Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award Winners!

Once the first few of these critics awards come out, it's only a matter of time until every other city in the United States releases its own awards. Prepare for the great deluge...

PS: Instead of just occaisionally inserting little quips and comments, I thought I'd try something more useful. At the bottom of the post will be a quick analysis of who and what got a boost in the Oscar race, and who/what got hurt.

Picture: "Wall-E" 
Runner-up: "The Dark Knight" 

Director: Danny Boyle, "Slumdog Millionaire" 
Runner-up: Christopher Nolan, "The Dark Knight" 

Actor: Sean Penn, "Milk" 
Runner-up: Mickey Rourke, "The Wrestler" 

Actress: Sally Hawkins, "Happy-Go-Lucky" 
Runner-up: Melissa Leo, "Frozen River" 

Supporting actor: Heath Ledger, "The Dark Knight" 
Runner-up: Eddie Marsan, "Happy-Go-Lucky" 

Supporting actress: Penelope Cruz, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" and "Elegy" 
Runner-up: Viola Davis, "Doubt" 

Screenplay: Mike Leigh, "Happy-Go-Lucky" 
Runner-up: Charlie Kaufman, "Synecdoche, New York" 

Foreign-language film: "Still Life" 
Runner-up: "The Class" 

Documentary: "Man on Wire" 
Runner-up: "Waltz With Bashir" 

Animation: "Waltz With Bashir" 

Cinematography: Yu Lik Wai, "Still Life" 
Runner-up: Anthony Dod Mantle, "Slumdog Millionaire" 

Production design: Mark Friedberg, "Synecdoche, New York" 
Runner-up: Nathan Crowley, "The Dark Knight" 

Music/score: A.R. Rahman, "Slumdog Millionaire" 
Runner-up: Alexandre Desplat, "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" 

New Generation: Steve McQueen, "Hunger" 

Douglas E. Edwards independent/experimental film/video: James Benning, "RR" and "Casting a Glance"

What it all means:

Who/what got a boost?
  • WALL-E's chances for a Best Picture nomination
  • Danny Boyle for Directing (Slumdog Millionaire)
  • The Dark Knight for Picture and Director nominations (I'd include Ledger, but he doesn't need any sort of boost)
  • Sean Penn - despite the rave reviews, this is his first award whatsoever.
  • Sally Hawkins AND Melissa Leo. Leo was slowly creeping back into the race, but Hawkins was in danger of losing her awards momentum.
  • Penelope Cruz - many (including me) had been worried that "Vicky Cristina Barcelona"'s early release might hurt Cruz's chances. Apparently that's not the case.
  • Viola Davis - You may only have 12 minutes of screen time in "Doubt", but allow me say, Mrs. Davis, "Welcome to the Oscar race."
  • Eddie Marsan - Though he earned strong reviews, Hawkins had the film's only buzz...until now.
  • Slumdog Millionaire for Best Original Score
  • Waltz With Bashir for Documentary and Animated Film. Watch out WALL-E, you've got competition....
Who got snubbed?:
  • Doubt - since the LAFCA didn't release a list of nominees, it's hard to know who was after the runners-up, but the fact that it only managed to make an appearence as a runner-up is not the best of signs. The new reviews that are being released have been wildly mixed as well. It might be a good time to start taking Doubt off of your Best Picture predictions....
  • Australia - Because apparently, when a big "Oscar-bait" epic doesn't perform well at the box office AND stars the unfairly maligned Nicole Kidman, it's perfectly acceptable to snub it in any way possible (The Dark Knight as runner up for ART DIRECTION? Is that a joke?)
  • WALL-E - they gave it best picture, but not best animated film...what type of message is that supposed to send? Although in all fairness, it might just be some sort of rule............?

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