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LAFCA Names "Amour" The Best of the Year. (Plus Boston & NYFCO)

Warning this post will contain no photos of Zero Dark Thirty in protest. It's a film I thoroughly enjoyed but critical sweeps do great injustice to the art of cinema each year. No film or performance has ever been so great as to be the only achievement worth rewarding in its calendar year. The modern age of hive-mindedness also does great injustice to awards season which needs drama as fuel. This is not to say that one shouldn't vote one's mind if a certain sweeper is also your personal favorite but if everyone's personal favorites are always the same we automatically a) need fewer groups trumpeting the collective opinion or b) we need more critics who have idiosyncratic taste to keep the art of the discussion of cinema at its liveliest.

We've already heard from NYC's top critics who gave three awards each to Zero Dark Thirty and Lincoln and today the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the LA wing of critical-consensus makers get their say. Given that this particular group is something like the Home Team for the bulk of AMPAS members, their votes matter. Stay tuned as voting commences!

FILM Amour (ru: The Master)
DIRECTOR Paul Thomas Anderson for The Master (ru: Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty)
ACTRESS (tie) Jennifer Lawrence Silver Linings Playbook and Emmanuelle Riva Amour 
ACTOR  Joaquin Phoenix The Master (ru: Denis Lavant, Holy Motors)
SUPPORTING ACTRESS  Amy AdamsThe Master (ru: Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables & The Dark Knight Rises)
SUPPORTING ACTOR  Dwight Henry Beasts of the Southern Wild (ru: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained)
ANIMATED FILM  Frankenweenie (ru: It's Such a Beautiful Day)
DOCUMENTARY The Gatekeepers (ru: Searching for Sugar Man)
FOREIGN FILM  Holy Motors (ru: Footnote)
SCREENPLAY Argo (ru: Silver Linings Playbook)
CINEMATOGRAPHY  Roger Deakins Skyfall (ru: Mihai Malaiare, Jr. The Master)
PRODUCTION DESIGN  David Crank & Jack Fisk The Master (ru: Adam Stockhausen, Moonrise Kingdom)
EDITING Zero Dark Thirty
MUSIC SCORE  Dan Romer & Benh Zeitlin Beasts of the Southern Wild (ru: Jonny Greenwood, The Master)

Last Year's LAFCA Winners if you'd like to compare them...

Boston & NYFCO after the jump

Yesterday we heard from an upstart Boston group but today the real deal, the Boston Society of Film Critics who have been voting for 32 years. They were quite adventurous in the 1990s (in comparison to most critics groups these days) and each year we cross our fingers that they'll become so again.

How to Survive a Plague won two prizes from BSFCPICTURE Zero Dark Thirty (ru: (tie) Moonrise Kingdom & Amour)
DIRECTOR Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty (ru: Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master)
SCREENPLAY Tony Kushner, Lincoln
ACTOR Daniel Day Lewis, Lincoln (ru: Denis Lavant, Holy Motors)
ACTRESS Emmanuelle Riva, Amour (ru: Deanie Yip, A Simple Life)
FOREIGN FILM Amour (ru: Holy Motors)
SUPPORTING ACTRESS Sally Field, Lincoln (ru: Emma Watson The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
SUPPORTING ACTOR Ezra Miller, The Perks of Being a Wallflower (ru: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained)
ENSEMBLE Seven Psychopaths (ru: Moonrise Kingdom)
ANIMATED FILM Frankenweenie (ru: ParaNorman)
DOCUMENTARY How to Survive A Plague (ru: )
EDITING Zero Dark Thirty (ru: Argo)
NEW FILMMAKER David France How to Survive a Plague (ru: Benh Zeitlin Beasts...)
CINEMATOGRAPHY The Master (runner up: Life of Pi and Moonrise Kingdom)
USE OF MUSIC Moonrise Kingdom (runner up: Django Unchained)

In smaller type this Sunday, December 9th, the New York Film Critics Online (NYFCO) -- some of my friends are members (including favored co-star Katey Rich) -- also held court to determine winners.

