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« Box Office or: How I Learned to Stop Going to Theatres and Play Catch-Up | Main | Boston Chooses 12 Years A Slave, Enough Said? »

Los Angeles chooses Gravity and Her in a tie

Such a big day for critics' awards - not only are Boston's picks so fresh that the steam is still coming off of them, the Los Angeles critics have announced. In most years, they can be relied upon for the least mainstream picks of any major group - famously, they bullied Universal into acknowledging the existence of Terry Gilliam's functionally unreleased Brazil by heaping awards on it in 1985 - though this year they broke hard for Gravity and Her, which between them took nine wins or runner-up slots out of 11 categories in which they were eligible. Ties in three major categories, which is admirable, I guess, in the sense that it's not nice to pick favorites, but it's a little disappointing as an awards-watcher.

Full list below the jump.


Picture: A tie - Gravity & Her.
Their first tie in best picture since their inaugural awards in 1975 when One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Dog Day Afternoon shared it. 

Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity (runner-up: Spike Jonze, Her)

Actress: A tie - Adèle Exarchopoulos, Blue Is the Warmest Color & Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine. If LAFCA couldn't bring it for Exarchopolous, her season run would have effectively ended today, so I'm pretty well ecstatic that this broke the way it did. I feel like a tie is the closest Cate is going to come to losing something all year, though. (LAFCA also had a tie in this category last year with Emmanuelle Riva, Amour & Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook)

Actor: Bruce Dern, Nebraska (runner-up: Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave)

Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o, 12 Years a Slave (runner-up: June Squibb, Nebraska). What Nathaniel said about Squibb. Also, am I really the only person who liked Adepero Oduye more than Nyong'o?

Supporting Actor: A tie - James Franco, Spring Breakers & Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club. This was almost certainly the best shot Franco was going to have all year for any kind of award, so I'm glad he got it. Time to see if it translates into any further momentum, which I doubt. Anybody know what sort of precedent there is for two separate ties in the acting categories with LAFCA?

Screenplay: Before Midnight - Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke (runner-up: Her - Spike Jonze). Maybe an obvious bid to keep it "in the conversation", but I'll be happier than anything if this film can make it all the way to the Oscars in any category. Approved.

Foreign Language Film: Blue Is the Warmest Color (runner-up: The Great Beauty)

Documentary: Stories We Tell (runner-up: The Act of Killing)

Animated Feature: Ernest & Celestine (runner-up: The Wind Rises). YES.

Cinematography: Gravity - Emmanuel Lubezki (runner-up: Inside Llewyn Davis - Bruno Delbonnel). The words "Cinematography: Gravity" are going to start to feel like second nature by the time awards season is done, methinks.

Editing: Gravity - Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger (runner-up: Upstream Color - Shane Carruth and David Lowery. The only really unorthdox pick here).

Production Design: Her - K.K. Barrett (runner-up: Inside Llewyn Davis - Jess Gonchor). Haven't seen the film yet, but I feel like this is bold in a way that I'm very happy for.

Music Score: Inside Llewyn Davis - T. Bone Burnett (runner-up: Her - Arcade Fire and Owen Pallett). For a very idiosyncratic definition of the word "score".

Douglas Edwards Independent/Experimental Film/Video Award: Cabinets of Wonder: Films and a Performance by Charlotte Pryce

New Generation: Megan Ellison

Special Citation: The filmmaking team of 12 Years a Slave

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Reader Comments (43)

Blanchett is great in Blue Jasmine and she should definitely win the Oscar this year ... But these critics' groups could spread the wealth around a bit. It would be nice to see Gerwig, Adele or Larson win something.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Oops, disregard my comment - I had read elsewhere that Blanchett won, didn't realize it was a tie!

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Also, am I really the only person who liked Adepero Oduye more than Nyong'o?
Yes, the Pariah girl was amateur hour in the acting department.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Lets have a few shots in honor of Paulina García.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

too many ties. picture too.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

tim -- you're not the only one but there are precious few of you. I frankly am confused how Nyong'o isnt sweeping critics prizes. she's young & beautiful (awards of all kinds value that in the actress categories even though it has nothing to do with acting) and also awesome in a powerful movie (they also value that as well as they should)

and did they really bring it for Adele? I mean a tie is kind of hedging your bets ... or at least it removes the "statement" advocacy part of winning something.

