Angeles. and Boston did the same. All three groups also named Mo'Nique best supporting actress for "Precious," Christoph Waltz best supporting actor for "Inglourious Basterds," and Olivier Assayas' "Summer Hours" best foreign language film. The main acting awards are more split: Meryl Streep won in Boston and NY for "Julie & Julia" whereas the LA critics gave the nod to Yolande Moreau of "Seraphine," and best actor spoils went to Jeff Bridges for "Crazy Heart" (LA), George Clooney for "Up in the Air" and "Fantastic Mr. Fox" (NY), and "Hurt Locker"'s Jeremy Renner (Boston).

What does this mean? "Hurt Locker" is no longer a dark-horse favorite for the major industry awards; no more, no less.

Meanwhile, there's an interesting variance between the above groups -- made up primarily of critics who work for print publications and a few high-end webzines like Slate and Salon -- and organizations like the Broadcast Film Critics Association, which just announced its nominations for the 15th annual Critics Choice Awards, and the New York Film Critics Online, an even newer organization made up of a fairly bewildering array of Gotham-based e-critics, some august and established, others voices from the fringe (and what's Kurt Loder doing on there?). The online critics picked "Avatar" as best of the year -- the only group to do so to date and a reflection of either the lingering fanboy roots of online criticism or the inherent elitist snottiness of print reviewers. (I've seen the movie, so I know where I stand. Let's just say "Avatar" was mentioned two or three times at the Boston meeting but was never seriously in the running for any of the awards. Doesn't mean we hated it. But doesn't mean we thought it was all that, either.)

The BFCA, meanwhile, included "Avatar" in their nominees for best picture and eight other awards, but the group, made up of radio and TV critics, reserved most of its plaudits for "Basterds" and... "Nine," the Rob Marshall musical that to this writer is one of the major failures of the year. Both films got ten Critics Choice nods and Peter Jackson's "The Lovely Bones" -- the major failure of the year -- somehow got six. I guess if you've already won an Oscar, you're a shoo-in with these people for a decade or two, no matter how dire your movie may actually be.    

IndieWire, by the way, is doing a very good job of keeping the awards season tally. Tomorrow morning, of course, the Golden Globe nominations land with a bang and we're really off to the races.  

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Ty Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.

Mark Feeney is an arts writer for The Boston Globe.

Janice Page is movies editor for The Boston Globe.

Tom Russo is a regular correspondent for the Movies section and writes a weekly column on DVD releases.

Katie McLeod is's features editor.

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