With the NYFCC winners announced on December 3 and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association moving out their announcement from December 12 to 18, giving the West Coast crew plenty of time to ruminate on New York (and now Boston) going off with their Drive My Car Best Picture wins, their Lady Gaga in Best Actress and Kathryn Hunter in Supporting Actress. There’s always been an unspoken coastal rivalry between NYFCC and LAFCA and while they often overlap, it’s where they split that gives us interesting winners.
I think there will be some places where frontrunners are going to remain so, like Benedict Cumberbatch and Kodi Smit-McPhee for Best Actor and Supporting Actor, respectively, both for The Power of the Dog. They could go for TPOTD in a big way – many of their top winners have been Oscar Best Picture winners too or at least the perceived #2 or #3. Licorice Pizza seems like an undeniable pick too. Not simply because it’s such a Los Angeles movie but they’ve given love to Paul Thomas Anderson before and the reviews are there.
In the case of Drive My Car, LAFCA does what Boston does and votes for Best Picture and Best Foreign-Language Film at the same time as they don’t allow a film to win both. Recent examples include 2018’s Roma winning Best Picture but FLF going to Burning and Shoplifters (in a tie) and the very next year with Parasite in BP and Pain and Glory in FLF.
In the last decade, LAFCA’s animated film pick went to the eventual Oscar winner three times but mostly avoids that territory for much more eclectic and often non-English language picks. That makes Flee kind of a perfect choice for them. They have combined wins in Best Music Score when a composer has two high profile films and Jonny Greenwood winning for both The Power of the Dog and Spencer makes sense here.
The New Generation Award will probably go to Maggie Gyllenhaal for The Lost Daughter or Michael Sarnoski for Pig, but Rebecca Hall for Passing is also a contender. The Career Achievement Award will go to Mel Brooks.
Here are my predictions for the 2021 Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) awards, which will be announced on Saturday, December 18. There are no predictions as to what they’ll have for lunch this year.
Prediction: The Power of the Dog
Spoiler: Licorice Pizza
Prediction: Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Spoiler: Ryusuke Hamagachi, Drive My Car
Prediction: Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog
Spoiler: Hidetoshi Nishijima, Drive My Car
Prediction: Renate Reinsve, The Worst Person in the World
Spoiler: Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza
Best Supporting Actor
Prediction: Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog
Spoiler: Anders Danielsen Lie, The Worst Person in the World
Best Supporting Actress
Prediction: Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
Spoiler: Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter
Prediction: Licorice Pizza
Spoiler: Drive My Car
Prediction: The Tragedy of Macbeth
Spoiler: The Power of the Dog
Best Production Design
Winner: West Side Story
Spoiler: The Tragedy of Macbeth
Prediction: West Side Story
Spoiler: Summer of Soul
Best Music Score
Prediction: The Power of the Dog and Spencer
Best Foreign-Language Film
Prediction: Drive My Car
Spoiler: The Worst Person in the World
Best Documentary/Non-Fiction Film
Prediction: Summer of Soul
Spoiler: The Mitchells vs. the Machines