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‘Hunger,’ ‘Basterds’ top Toronto critics picks

Screenplay award tied while Bigelow takes director prize

The Toronto Film Critics’ Assn. honored two pics with its best film award on Tuesday — Steve McQueen’s 2008 Cannes shocker “Hunger,” about IRA hunger-striker Bobby Sands, and Quentin Tarantino’s war fantasy “Inglourious Basterds.”

Screenplay award was also split between Tarantino’s “Basterds” and Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner’s adaptation of Walter Kirn’s novel “Up in the Air.”

In an odd twist, the critics gave the director honor to Kathryn Bigelow, whose “The Hurt Locker” was the best pic runner-up.

“Hunger,” which opened in Canada in April, was also named best first feature.

Performance kudos went to Nicolas Cage (“The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans”) and Carey Mulligan (“An Education”) and, for their supporting turns, Anna Kendrick (“Up in the Air”) and Christoph Waltz (“Inglourious Basterds”).

Wes Anderson’s “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” was named animated feature, Louie Psihoyos’ “The Cove” got the docu nod and Michael Haneke’s “The White Ribbon” won for foreign-language film.

The Rogers Canadian Feature award will be announced and presented by helmer David Cronenberg at the critics’ gala dinner on Jan. 12. The nominees are Benoit Pilon’s “The Necessities of Life,” Denis Villeneuve’s “Polytechnique” and Bruce McDonald’s “Pontypool.”

The inaugural Jay Scott Prize for emerging talent will also be announced Jan 12.

The org’s Clyde Gilmour award for advancing the appreciation of film goes to Mark Peranson, editor of CinemaScope magazine, which celebrates its 10th anniversary.

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