The LA Film Critics Association recently dished out their annual awards, and for only the third time in their history Best Film was a tie. Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity and Spike Jonze’s Her shared the award, with Gravity scooping a total of 4 on the night. Two other categories also tied – Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor (see below). Other winners include Ernest & Celestine for animation, which may surprise a lot of people and possibly introduce an underdog into the Oscars, while Stories We Tell predictably won for Best Documentary.
But the LA Film Critics Awards, though certainly representative of the Oscar contenders, does not generally predict Best Picture winners. Last year they gave the award to Amour, it was The Descendants in 2011 and The Social Network in 2010 – all three were Best Picture nominees at the Oscars but failed to win.
What these awards highlight, perhaps more effectively than most, is that the Academy Awards, like any other film award, do acknowledge the best films within their eligibility criteria, however the ultimate winner can vary based on the resonance and impact these films have with the voters in question. Critics awards barely mirror the Oscars, while the guilds (writers, producers, directors and screen) are much more similar, and there are two reasons for this – firstly there is considerable overlap between guilds and Academy members while critics do not get a vote, and the mode of analysis clearly differs between critics and filmmakers. Though there is a common understanding of what makes a great film, the difference in taste becomes apparent when voting for favorites.
This is a much bigger discussion that cannot be done justice right now. The full list of winners for the LA Film Critics Association Awards are below. Make of them what you will, but hold your bets on Her for now.
Best Picture – Gravity and Her
Best Director – Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
Best Actor – Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
Best Actress – Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) and Adele Exarchopoulos (Blue is the Warmest Colour)
Best Supporting Actor – James Franco (Spring Breakers) and Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Best Supporting Actress – Lupita Nyongo (12 Years a Slave)
Best Screenplay – Richard Linklater, Julie Delphy, Ethan Hawke (Before Midnight)
Best Cinematography – Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity)
Best Production Design – K. K. Barrett (Her)
Best Editing – Alfonso Cuaron and Mark Sanger (Gravity)
Best Music Score – T Bone Burnett (Inside Llewyn Davis)
Best Foreign Language Film – Blue is the Warmest Colour
Best Documentary – Stories We Tell
Best Animation – Ernest & Celestine
New Generation – Megan Ellison
Legacy of Cinema – Criterion Collection
The Douglas Edwards Experimental Film Award – Cabinets of Wonder: Films and a Performance by Charlotte Pryce
Special Citation – The Creative Team of 12 Years a Slave
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