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.
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