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The 42nd Annual LAFCA Winners !

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association stretches back to 1975, a very great year in cinema history with one of Oscar's all time best Best Picture lineups (Dog Day Afternoon, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Nashville, Barry Lyndon, and Jaws). They gave four of those pictures awards in their first year, ignoring only Jaws. Though we normally despair that all film critics awards seem to be viewed through the prism of Oscar influence or prediction (critics groups should have their own identity / agenda or else what good are they?) in the LAFCA's case it's difficult to avoid. Los Angeles is an industry town and these are their local critics. So go crazy when you're looking at this list and want to think of it in terms of Oscar; It's easy to argue that its the single critics list that Oscar voters take most seriously since the bulk of the membership lives there.  You can especially see this influence lately in LAFCA's choices for "career achievement" which are not so infrequently named as Honorary Oscar winners the following year or three thereafter as happened recently with Anne V Coates, Gena Rowlands, and Frederick Wiseman!

For a refresher last year's big LAFCA winners were Spotlight and Mad Max Fury Road which were of course very popular with Oscar, too. They sometimes get creative in the Best Actress category but their Best Picture winner tends to go to an obvious and highly competitive future Best Picture nominee or winner with rare exceptions like WALL•E (2008), American Splendor (2003), or Do The Right Thing (1989).

This year's prizes were bathed in Moonlight though La La Land put up a fight.


Picture: Moonlight (ru: La La Land)

Director Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (ru: Damien Chazelle, La La Land)

Screenplay The Lobster (ru: Manchester by the Sea)
Can I really hope that The Lobster will get an Oscar nomination in this category. Don't let me hope if it cannot come to be!  

Actress Isabelle Huppert Elle and Things to Come (ru: Rebecca Hall, Christine)
Meryl Streep holds the record here with 3 wins (all three in the 1980s). She won their supporting prize once as well for a fourth win

Actor Adam Driver, Paterson (ru: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea)
Daniel Day-Lewis holds their record with 3 wins (once in the 80s, twice in the 00s) 

Supporting Actress Lily Gladstone Certain Women (ru: Michelle Williams Manchester by the Sea)
Dianne Weist, Joan Allen, and Maureen Stapleton have each won this category twice  

Supporting Actor Mahershara Ali, Moonlight (ru: Issey Ogata, Silence)
Christopher Plummer & John Gielgud have both won this category twice 

Cinematography James Laxton Moonlight (ru: Linus Sandgren  La La Land)
For lensing LA loves Emmanuel Lubezki most with 4 wins, Roger Deakins is in second with 3 wins. Other favorites: Ballhaus, Storaro, Menges, Seale Spinotti, and Kaminski (2 wins each)

Production Design Ryu Seong-hee, The Handmaiden (ru: David Wasco, La La Land
Super choice! 

Editing Granato, Mumma, Sozanski O.J. Made in America (ru: Tom Cross, La La Land)
They only recently started giving out an Editing prize (Zero Dark Thirty was first) so there's not much history to discuss

Music/Score Hurwitz, Pasek, Paul La La Land (ru: Mica Levi Jackie)
Mica Levi won this prize for Under the Skin but she fails to repeat. The only multiple winners of this prize for LA are Desplat, Burnett, and Shore (2 wins each), and Zbigniew Preisner (3 consecutive wins in the 90s) 

Animated Film Your Name (ru: The Red Turtle)
It's cool that Your Name is playing in Los Angeles. It is deeply uncool that we don't get to see it here in New York.

Non-Fiction Film (Documentary) I Am Not Your Negro (ru: OJ Made in America)
Excited to see this James Baldwin doc at a special screening this week in NYC

Foreign Language Film The Handmaiden (ru: Toni Erdmann)
Ingmar Bergman (Sweden), Claude Chabrol (France) , Olivier Assayas (France) and Paul Verhoeven (The Netherlands) have each won this prize twice from the LAFCA. 

Experimental Film: The Illionis Parables (Deborah Stratman)

New Generation Trey Edward Shults and Krisha Fairchild, Krisha



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Reader Comments (65)

Moonlight! Yes!

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

The Handmaiden for production design is an awesome, awesome choice.

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

I'm so psyched for Moonlight! Mahershala Ali and James Laxton are doing so great this year! And Handmaiden in Production Design is such a cool choice!

Still gotta see La La Land, Silence, and Jackie, but even those notices seem really smart. Hopefully Mica Levi will get an Oscar nomination this year, and it's an interesting surprise to see a supporting actor from Silence that isn't Liam Neeson. Yay Issey Ogata. Yay everyone, so far!!

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNick T

La La Land will decimate the oscars.

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

Yayyy finally Lily Gladstone got an award!

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

Lily Gladstone with Michelle for runner up makes me wonder if they are going to put Viola in lead, or if they just left her out all together... should be interesting.