December 8, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Yeah, it's pretty thin stuff as far as advocacy goes, but it's better than absolutely nothing at all, and I need to find something comforting in all those darn ties...

December 8, 2013 | Registered CommenterTim Brayton

Happy for T. Bone Burnett. I have enjoyed his work, and his involvement (until recently) was one of the main reasons for watching "Nashville" (damn those ABC execs!).

Judging by the runners-up, Wolf of Wall Street is one to watch!

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Yay for Best Supporting Actress Second Runner-up Sally Hawkins!

Seriously, it was nice to see her in the running for a big prize. I hope that she doesn't continue to be as overlooked as she's been for the past 5 years.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike M.

Mike- Where are you finding the second-runner-up info? I'm happy to think it's true, but it's not on their Twitter feed, at least.

December 8, 2013 | Registered CommenterTim Brayton

All these ties are disappointing. Stick to your guns and pick something!

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJames

Cate DA Great: NY + Boston + LA, not bad, not bad at all bitches!

Not even an ounce of the hype surrounding that performance has died in anybody's mind.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYavor

Frankly I m just happy this has been such a great movie year. And I still haven't seen Her or American Hustle. I expect to fall in love with the former and really enjoy the latter.
I m not huge on awards BUT it would be nice for Phoenix or Fassbender to get some love somewhere. I have not seen her but Joaquin phoenix looks adorable and honest in these trailers and i suspect I ll be rooting for him soon. Fassy was amazing in a very demanding role. He was best in show for me in a movie full of great performances. Also Tom Hanks has to factor in soon. This was the best work I've ever seen him do.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTony T

Sarah Paulson > Lupita Nyong'o and Adepero Oduye. Just sayin'.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

I read so much Tim Brayton, that halfway through the article I can tell it was him. Thought that was funny.

I didn't prefer Oduye to N'Yongo, but I totally get that opinion cuz she's fantastic in that one scene, and she gets a lot of Ridley's best lines to deliver. "The plague of the Pharaohs is but a poor sample of what awaits the plantation class."

I'm getting the feeling this is gonna be a long award season

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBifferSpace

Glenn Whipp has a lot of info about how the voting went down on his twitter feed (hence the Sally Hawkins 2nd runner up remark).

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I do think that Oduye had the trickier character to pull off, and am not sure that she does. She's appropriately and totally harrowing for the first portion of her screentime (trying to avoid "spoilers" just in case), but struggles against the impossible task of having to make a state of constant tears/sobbing dynamic for the required later bit. It was a tall order and she gave it her best, but didn't quite get there. Nyong'o is stunning in her role, but that character's experience charts a more audience-friendly, accessible path (to be clear: not saying it's all an "easier" fate for her character, just one that more readily invites audience sympathy and identification). Patsey's behaviors and actions draw you (and Solomon) in, while Eliza's frustrate/put you (and Solomon) at a distance.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRJ

Tyler- I absolutely don't disagree, but I'm afraid to have Sasha Stone come after me.

BifferSpace- I shall take that as a compliment.

Suzanne- Thanks!

December 8, 2013 | Registered CommenterTim Brayton

NBR is really kinda irrelevant nowadays... aside from that blip the Blanchett steamroller carries on with Boston (which I've always felt to be more prestigious and poignant than NBR) and LA. NSFC may go to Adèle but it would be great if both would tie all season long as those are truly the performances of the year.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter

Tim, I don't get it! Does Sasha Stone not like Sarah Paulson? Haha.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

I think all the female performances in 12 Years are excellent, right on down to Kelsey Scott as Solomon's wife. That last line has devastated me on both occasions I've seen the film. It was a couple of the male performances I was more sketchy on, like how distracting Paul Giamatti was or Brad Pitt as White Jesus/Savior, maybe the worst performance from an actor I greatly admire.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBifferSpace

Tyler & Tim -- i'm so glad there are small pockets of people who appreciate how good sarah paulson is. i wonder what it will take for larger swaths of people to recognize?

