Pic nabs awards for picture, director

Lee Daniels’ “Precious” has won the awards for best picture and director from the African-American Film Critics Assn.

The Lionsgate release also captured the supporting actress prize for Mo’Nique, adding to her earlier kudos this week from the New York, Los Angeles and Boston critics’ groups.

Morgan Freeman drew the actor nod for his performance as Nelson Mandela in “Invictus,” while Nicole Beharie received the actress prize for her work as a single mother wrongly arrested on drug charges in “American Violet.” Anthony Mackie took the supporting actor laurels for his turn as a member of a three-man bomb squad in “The Hurt Locker.”

Sharing the screenplay award were “Precious,” adapted by Geoffrey Fletcher from Sapphire’s novel “Push,” and “The Princess and the Frog,” scripted by Ron Clements, Rob Edwards and John Musker.

The critics also honored Michael Jackson with a prize for special achievement.

The group’s top 10 films of 2009, ranked in order of distinction, were “Precious,” “The Princess and the Frog,” “Up in the Air,” “The Hurt Locker,” “This Is It,” “American Violet,” “Goodbye Solo,” “Medicine for Melancholy,” “Good Hair” and “Up.”

Awards were handed out Monday at the Ebony Repertory Theater in Los Angeles.

Founded in 2003, AAFCA honors films with universal appeal to black communities, emphasizing films about the black experience by producers, writers, directors and actors of African descent.

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