The Southeastern Film Critics Association (SEFCA) named "Up in the Air" the Best Picture of 2009 in its 18th annual voting. Director Jason Reitman’s seriocomic look at the travels of a downsizing expert earned a total of three awards, including Best Actor (George Clooney) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Reitman and Sheldon Turner, adapting Walter Kirn’s novel). Kathryn Bigelow earned the Best Director prize for the Iraq War drama "The Hurt Locker," which placed second in the SEFCA voting in the categories of Best Picture, Best Actor (Jeremy Renner) and Best Original Screenplay (Mark Boal).
In addition to Clooney, the other winning actors were Meryl Streep as Julia Child in "Julie & Julia," Christoph Waltz as an opportunistic Nazi officer in "Inglourious Basterds," and Mo’Nique as an abusive mother in "Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire."
In its fifth year, the Wyatt Award went to writer-director Scott Teems’ "That Evening Sun," a drama starring Hal Holbrook as an elderly Tennessee farmer trying to reclaim his home. Named after the late SEFCA member Gene Wyatt, the prize seeks to honor one film each year that best embodies the essence of the South.
The Southeastern Film Critics Association is comprised of journalists from nine states representing the Southeastern section of the United States. This year, 44 members participated in the voting.
In addition to naming its Best Picture, SEFCA also releases its Top 10 for the year. The complete list follows.
1. Up in the Air
2. The Hurt Locker
4. Inglourious Basterds
5. A Serious Man
6. 500 Days of Summer
7. Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
8. The Messenger
9. Fantastic Mr. Fox
10. District 9
George Clooney – Up in the Air
Runner-up: Jeremy Renner – The Hurt Locker
Meryl Streep – Julie & Julia
Runner-up: Gabourey Sidibe – Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Best Supporting Actor
Christoph Waltz – Inglourious Basterds
Runner-up: Woody Harrelson – The Messenger
Best Supporting Actress
Mo’Nique – Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Runner-up: Anna Kendrick – Up in the Air
Kathryn Bigelow – The Hurt Locker
Runner-up: Jason Reitman – Up in the Air
Best Original Screenplay
Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber - 500 Days of Summer
Runner-up: Mark Boal – The Hurt Locker
Best Adapted Screenplay
Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner – Up in the Air
Runner-up: Wes Anderson & Noah Baumbach – Fantastic Mr. Fox
Best Foreign Language Film
Summer Hours (France)
Runner-up: The White Ribbon (Germany)
Runner-up: The Cove
Best Animated Feature
Runner-up: Fantastic Mr. Fox
That Evening Sun
Runner-up: Goodbye Solo