I know that I've been away for the last week or so battling the evil scourge that is Swine Flu (don't let them fool you, this thing needs a real nasty name and not something sounding like R-D's cousin), but even I was shocked to roll into work this morning and see that it was already December. As in the last month of the year. As in finality. As in the official start of awards season! That's right, today marks the unofficial start of awards season with this afternoon's announcement of the National Board of Review's annual awards. And much to my chagrin, the NBR really wants to stick it to me over my initial hatred for Up in the Air. For those of you not following along at home, I recently dissed the movie not once but twice. First, back in September when the teaser trailer hit the Internet, I said "I wasn't terribly impressed." More recently, I lamented the lack of Oscar caliber movies and slighted Up in the Air by claiming "there are only two locks for Best Picture nomination coming out next month, Invictus and Nine." Trust me, you've hammered me over the last two weeks. And yes, I do agree that The Hurt Locker is an early releaser that should be a lock for a Best Picture nomination. And now, the NBR (a scary good barometer for Oscar success) rubs salt in my wounds by naming Up in the Air its Best Film of 2009.