'Up in the Air,' National Board of Review kick off awards season

upintheair_290.jpg"Up in the Air" just hit theaters today, but already the O-word is being bandied about.

The movie won best picture honors from the National Board of Review Thursday. The NBR is usually among the first groups to announce its award winners in the run-up to the Oscars.

The last two NBR winners -- "No Country for Old Men" and "Slumdog Millionaire" -- have gone on to win best picture at the Academy Awards (though its record as an Oscar predictor prior to that is far less reliable).

Directed by Jason Reitman, "Up in the Air" stars George Clooney as a perpetually traveling contractor who fires people for a living. "Up in the Air" also won best supporting actress for "Twilight: New Moon" co-star Anna Kendrick and best adapted screenplay.

The board also chose Clooney as best actor -- an honor he shares with "Invictus" star Morgan Freeman.

"I'm simply overwhelmed with gratitude for the many honors the National Board of Review has bestowed upon `Up in the Air,'" Reitman said in a statement."The day before your movie comes out is usually one of anxiety and anticipation. I'd like to thank the NBR for making today perfect."

The NBR's top 10 films of 2009 are "An Education," "(500) Days of Summer," "The Hurt Locker," "Inglourious Basterds," "Invictus," "The Messenger," "A Serious Man," "Star Trek," "Up" and "Where the Wild Things Are."

Other notable awards from the NBR:

-- Clint Eastwood for best director for "Invictus."
-- Carey Mulliganwas chosen as best actress for "An Education."
-- Woody Harrelson won best supporting actor for "The Messenger."
-- Pixar's "Up" won best animated feature.
-- Joel and Ethan Coen won best original screenplay for "A Serious Man."
-- Best ensemble went to "It's Complicated," whichs stars Meryl Streep, Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin and John Krasinski.

The National Board of Review will hand out its awards Jan. 12 in New York.

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Photo Credit: Paramount

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