The West Coast film critics weighed in with their movie picks, and it looks like they had a hard time agreeing.
The Los Angeles Film Critics Association had a tie for Best Picture, with Alfonso Cuarón’s “Gravity” and Spike Jonze’s “Her” sharing the honor. The critics group also named Cuarón Best Director for “Gravity,” which may net star Sandra Bullock an Oscar nomination.
In the Best Actress category, Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”) and Adèle Exarchopoulos (“Blue is the Warmest Color”) also tied.
The City of Angeles critics also had a tough time agreeing in the Best Supporting Actor choice, which went to both James Franco (“Spring Breakers”) and Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club”).
Last week The New York Film Critics had no such problem, and they gave kudos to Leto in this category.
Bruce Dern was the clear-cut Best Actor choice for “Nebraska,” directed by Alexander Payne. This honor also went to the veteran thesp last week from the National Board of Review.
Lupita Nyong’o, who plays the tormented Patsy in “12 Years a Slave,” didn’t have to share her win for Best Supporting Actress. I think the actress is also the Oscar frontrunner in this category.
Stephen Farber, President of the LAFCA said, “This year has seen one of the closest votes in the history of our group, as evidenced by the unprecedented number of ties in major categories. The top contenders were often separated by one or two votes, and several other films were very close behind them. I think this testifies to the strong number of memorable films this year, including enterprising big studio offerings, as well as independent and foreign films.”
Although it’s always interesting to hear how the LA Critics vote – after all, it’s a movie industry town – their decisions do not dovetail with the Oscars. Last year they awarded Best Picture to Michael Haneke’s “Amour” and the film’s star, Emmanuelle Riva, tied for Best Actress with Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”). Of course, Lawrence waltzed off with the Oscar trophy.
I was happy to see that the best screenplay honor went to “Before Midnight” helmer Richard Linklater and his co-writers and stars, Julie Delphy and Ethan Hawke. They are a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination in this category.
The 39th annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association awards ceremony will be held Saturday, January 11 at the InterContinental, Los Angeles.
This is two days before the Golden Globes, and it’s a party hardy weekend, so the LAFCA shindig gets a little lost in the shuffle.
A few years ago, I was in L.A. to cover the Golden Globe party scene and stayed at the InterContinental Hotel, where I inadvertently walked into the LAFCA hoopla before I realized what was going on. I went up the elevator with Jeff Bridges, who won for “Crazy Heart” and had a guitar slung on his back.
What’s particularly strange is that it’s the only film critics group I know who don’t let journalists inside their annual awards ceremony to cover the event. No matter, most of the talent doesn’t stick around all night because they’re soon off to one of the dozens of Golden Globe parties going on all over town at some of the most exclusive and hottest hotels.
Here’s the full list of LAFCA winners:
- PICTURE: [tie] “Gravity” and “Her”
- DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuarón, “Gravity” (Runner-up: Spike Jonze, “Her”)
- ACTOR: Bruce Dern, “Nebraska” (Runner-up: Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”)
- ACTRESS: [tie] Cate Blanchett “Blue Jasmine,” and Adèle Exarchopoulos, “Blue is the Warmest Color”
- SUPPORTING ACTOR: [tie] James Franco, “Spring Breakers,” and Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”
- SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave” (Runner-up: June Squibb,” Nebraska”)
- SCREENPLAY: Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, “Before Midnight” (Runner-up: Spike Jonze, “Her”)
- ANIMATION: “Ernest & Celestine” (Runner-up: “The Wind Rises”)
- FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: “Blue is the Warmest Color” (Runner-up: “The Great Beauty”)
- DOCUMENTARY / NON-FICTION FILM: “Stories We Tell” (Runner-up: “The Act of Killing”)
- NEW GENERATION: Megan Ellison
- FILM EDITING: Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger, “Gravity” (Runner-up: Shane Carruth and David Lowery, “Upstream Color”)
- CINEMATOGRAPHY: Emmanuel Lubezki, “Gravity” (Runner-up: Bruno Delbonnel, “Inside Llewyn Davis”)
- PRODUCTION DESIGN: K.K. Barrett “Her” (Runner-up: Jess Gonchor, “Inside Llewyn Davis”)
- MUSIC/SCORE: T Bone Burnett, “Inside Llewyn Davis” (Runner-up: Arcade Fire and Owen Pallett, “Her”)
- DOUGLAS E. EDWARDS INDEPENDENT/EXPERIMENTAL FILM/VIDEO: “Cabinets of Wonder: Films and a Performance by Charlotte Pryce”
- LEGACY OF CINEMA: Criterion Collection
- SPECIAL CITATION: The Creative Team of “12 Years a Slave”
- CAREER ACHIEVEMENT: Richard Lester