Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Winners

The L.A. film critics are notoriously self-conscious taste makers, and I definitely don't mean that in a condescending way. In fact, they are probably my favorite of the critic's groups. They just want their picks to matter, and this year proved to be no different, as they may have single handedly kept alive the Best Picture hopes of Wall-E, which took home their Best Picture prize (it should be noted that The Dark Knight was the runner-up). It has a huge uphill climb ahead of it of course, and I certainly won't be predicting it anytime soon, but it is important to see that the film is still on people's minds.

Happy-Go-Lucky was the other big winner at the LAFCA, and in this particular case, I couldn't be more satisfied. Sally Hawkins was fantastic in the film, and I'm hoping that the small contigent of Poppy haters out there will be drowned out by the mounting buzz. Mike Leigh also took home the Screenplay prize, although his films are almost always improvised. And you must remeber, the Academy LOVES Mike Leigh. The L.A. critics obviously had a strong reaction to the film, and I wouldn't be suprised if some of the love carried over.

All the other major category winners were taken by the fronrunners, thus changing nothing. Expect some more curveballs tomorrow though, as the New York critics weigh with their winners.

Picture: “Wall-E”
Runner-up: “The Dark Knight”

Director: Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire”
Runner-up: Christopher Nolan, “The Dark Knight”

Actor: Sean Penn, “Milk”
Runner-up: Mickey Rourke, “The Wrestler”

Actress: Sally Hawkins, “Happy-Go-Lucky”
Runner-up: Melissa Leo, “Frozen River”

Supporting actor: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”
Runner-up: Eddie Marsan, “Happy-Go-Lucky”

Supporting actress: Penelope Cruz, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and “Elegy”
Runner-up: Viola Davis, “Doubt”

Screenplay: Mike Leigh, “Happy-Go-Lucky”
Runner-up: Charlie Kaufman, “Synecdoche, New York”

Foreign-language film: “Still Life”
Runner-up: “The Class”

Documentary: “Man on Wire”
Runner-up: “Waltz With Bashir”

Animation: “Waltz With Bashir”

Cinematography: Yu Lik Wai, “Still Life”
Runner-up: Anthony Dod Mantle, “Slumdog Millionaire”

Production design: Mark Friedberg, “Synecdoche, New York”
Runner-up: Nathan Crowley, “The Dark Knight”

Music/score: A.R. Rahman, “Slumdog Millionaire”
Runner-up: Alexandre Desplat, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

New Generation: Steve McQueen, “Hunger”

Douglas E. Edwards independent/experimental film/video: James Benning, “RR” and “Casting a Glance”

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