December 8, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Re: Adepero....I love her as an actress, but she was the only thing I didn't like in 12 Years A Slave.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSquasher88

It's interesting how even groups that LOVE Gravity aren't giving Bullock individual notice for her performance. I looked at some history...LAFCA usually picks male-centric movies but they have a great record of recognizing the actress performances (lead or supporting) that appear in their Best Picture winners/runners up.

In fact, Bullock is the first lead actress in at least 10 years whose film *won* the BP prize but didn't get any notice in the Best Actress category. Very odd if we're supposed to believe Gravity is a performance vehicle...more and more it's being recognized as an unambiguous technical triumph.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHayden W.


Figured Before Midnight, Adele E., and Franco would factor. Her did not seem too surprising given it is an LA story, they seem to like Jonze, and they wanted something different than NY. Good for Gravity too.

I also think Bullock might miss out on a nomination. I think Blanchett is a virtual lock in the category. Maybe Meryl too

I am getting the sense that music precursors are going to make the original score nominations really hard to place. Llewyn Davis keeps winning while Her gets singled out but I can't see AMPAS going for it. As somebody who played string instruments, I got to say I was not impressed with the lot of string-driven scores this year and would proudly go with the more electronic/electric minded work that came out this year. But Zimmer will probably get a double nomination along with John Williams.

The ties seemed like a result of abstaining or at least 2 of the 3. Franco getting a tie really appeared like a major contingent of the room wanted it to happen. Meanwhile, I noticed LA critics I followed on Twitter noted their abstaining from major categories. 12YAS champions abstained from Picture while people who were cool on Blanchett vs. Adele sat out too.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

cmg -- yeah. but i think they should have a tiebreaker. it just makes them look indecisive which is not a great look on a critic even if it's totally a human look on a critic ;)

hayden -- this is my hope since best actress is way too crowded but i'm not banking on it.

December 8, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Ze, I totally agree that NBR should be irrelevant, but it gets so much mainstream press... it's difficult to determine who even votes for their awards, which tend to be so milquetoast. The proliferation of online critics' awards are a bit silly, but at least they're open about their membership and voting process. It's a shame NBR gets so much attention.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

To be fair about the ties, these groups have rules. If the final vote after you remove all but two contenders yields a tie, what can ya do?

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEvan

Tyler- Since, NYFCC, Sasha has, to put it politely, 'gone off her handle' w/r/t awards. During NYFCC she joked about the group being White Power people for not showering 12 Years a Slave with awards. Hence why there are some people aware of the joke that Sasha might yell at us for liking Sarah Paulson over the Odoye and Nyong'o in the film.

Speaking of Sasha, she had the nerve to attack LAFCA for giving Franco the tie in Supporting Actor. This is an awards body known for making choices, hence why a lot of people like myself predicted him to get traction there. Meanwhile, she kept on tweeting how 'quirky' the choice was and did not believe for a second LAFCA was being sincere. She got into it with Drew McWeeny, a voter who defended the choice, as he seemed to vote for Franco, among others. Sometimes I wonder if she pays attention to the trends beyond her favorites. A lot of people who knew the LAFCA members like James Rocchi, Justin Chang, Amy Nicholson, Karina Longworth, etc. all raved about that performance. She seems to think LAFCA **must** be in lock-step with the Oscars when, in fact, the only time the group has given Best Picture that correlated with the Oscars since 2000 was The Hurt Locker in 2009 when the film was an undeniable critical steam-roller. People like LAFCA because they make the choices we wished the Oscars would make.

Anyway, that ends my Sasha Stone observations/rant. She manages to make it into my timeline when I no longer follow her because she is already screws loose this early in the season.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

First the National Board of Review, now Los Angeles Film Critics Association... "Her" is getting some major recognition between the critics groups in Best Film category (and New York Film Critics Online Awards gave Best Screenplay to this one too).
How do you think it can translate into Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson's Oscar chances in the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories?

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEd

The Academy is just not going to go for a voice-only performance, and Best Actor is too competitive for Phoenix to get to the inner circle (even with the critics orgs that are honouring that movie aren't awarding him).

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSean C.

