N.Y. critics pick 'Hurt Locker' as best picture

George Clooney wins best actor for 'Fox,' Up in the Air'

The New York Film Critics Circle named Summit's Iraq-set war drama "The Hurt Locker" its best film of the year at its annual voting meeting on Monday.

It also hailed the film's director, Kathryn Bigelow, as the year's best director.

In a rare instance of critical agreement, the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn., which met Sunday, also bestowed its top prizes on "Hurt" and Bigelow.

The New Yorkers gave best actress honors to Meryl Streep for embodying Julia Child in "Julie & Julia." George Clooney was singled out as best actor for his work in both the zeitgeist comedy drama "Up in the Air" and the animated "Fantastic Mr. Fox." "Fox" was also chosen best animated film of the year.

In the supporting categories, the New York group joined a growing chorus, awarding best supporting actress to Mo'Nique for "Precious" and best supporting actor to Christoph Waltz for "Inglourious Basterds."

The best screenplay prize went to the fast-talking political satire "In the Loop," written by Jessie Armstrong, Armando Iannuci, Simon Blackwell and Tony Roche.

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Like their counterparts in Los Angeles, the New York critics gave cinematography honors to Christian Berger for the black-and-white cinematography of "The White Ribbon."

Terence Davies' autobiographical documentary "Of Time and the City" was named best nonfiction film, and Olivier Assayas' French feature "Summer Hours" was selected best foreign film.

Steve McQueen's "Hunger" was named best first feature.

The group also voted for a special award to be given to Andrew Sarris for his contribution to film criticism.

The awards will be handed out on Jan. 11 at Crimson in New York's Flat Iron district.