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Los Angeles Film Critics Predictions: Will We See a NYFCC Mad Max Redux?

Who Will Win LAFCA's Best Picture: Mad Max, Carol, Spotlight?
Will Mad Max, Carol or Spotlight Win LAFCA’s Best Picture?


With the next big critics group, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, voting tomorrow it’s time to get some predictions out for a group that often searches to the left field for its wins. Interestingly enough, its last week’s groups, the NBR and NYFCC, that seem to have stolen a bit of LA’s winner thunder. Winners like Mad Max: Fury Road (NBR) and Kristen Stewart (NYFCC) feel very much like LA choices. So what’s a critics group to do? Will they fall in line and vote the same or will they go the extra mile to be unlike those two? We only need to look back to one year ago when the group awarded their Best Actress prize to Patricia Arquette in Boyhood, causing a Twitter uprising over her category placement. Considering the level of category Twister that’s happening this year, anything is up for grabs. For example, NYFCC gave Michael Keaton their Best Actor award, despite him being campaigned in supporting for Spotlight (as are all actors in the film). Could that happen again here? What about the curious cases of Rooney Mara (Carol) and Jacob Tremblay (Room)? The two are co-leads of their films but being pushed supporting by their studios. Critics are not beholden to those wishes by any means but sometimes we do see some bending to ‘spread the wealth,’ as they say.

With Carol winning Best Pic at New York and Mad Max winning NBR we’re already seeing a difference. Overlap between these three majors is pretty common so logic and history says that one of the two is possible, if not likely, to repeat with LA. Same goes for the other top categories like Director, Acting and Screenplay. Looking at just the coasts, 2012 was the last time there was no major overlap between NY and LA. Before that, you have to go all the way back to 1991. Pretty big gap. What about the other top-rated film of the year, Spotlight? This could be where LA differentiates itself and gives the east coast journalism drama the big win. Carol could win LA, but since 2000 the films that have won both NY and LA for Best Picture have been Boyhood, The Social Network, The Hurt Locker, Brokeback Mountain and Sideways. All top two films when it came to the Oscars. Is Carol or Mad Max top 2? They certainly could be with a win here. They could also just toss caution to the wind and go for none of those. Anomalisa, The Hateful Eight, The Assassin or even Creed could surprise here.

Best Actress is a super tricky race (this is AW, after all) in that I’ve felt that Charlotte Rampling in 45 Years was going to build her Oscar narrative with the critics but two down and she’s 0-2. She really needs something like LA to boost her chances. But LA has gone for very left field choices in recent years. The aforementioned Arquette win last year but also a recent history of foreign actress performances like Yolande Moreau, Kim Hye-ja, Yoon Jeong-hee, Emmanuelle Riva and Adéle Exarchopoulos. In 2012 and 2013 they had dual winners; Riva and Jennifer Lawrence in 2012 and Exarchopoulos and Cate Blanchett in 2013. If they go big on Carol we could see another dual win for Blanchett, this time with her own co-star Rooney Mara. Or, we could see Shu Qi from The Assassin (a big LA favorite which I expect will do well here) or Nina Hoss in Phoenix. At the moment I’m predicting none of those (we’ll see how that turns out) and going for Brie Larson. A critic’s darling and someone who has become everyone’s best friend on Twitter, the girl seems primed for a win here. But then, what about Juliette Binoche in Clouds of Sils Maria….

Anyway, here are my winner and alt predictions (because, why not?) for the 2015 Los Angeles Film Critics Assocation:

Best Picture
Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road
Alternate: Creed

Best Director
Winner: George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Alternate: Hsiao-Hsien Hou, The Assassin

Best Actor
Winner: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Alternate: Géza Röhrig, Son of Saul

Best Actress
Winner: Brie Larson, Room
Alternate: Shu Qi, The Assassin

Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Sylvester Stallone, Creed
Alternate: Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation

Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Mya Taylor, Tangerine
Alternate: Kristen Stewart, Clouds of Sils Maria

Best Screenplay
Winner: Spotlight
Alternate: Anomalisa

Best Cinematography
Winner: The Assassin
Alternate: The Revenant

Best Production Design
Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road
Alternate: The Assassin

Best Editing
Winner: Mad Max: Fury Road
Alternate: Creed

Best Music Score
Winner: The Hateful Eight
Alternate: It Follows

Best Foreign-Language Film
Winner: The Assassin
Alternate: Son of Saul

Best Documentary/Non-Fiction Film
Winner: Heart of a Dog
Alternate: The Look of Silence

Best Animation
Winner: Inside Out
Alternate: Anomalisa

About Erik Anderson

Erik thanks his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards together since he was in the single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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One comment

  1. Congratulations, up to now you got probably two categories. What were your predictions based upon?

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