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJoey

@ Joey

This year is so competitive that I don't expect to VD to win many critics' awards, especially with the category ambiguity and the late release date.

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Joey & Paul -- yeah, i feel like we dont really know what the reaction to Fences is like because the release is still a few weeks away.

Nick T -- love the good surprises. I hear Ogata is a great actor but I'n not familiar with him so i'll be watching for him in Silence closely.

December 4, 2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

With such fluidity in the supporting races this must be a real help for Lily Gladstone & Issey Agato. Can either of them get Oscar nods, do you think?

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBJT

I have mixed feelings about Michelle Williams getting rewarded so easily. Yes, she's a fine actress but her screen time in Manchester by the sea seems SO small, even for best supporting standards. The other side of the spectrum is also annoying. Evident leads getting rewarded as supporting players. Maybe you've written about this before.. But what would you say should be the standard to consider a performance a supporting role? Maybe this is a question for the podcast. (i was going to post this comment in the questions for the podcast post, but some of the comments in there were too ugly and hateful).

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCris

It might be surprising for those expecting Williams to only have "the scene" to see that she's actually in it quite a bit more than that, but I still find awards talk for this performance a little baffling.

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

I'm happy anything, especially I Am Not Your Negro, won the documentary prize over the ESPN OJ movie.

Can someone explain how it's eligible? Was it released in theaters?

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

Actually, I wonder if Mahershala Ali's screen time is any more than Williams'. If it is, it's probably not by much. I would be more on board with him if it wasn't so abbreviated.

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Jordan, it had a one week release to qualify for the oscars.

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterArkaan

Totally just whooped and clapped when I read The Lobster won Screenplay, though I gotta say I'm a little surprised that Manchester by the Sea has been noticed for Screenplay at all three of the critics' showings so far. It's won (or been runner-up) everywhere save the Gothams. You'd think someone would at least pick an adapted screenplay at some point, or just a different original screenplay. It's just odd to me.

On the bright side, now I'm lowkey hoping Colin Farrell can pull something off in Lead Actor here, unless Manchester keeps up the sweep there.

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNick T

@ Nick T

It won best original screenplay at NBR.

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

I am actually praying for an Isablle Huppert/Sandra Huller tie tbh. Wouldn't that be glorious??The LAFCA are second to the National Society of Film Critics for incredible choices, especially for the acting categories. Also, for Best Supporting Actress I was wondering if we were ever going to see choices as inspired as Luminiศ›a Gheorghiu, or Agata Kulesza and with Lily Gladstone, we got one! As someone who hasn't seen the film, is she good?

Also, this awards season is my favourite in recent years! :D

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAmandaBuffamonteezi


Gladstone is in my current top 5. There is a scene (leaving in a car) where she actually broke my heart.

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterdomgogo

Gladstone, Driver, Paterson"!! Please, Let Isablle happen (Braga and Huller would be my runner ups) and I'd love LA! Yuor Name!! So glad that ugly film FENCES shut-out! Denzel didn't put any amazingly cinematographic in that film of an otherwise terrific stage play. Just call an orange and orange and be done with it!

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

Slay ISABELLE, slay!!! Who-hooo!!

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterchofer


For the record, Im' just gonna post my personal Huppert nominations.

1978-Best Actress-Violette Nozier (WIN)
1988-Best Actress-Story of Women
2001-Best Actress-The Piano Teacher (WIN-Obvs)
2002-Best Supporting Actress-8 Women
2009-Best Actress-White Material
2016-Best Actress-Things To Come
I honestly don't know if I'd hand her the trophy yet. I still need to see more. I love Isabelle Huppert so much. She really showed us something more in Things to Come, and who thought we could even be *surprised* by her anymore?! Glorious! That double citation is just amazing!

Also @domgogo thank you for the reply!

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAmandaBuffamonteezi

I'm also happy to see Lily Gladstone get acknowledged, and maybe even Certain Wonen getting a higher profile.

Gladstone would be the first Native American woman to be nominated if she gets a nomination.

The only other First Nations nominees (I think) have been Chief Dan George in Little Big Man (1970) and Graham Greene in Dances with Wolves (1990).
And they both had roles as "Native Americans". Gladstone is playing a regular working person, a ranch hand.

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Barry Jenkins has now won Best Director at all three critics group this week. My boy did it! So happy for him.

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

Lily Gladstone won Supporting Actress from the Atlanta Film Critics Society today, too.

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Hey! All the Huppertians out there: You didn't watch her postal clerk cockoo in La Ceremonie?? Are you freaking kidding me?? One of her top 3 roles, EVAH!!

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterchofer

@Jordan - Thank you! I forgot NBR divvies it up.

God Moonlight did so well here. And Isabelle Huppert. Is she for sure happening now? It's crazy. I really hope all these winners get noticed by Oscar, and now I really need to find Certain Women. Way to go Lily Gladstone!!

