Page last updated at 08:28 GMT, Friday, 4 December 2009

George Clooney movie Up In The Air gets four top awards

George Clooney
In the film, Clooney plays a man who fires people for a living

George Clooney's latest movie Up In the Air has been named best film by the National Board of Review.

The NBR - seen as the first major prize of the US awards season - also named Clooney best actor alongside Morgan Freeman for Invictus.

Up In The Air director Jason Reitman said he was "overwhelmed with gratitude" at the honour.

His movie also won best supporting actress for Anna Kendrick and best adapted screenplay.

'Anxiety and anticipation'

The film, about a man (Clooney) who fires people for a living, is already creating an Oscar buzz.

Previous NBR best film winners, such as No Country for Old Men and Slumdog Millionaire, have gone on to win best picture at the Academy Awards.

Reitman's father, Ivan Reitman - who directed Ghostbusters - is a producer of Up In The Air.

"I'm simply overwhelmed with gratitude for the many honours the National Board of Review has bestowed upon Up In The Air," Jason Reitman said.

"I'm thrilled for George, I'm thrilled for Anna, and of course, most thrilled for my father."

Morgan Freeman and Clint Eastwood
Freeman plays Nelson Mandela in Eastwood's film Invictus

Reitman went on to admit that the days leading up to his movie's release date are filled with "anxiety and anticipation".

He then thanked the NBR for "making today perfect".

The best director prize went to Clint Eastwood for Invictus, which tells the story of former South African President Nelson Mandela's embrace of the national rugby team.

There were also prizes for Carey Mulligan, who was named best actress for An Education and best supporting actor went to Woody Harrelson for The Messenger.

Best animated film went to Pixar's Up and The Cove, about the slaughter of dolphins in a Japanese village, won best documentary.

The NBR special filmmaking achievement award went to Wes Anderson for his stop-motion animated The Fantastic Mr Fox, which he co-wrote, directed and lent his voice to.

The judges on the National Board of Review, consist of film historians, students and educators.

The awards will be handed out 12 January during a a New York gala hosted by Meredith Vieira.

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ITN Sporting history given Clint Eastwood treatment - 3 hrs ago 4. National Board of Review names 'Up in the Air' best film - 7 hrs ago
Times of India Clooney's flick named the best picture - 8 hrs ago
Los Angeles Times National Board of Review names 'Up in the Air' best film of 2009 - 8 hrs ago
Boston Globe NBR names `Up in the Air' best film of the year - 15 hrs ago

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