AFI, Boston Critics, L.A. Critics Name Top Movies of 2009

  • Publish Date: December 13, 2009
  • Comments: ↓ 0 user comments

And the winners are ...

Movie awards season kicks into high gear this week, and four film organizations got things started by naming their top films of the year on Sunday. Let's look at some of the winners, and examine what these awards tell us about potential Academy Award nominations.

AFI Awards

Although the American Film Institute does not pick an overall winner, their annual AFI Awards highlight the ten top American films of the year. This year's picks are:

Since there are ten films on this list, it is tempting to view these awards as a predictor of the eventual Academy Award nominations. Although most of the Academy's Best Picture nominations are usually found on AFI's list, these awards tell us nothing about non-U.S. films, like 2007's Atonement and 2008's Slumdog Millionaire. Of the movies on the above list, both Coraline and Sugar would be major surprises to receive Best Picture nominations, and popular comedy The Hangover would be only slightly less surprising.

Boston Society of Film Critics

The Boston critics named Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker -- Metacritic's highest-scoring movie of the year so far, at 94 -- 2009's best picture. Bigelow received Best Director honors, and the film scored five awards in all from the group. Acting nods went to Hurt Locker's Jeremy Renner and Julie & Julia's Meryl Streep. Also notable: Up in the Air was completely shut out. The BSFC consists of 18 local professional critics, including the Boston Globe's Ty Burr and Wesley Morris.

Interestingly, these critics and the Academy have agreed on their top film selections for each of the past three years. You'd have to go back to 2005 -- when the Boston critics selected Brokeback Mountain and the Academy voters sided with Crash -- to find a difference.

Los Angeles Film Critics Association

Like their counterparts in Boston, the L.A. critics also opted for The Hurt Locker -- and Bigelow -- as the year's best film and best director. The LAFCA, however, showed more love for Up in the Air, awarding the George Clooney vehicle runner-up status for film of the year. Crazy Heart's Jeff Bridges took best actor honors, while the critics named Yolande Moreau -- star of the little-seen French biopic Seraphine -- as top actress.

The Los Angeles critics have developed a reputation for giving their top honors to films that are shunned by Academy voters, disagreeing with the Academy's Best Picture choice every year since 1993. These critics selected WALL-E as the best film of 2008, and There Will Be Blood as 2007's winner.

New York Film Critics Online

A slightly lesser-known organization, the New York Film Critics Online -- as the name suggests -- is comprised of Internet critics based in New York. These critics selected James Cameron's Avatar as the year's best film, and also honored Bigelow, Bridges and Streep as director, actor, and actress of the year. In 2008, the NYFCO agreed with the Academy's choice of Slumdog Millionaire.

But wait, there's more

Critics groups from Chicago to New York will reveal their honorees on Monday, while Tuesday morning will see the announcement of the Golden Globe nominations. To date (including the awards above), The Hurt Locker leads all honorees with two Best Picture awards, followed by Up in the Air with one.

We're sorry, but comments are closed for this article.

Comments (0)

What Our Users Are Talking About

  1. /feature/best-tv-shows-of-the-2014-2015-season Image
    Best TV Shows of the 2014-15 Season
    August 12, 2015 - 6 comments
    1. jeffreyglenn : Was great, but not the last season Read »
    2. dunker : I agree with Marc. Sons of Anarchy was a great show! Read »
    3. Unbelievable21 : If I recall correctly, season 2 of Hannibal ended before, and season 3 began after, the window of opportunity to be... Read »
    4. KaizerAlex : I said it before and I'll say it again: Hannibal crushes all of these shows. Read »
    5. MarcDoyle : I'm not seeing anything up there for Sons of Anarchy, which is a travesty. One of the best shows of this era. Read »
    6. LamontRaymond : Very interesting, visually, how The Emmys and Golden Globes ignored The Americans, while it WON with the TV Critics... Read »
  2. /feature/tv-renewal-scorecard-2015-2016-season Image
    2015-16 TV Season Scorecard
    July 8, 2015 - 3 comments
    1. dspiro21 : I noticed that Major Crimes and Proof (TNT) are not on the list as well. Read »
    2. rakshi_mia : There are few shows missing from the list.. Like YOUR FAMILY OR MINE.. WHISPERS.. DARK MATTER & so on... It would... Read »
  3. /feature/best-new-tv-shows-of-2014 Image
    The Best (and Worst) New TV Shows of 2014
    December 23, 2014 - 15 comments
    1. B3rz3rk : 2014 Top 10 TV Series Fargo True Detective The Fall The Affair Penny Dreadful The Walking Dead American Horror... Read »
  4. /feature/book-review-11-22-63-by-stephen-king Image
    Book Review: 11/22/63 by Stephen King
    November 3, 2011 - 6 comments
    1. MelancholicAlc : The GIGANTIC PLOTHOLE IN 22-11-63 by KIng: SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER... Read »