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Reitman’s Up in the Air gets best film nod in NYC
Canadian director Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air has been chosen best film of the year by the National Board of Review, an influential group of New York film enthusiasts.
Up in the Air stars George Clooney as a perpetual traveller who tries to develop a personal life after his company revokes his flying privileges.
Reitman, director of Thank You for Smoking and the Oscar-nominated teen pregnancy film Juno, adapted the screenplay for Up in the Air from a 2001 novel by Walter Kim.
Montreal-born Reitman is son of comedy director Ivan Reitman and began his career working in his father’s films.
He began developing Up in the Air in 2002 before making Thank You for Smoking, but didn’t finish it until six years later. The film was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival this fall, and goes into commercial release this week.
The nod from the National Board of Review is significant as it has a good track record in selecting Academy Award winners. It chose 2007’s No Country for Old Men and 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire as best picture winners.
It is one of the first U.S. groups to announce its award winners, which are selected by a group of knowledgeable film enthusiasts, academics, filmmakers and students in the New York metropolitan area.
Up in the Air earned a total of four trophies from the group on Thursday, including best actor for Clooney, who shared the award with Morgan Freeman of Invictus and best supporting actress for Anna Kendrick. Reitman and Sheldon Turner earned the award for best adapted screenplay.
Carey Mulligan, who played the British schoolgirl seduced by an older man in An Education, was named best actress.
The South African-set drama Invictus earned Clint Eastwood best director honours.
Woody Harrelson was named best supporting actor for his performance as a soldier charged with notifying families of their loved ones’ deaths in The Messenger.
Breakthrough performance awards went to Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker and Gabourey Sidibe, the young star of Precious.