PICTURE Zero Dark Thirty
ACTRESS Emmanuelle Riva, Amour (ru:?)
ACTOR Daniel Day Lewis, Lincoln (ru:)
DIRECTOR Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Dark Locker Thirty
DOCUMENTARY Central Park Five
DEBUT DIRECTOR Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild (ru: ?)
USE OF MUSIC Django Unchained
CINEMATOGRAPHY Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi (ru: ?)
SCREENPLAY Zero Dark Thirty (ru: Argo)
SUPPORTING ACTOR Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln (ru: Matthew McConaughey, Magic Mike)
SUPPORTING ACTRESS Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

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Reader Comments (56)

so many critics, my head's swimming :P

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

I loved How To Survive a Plague but I'm bummed it keeps edging out Beasts. Maybe LA will give Actress to Wallis and make my day! I actually think Cotillard will take that though.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

it's totally fun following tehse things on twitter. it seems that everyone (not just tfe) is frustrated with the oscar prediction action of critics awards and yet that everyone is people voting so i think we have a silent majority problem.

December 9, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Dwight Henry For Beast of the Southern Wild!!! LAFCA Best Supporting Actor.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCengiz

some TV channel should do a reality show about film critics circles and awards season!! so I can see members of NYFCC fighting being team chastain and team lawrence and then one would be interviewed and say ''you know what I got this guy cockblocking my decision he was so into lawrence that I say there's no way he's gonna Chastain win so we pull a Weiz on him, who's laughing now b*tch?''

well, the point is would be less frustrating if we could see how they deliver the winners

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChecko

Weisz, my bad

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChecko

Checko, funny you should type that. I was totally thinking that early. someone should do a tv skit about these awards.

December 9, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

SUPPORTING ACTRESS Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables

yes, how authentic, what a surprise!

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

SO FRIGGIN' THRILLED for Dwight Henry I can barely contain myself. I love Quevenzhane too, but so much of that performance is reflecting Henry's performance back to him. That she gives as good as she gets is just the icing on the cake.

I'm also shocked and THRILLED that according to Ty Burr, the runner-up to Best Supporting Actress, BY ONE VOTE, was Emma Watson for Perks of Being a Wallflower. As a huge fan of the book, it felt like they waited to make this movie just so that she could play Sam. She was THAT perfect. Nice to see at least one critic's group stump for her. Kind of.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

Ezra Miller for Supporting Actor? Further proof of how awesome Boston is!

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGuy Incognito

YES! Ezra Miller wins Best Supporting Actor! Thank you BSFC!!!

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJim

Emmanuelle Riva wins best actress!!! WOW!!

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThe Wolfman

Riva, Adams, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Beasts of the Southern Wild!!! So far, Boston and LA are spicing things up! KEEP IT THAT WAY!

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

I'm really glad that this doesn't look like a year where the same people sweep everything. I completely thought Dwight Henry and Ezra Miller were out of the conversation. Both are on my ballot and I'm thrilled to see them pick up prizes here. And Christoph Waltz as runner-up for both awards. Maybe DJANGO is our double nominee in Supporting Actor? I feel like that category is about to get a lot more interesting.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

I've said it before and I'll say it again: The Best Supporting Actor category will be a bloodbath.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStu

Last time Best Supporting Actor was interesting was 1999. Maybe 2002.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJim

Adams over Hathaway? Nathaniel's temperature must be rising up again.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

So thrilled to see Ezra Miller win best supporting actor. I hadn't seen him in anything prior to Perks, and was blown away by his performance.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdaisy5

So far, Hathaway has failed to win a major critics award. Is the supporting actress category really locked up.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStu

I never expected Hathaway to win critics awards. She only needs the Golden Globe and the SAG.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

The Hurt Dark Locker Thirty, haha

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

I am really unimpressed with Adams win and she is one of my favorite actresses... I was to thepoint that I hoped she would not receive an Oscar nom...

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrick

Does this improve Amy's chance at nomination #4?

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJonn

OMG!! I still can't believe the ease with which Kathryn Bigelow is sweeping through the Best Director awards. I'm really happy for her but is just astounds me.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

BVR -- i think it points to the inherent problems of awards season more than it does any particular achievement. Sweeps are almost a given when everyone votes at the same time. It's the movie people were most excited about this week.

rick -- yeah, that win doesn't sit well with me at all.