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNick T

I am so happy with all the prizes and with the TFE community for spreading so much love towards movies

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJo

Please God or Billy Wilder, make Rebecca Hall something possible๐Ÿ™

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNadir

So Manchester... took best film at NBR. La La... won it at NYFCC. Now Moonlight got it today. Our three heavyweights.

@ Nick T

I just realized I misread your comment.

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJordan


I LOVE La Ceromonie but Best Actress 1995 is a crowded enough for my imaginary ballot :)

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAmandaBuffamonteezi

It seems that three movies taking the lead would make good winners. That is quite awesome. That said Even though Lala Land is most oscar friendly, Moonlight would be the perfect hollywood answer to this year.

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTony T


I understand. But without it, we wouln't have Heavely Creatures to begin with:) Too ahead of its time. And I love me some Suppert in her Pippi Longstocking's look. That psychochild:)

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterchofer


December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCraver

I'll just say, "Moonlight" is overrated. More significant for the fact of its rare subject representation than for any exemplary qualities of the filmmaking itself.

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Wow great list! I hope hall will get more more luv, mayb a globe drama nom.

So happy for The Handmaiden n of cos Huppert!! She's so gettin in rite now! I tink she will be def b double nom at Caesar next yr (her 16 n 17 nom! She's the Meryl o French Oscar!) n win for Elle ๐Ÿ˜€

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

This whole list fills me with a LOT of joy, but my absolute favorite bits were: The Lobster for screenplay, Best Actress (Huppert win with a Hall runner-up is PERFECT), and The Handmaiden winning TWO prizes (I love that movie so damn much, and the production design really is something else).

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDancin' Dan

I have to respectfully disagree. Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea are definitely in the running for great cinema. Because each film is good, not due any ethnic reasons.

Is Annette Benining or Ruth Negga actually better than Meryl Streep? Their movies seem like Lifetime events that will not be re-watched? I say the best should be nominated. This was not paid for.

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ford

Huppert is definitely in. The Cotillard spot.

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBD

I called Moonlight the moment La La Land took NYFCC. Nice moment of cross-coast symmetry. And I gotta say, I love today's list. I don't disagree with any of the choices among the films I've seen and it makes me want to see the others ASAP, especially The Handmaiden, Certain Women, I Am Not Your Negro and Krisha.

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

For those keeping score: Moonlight was also named Best International Independent Film at the British Independent Film Awards.

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Nat how do you feel about that surprise award for Silence? Have you seen Marty's latest ? I for one am just glad to see an Asian actor in awards ballot. granted its for a period piece, but hey I'll take what I can get.

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPTAismyhomeboy

If 20th Century Women and Loving are "Lifetime events," then I should be watching more Lifetime.

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

You'll find Nicole Kidman and Jessica Lange there. Always worth a quick pass over. Congrats to today's bingo winners! More winners tomorrow!

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJono

@Paul Outlaw
Everything about The Handmaiden is wonderful -- it's one of those rare films where all components beautifully mesh to make a near-perfect film. And, yes, the production design is that good. See it as soon as you're able.
Krisha is available on Amazon Prime. It's another gem of a film -- if you've ever attended a disfunctional family Thanksgiving with a 'crazy' relation, you can relate -- which is garnering awards attention as well.

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCraig

I love Huppert, but I'm very disappointed Rebecca Hall didn't win Best Actress. Her performance in Christine is my favorite of the year + she has amazing reviews, and yet hasn't received any awards recognition whatsoever. It's maddening how overlooked her performance and film have been...not even Indie or Gotham noms!!

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMike

I Will love If the Oscars goes like this:

Leading Actors

Denzel - african american
Garfield - white british
Affleck - white american brunette
Driver - white american brunette
Mortensen - white danish-american (actually, middle-earth brunette)

Leading Actress

Stone - white american red
Portman - israeli
Huppert - french
Braga - latin
Davis - female african american

Supporting Actor

Ali - african american
Ogata - asian
Neeson - white british
Hedges - young white american
Fiennes - white british god

Supporting Actress

Harris - black british
Spencer - female african american
Monae - female african american
Williams - white american blonde
Gladstone - native american

Will Look like Life!!! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ‘ผ๐Ÿ‘ผ

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJon

@ Craig

Thanks for that Amazon Prime tip! Will watch this evening!

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Lily Gladstone! Alas, getting an Oscar nomination there will be almost impossible since it'd be hard to make sure voters stick with the screener until the third act which is when Gladstone appears (and slays everybody, obvs). Could be this year's Kristen Steward in Sils Maria, sadly.

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

And so the Moonlight backlash begins.

@ Jonathan

You didn't find any significant exemplary qualities of filmmaking at all? None in the direction, performances, score, or cinematography? Really?

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

Moonlight is a masterpiece

December 4, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

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