‘Twas the Saturday before Christmas, and members of the Houston Film Critics Society – having made a list, and checked it twice – opted to give The Hurt Locker and Up in the Air three prizes each during the annual HFCS awards presentation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
HFCS saluted The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow’s intense Iraq War drama, with commendations for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Cinematography. The 20-member organization also honored Up in the Air by voting George Clooney as Best Actor and co-star Anna Kendrick as Best Supporting Actress, and recognizing scriptwriters Jason Reitman and Shelton Turner in the Best Screenplay category.
Other HFCS honorees: Carey Mulligan of An Education, Best Actress; Christoph Waltz of Inglourious Basterds, Best Supporting Actor; Up, Best Animated Film; The Cove, Best Documentary; Sin Nombre, Best Foreign Film. The Best Original Score award went to Michael Giacchino for Up, while “Petey’s Song” from Fantastic Mr. Fox – a tune co-written by the film’s celebrated director, Houston-born Wes Anderson -- was hailed as Best Original Song.
During the Saturday MFA event, HFCS also honored another one of Houston’s favorite sons, the late Patrick Swayze, with its 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award.
But wait, there’s more: Veteran local publicist Margaret Stratton received the Houston critics’ 2009 Outstanding Achievement Award on the occasion of her retirement after decades of representing film industry clients in the Houston area. And HFCS president and co-founder Nick Nicholson presented the organization’s 2009 Humanitarian of the Year Award to actor G.W. Bailey, a Port Arthur native, for his work with the Sunshine Kids Foundation.
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