December 9, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Emmanuelle Riva took home TWO big Best Actress prizes in one day (and we're still waiting for LAFC Award for Best Actress). I think she's locked for an Oscar nomination at this point, right?
I would have never said that an 85 years old French actress who never starred in a big commercial hit in the US (she's best remembered by the cinephiles for her role in Alain Resnais masterpiece "Hiroshima Mon Amour") was going to be Oscar-nominated for the French-speaking role of a dying woman in a very depressing (and very very very beautiful) European drama about aging and death... if she gets an Oscar nomination for "Amour" it would be absolutely wonderful!!!

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStefano

Stefano -- i've been saying for a long time that she was solidly in the pool of Will be Nominated. nice to have this validation because so deserving.

December 9, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Absolutely deserving, but after seeing the film over two months ago at the Italian press preview I thought "What a wonderful film! But it is so realistic, desperate and depressing... Academy members are not gonna give this film any nominination except Best Foreign Language Picture". Really happy if I'm proved wrong, especially if "Amour" is nominated also for Best Actress (Riva is superb) and Best Original Screenplay (Best Director is a wishful thinking, but who knows?).
It would be fantastic if the Academy embraces more foreign speaking roles in the acting categories, there would be much more variety among the nominations (I'm still pissed they didn't give a nomination to Isabelle Huppert for her wonderful performance in Haneke's "La pianiste", while they nominated Salma Hayek and Diane Lane in two mediocre movies in the same year).

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStefano

I think complaining about complaining about sameness among critics' choices is just as lame as complaining about sameness among critics' choices, but I have to say that it belies a bigger issue. Ultimately, this is a pretty odd season so far – critical consensus isn't really showing up in any of the acting categories, save DDL of course. So while it can be irritating to watch the same movie win almost every Best Picture and Best Director prize, it's not as though diversity can't be found elsewhere. We should be celebrating those divergent choices rather than harping on how awful the sameness is – particularly when the last time everyone bemoaned critical sameness of a modern classic, we wound up with a boilerplate British royalty drama as our Best Picture winner.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKevin

Go Joaquin! Hopefully Amy's win doesn't taint his any.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

Winning Boston and New York Online (please) does not equate two major victories for Riva

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterzach

Joaquin's in your dreams...yay!!!!

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Emmanuelle Riva wins the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Actress!!!!! (tied with Jennifer Lawrence)
Three awards in just one day... very good news!

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStefano

Wow, Jennifer Lawrence and Emmanuelle Riva tied. The best actress race is so contentious this year between Jen, Jessica, and Riva!

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

I think Bigelow is great but I'd have liked some variety in the best picture/director winners.

On the other hand, it's GREAT that no performance sweeps the acting honours.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn D.

So glad to see LA making somewhat independent choices so far...

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTravis

Paul Thomas Anderson wins Best Director. Splendid.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJohn D.

Riva tying with Lawrence is the weirdest thing I've heard in a long time.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Amour wins Best Picture and The Master gets runner-up!

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoey

WOW!! Amour

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJones

Surprising Philip Seymour Hoffman hasn't won anything for The Master yet.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPatryk

LA you failed Chastain.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

I am really pulling for Emanuelle Riva ... cannot even see Jennifer Lawrence in the same league as Riva ... as I have said before Lawrence, to me, was a definite supporting player.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterrick

Amy Adams takes home LAFCA Award for Best Supporting Actress? I mean... really??? (when I think about The Master, Amy Adams doesn't come to my mind at all)

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEd

Peggy Sue -- amen! weird and unpleasant! ;)

December 9, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

3rtful: I'm rooting for Chastain all the way through. Having said that, I think LAFC did the right thing by cementing Riva as a serious best actress contender. We could bet that the Globes are going to crown both Lawrence and Chastain. And the Oscar race for that category would've been seen just as a match between the two, but these week's awards are suggesting that instead it's a strong match among three actresses.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJones

Chastain won LA last year. So I really wasn't expecting her to win again.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

Arkin and Cranston are in trouble.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHannibal Lester

Can I just say that Deanie Yip is just brilliant in A Simple Life and props to Boston for making her a runner up to a riveting Riva.

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBVR

So happy for "Amour" winning Best Picture (!!!!!) at the LAFC Awards and for the prize-sweep by Emmanuelle Riva... I'm still rooting for Jessica Chastain for the Oscar rather than Jennifer Lawrence (and I don't think Riva would have serious chances for an Oscar win), but it would be simply great to see this amazing 85 years old, legendary French actress in competition with Chastain and Lawrence for the biggest prize in Hollywood!

December 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStefano

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