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“Hurt Locker” & “Summer Hours” Win with NY Critics

"Hurt Locker" & "Summer Hours" Win with NY Critics

“The Hurt Locker” wins again.

One day after winning top critics prizes in Los Angeles and Boston, Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” was named the best film of the year by the New York Film Critics’ Circle, widely considered the leading organization of film critics in the country. The group also named Bigelow the best director of the year.

Olivier Assayas’ “Summer Hours” won the award for best foreign language film of 2009, a prize it also won in L.A. and Boston.

indieWIRE rounds up the many award winners so far this season.

The New York Film Critics’ Circle held its annual vote this morning in Manhattan, lead this year by Armond White as the chairman of the organization for 2009. Chatting with indieWIRE after the vote, White said that there were no big surprises to speak of today. “We’ve seen the films throughout the year, so new what was good,” White said,
noting that it was their role to make their picks known and share them with audiences. He spoke of his group’s role as informing and enlightening moviegoers by highlighting the outstanding movies of 2009, hopefully bringing more attention to the movies themselves.

Earlier this year, the group added Karen Durbin (Elle Magazine), Dana Stevens (Slate.com) and Stephanie Zacharek (Salon.com) to their ranks, which includes a total of thirty-three members. The prizes will be presented during the annual NYFCC awards presentation, set to take place on Monday, January 11th at Crimson in New York’s Flat Iron district.

Breaking with tradition, as they celebrate their 75th Anniversary this year, the group will honor a fellow film critic for the very first time. Writer Andrew Sarris, who recently left the New York Observer, was selected to receive a special award for his contribution to film criticism.

“It’s a prize that’s especially meaningful this year,” Armond White told indieWIRE today, “Given the changes that have taken place this year.” He added, “Given his importance to criticism, there is no better way of celebrating the group’s 75th anniversary than to celebrate that quality criticism is important.”

Last year, the New York Film Critics’ Circle honored “Milk” as its best picture and Mike Leigh as best director, for “Happy-Go-Lucky.” The group chose “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” as the best foreign language film and names “Man on Wire” the best documentary.

The 2009 New York Film Critics’ Circle Award Winners:

Best Film:
“The Hurt Locker”

Best Director:
Kathryn Bigelow for “The Hurt Locker”

Best Screenplay:
“In the Loop”

Best Actress:
Meryl Streep for “Julie & Julia”

Best Actor:
George Clooney for “Up In The Air” and “Fantastic Mr. Fox”

Best Supporting Actress:
Mo’Nique for “Precious”

Best Supporting Actor:
Christoph Waltz for “Inglourious Basterds”

Best Cinematography:
Christian Berger for “The White Ribbon”

Best Animated Film:
“Fantastic Mr. Fox”

Best Non-fiction Film:
“Of Time and the City”

Best Foreign Language Film:
“Summer Hours”

Best First Feature:
“Hunger,” director Steve McQueen

Special Award:
To Andrew Sarris for his contribution to film criticism

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