Last year, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association went in for Call Me By Your Name, giving it Best Picture, Best Actor (Timothée Chalamet) and Luca Guadagnino tying in Best Director with The Shape of Water’s Guillermo del Toro. Only Guadagnino didn’t manage to turn his win into an Oscar nomination (or win, as in del Toro’s case).
This year, I think ROMA will come away as LAFCA’s big winner, hitting Best Picture, Director, Actress and more. It might be a bit too generous as The Favourite and If Beale Street Could Talk will also be formidable contenders here.
I do wonder if they will be the first major group to recognize a female director or a female-directed film for the top two prizes. When the Golden Globes snubbed all female directors and films it sent a bit of wave out across critics’ desks. With their choices, LAFCA could reward Chloe Zhao (The Rider), Marielle Heller (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), Karyn Kusama (Destroyer), Debra Granik (Leave No Trace) or any number of women directors.
Although I feel pretty good about Yalitza Aparicio taking her first major critics win with LA, I’m going out on a bit of a limb with Shoplifters’ Sakura Ando as the runner-up. She could also end up in Supporting but after all, this is the group that gave Patricia Arquette a win in lead for Boyhood. Toni Collette (Hereditary) and Joanna Kulig (Cold War) are probably more likely but I can see it happening. The group swings widely in this category, loving foreign language film performances to last year where they went with the eventual Best Actress Oscar winner (Frances McDormand) and her likely Oscar runner-up (Sally Hawkins). If that’s there lean this year then Olivia Colman (The Favourite) or Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born) might be where they go.
A category to look closely at is Best Editing. Two critics’ groups (San Francisco and Chicago) have nominated The Other Side of the Wind, the final film from Orson Welles, and it’s definitely something that feels like a top tier critics’ group choice. Maybe not as a win but as a runner-up.
Here’s how I think the Los Angeles Film Critics Association winners and runners-up will shake out. The group will be announcing via their Twitter page (and I will be at the same time) tomorrow – Sunday, December 9th at 10am PST. Between delayed start times and their infamously long lunch break, it could be an all day affair.
Best Picture – ROMA
Runner up: If Beale Street Could Talk
Best Director – Alfonso Cuarón (ROMA)
Runner up: Barry Jenkins (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Best Actor – Ethan Hawke (First Reformed)
Runner up: Joaquin Phoenix (You Were Never Really Here)
Best Actress – Yalitza Aparicio (ROMA)
Runner up: Andô Sakura (Shoplifters)
Best Supporting Actor – Steven Yeun (Burning)
Runner up: Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
Best Supporting Actress – Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Runner up: Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)
Best Screenplay – Paul Schrader (First Reformed)
Runner up: Deborah Davis & Tony McNamara (The Favourite)
Best Production Design – Hannah Beachler (Black Panther)
Runner up: Fiona Crombie (The Favourite)
Best Editing – Tom Cross (First Man)
Runner up: Bob Murawski, Orson Welles (The Other Side of the Wind)
Best Cinematography – Alfonso Cuarón (ROMA)
Runner up: Matthew Libatique (A Star Is Born)
Best Music Score – Nicholas Britell (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Runner up: Thom Yorke (Suspiria)
Best Foreign Language Film – Burning (South Korea)
Runner up: Shoplifters (Japan)
Best Documentary/Non-Fiction Film – Minding the Gap
Runner up: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Best Animation – Mirai
Runner up: Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse
New Generation – Bo Burnham (Eighth Grade)
Douglas Edwards Independent/Experimental Film/Video – RaMell Ross (Hale County This Morning, This Evening)