I'm really curious to see if Adele can break into the best actress category. Blanchett, Bullock, Dench, Streep, and Thompson seem so likely (kind of like how 2006 had the de facto five throughout the whole season, although all of them were deserving IMO).

I'm not banking on Scarlett Johansson getting an Oscar nomination, but at least the prevalence of Her throughout the season will keep her in the conversation, as well as for Joaquin Phoenix.

Isn't it curious that Tom Hanks was seen as a likely double nominee this year, but now it seems like he's running in fifth in both categories? Very strange, as I think he's extraordinary in Captain Phillips. Tough category this year.

Love how this awards season is going so far. It's great to have a variety of winners and not a "Social Network"/'Hurt Locker" steamroller.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Yeah, I still think Phoenix and Johansson are dark horses at best, but Her is looking more and more like a Best Picture nominee. I'm still not ready to call it a lock because it may be a critics only sort of thing, but winning NBR and LAFCA is pretty big. I think it will probably get in for Picture and Original Screenplay at least, and Spike Jonze may get a Best Director nomination. It could also get in for Production Design and Original Song. It must surely be considered a major contender though.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEdwin

I'm a big fan of Oduye in 12, Tim.

I'm happy for Adele and James, really.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

As a uber fan of Sally Hawkins, I find that Hawkins is basically Cate Blanchett pre-Elizabeth. She consistently delivers these great performances that goes unnoticed for the most part aside from critics and crazy cinephiles like us who continually sings her praise. I mean when people look at Blanchett, most seem to forget how great and exquisite she was in Oscar & Lucinda. most likely Hawkins won't score a nomination, but god damn it she should as she was great as a foil against Blanchett's cray cray, talking to her self, pill-popping, alcohol mixing Jasmine.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKai Lor

Count me among the Team Paulson crowd! Maybe my favorite performance in a film with no shortage of good performances.

LAFCA did me right. Personally I like ties. I like anything that keeps the race as open as possible for as long as possible. Very happy to see Her win production design--probably my favorite aspect of that film. I'd be very excited to see it show up at the Oscars.

We'll see if James Franco or Adèle Exarchopoulos can translate some critics' love into Oscar gold--my guess is that it's still a long shot for James, but Adèle has a decent shot. She just got the Emmanuelle Riva boost, and because of the weird way that youth performance awards work, she'll be showing up with every Breakthrough citation that Quvenzhane Wallis picked up last year. Now if only she could pull Léa Seydoux with her...but alas, I suppose it wouldn't be an Oscar race if all my favorites were actually in contention.

December 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTB

It's amazing to me, frankly, that of a film like Twelve Years which has an embarrassment of riches, the one performance that I recall most fondly is Alfred Woodard. It's the mark of a true talent who manages to sweep you off your feet with less than four minutes of screen time. I loved N'yongo and Paulson both, but there was something eerily off-center and Cassandra-like about Woodard's performance that has haunted me since I walked out of the theater.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeau

Alfre*. Naturally. Damn autocorrect.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeau

Beau, you aren't the only one. I thought Alfre gave an amazing performance and it's a shame she can't get bigger and juicier roles. I'm happy for Lupita getting attention, but unfortunately some of it seems to happen at Sarah's and Alfre's expense who I felt gave better performances.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCC

Interesting to see 'HER' is doing very well in the critics awards. I don't think many people thought it would win 2 Best Picture critic's awards to date. Will it mean it will be nominated for Best Pic at the Oscars? I always thought it would just get a screenplay nod and that's all.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBette Streep

Bette -- having seen it i can safely share that it's so out of the Academy's usual wheelhouse. Obviously it's in the running now, despite that, but it's still going to be a tough challenge I think to make it in.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Plus, Her is clearly WB's number 2 after Gravity and the only way I can see it have a shot if it its creative team campaigns like mad, and I just don't see Phoenix or Jonze as those types of people at all.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

This may not be the best place to discuss this, so I may bring this up again when you post specifically about cinematography. If it is created with a computer, and not with a camera, is the recognition for the cinematography in 'Gravity' appropriate? Is it cinematography or is it special effects? I'm curious.

December 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommentergregSD

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