The Los Angeles Film Critics threw a big wrench into the film vs television wars today by announcing Steve McQueen Small Axe, an anthology of five films on Amazon, as the Best Picture of 2020. The selection is sure to equally please and rankle film and television fans alike. Nomadland was the runner-up and the two flipped in best director where McQueen was the runner-up and Chloé Zhao was named Best Director.
The last five winners for Best Film at LAFCA were: Parasite, Roma, Call Me By Your Name, Moonlight and Spotlight. The three that rhyme all ended up winning the Best Picture Oscar, the two that didn’t were still nominated and won other top awards. For Small Axe, Amazon has officially submitted it for television awards so it will not be eligible at the Oscars. The group awarded the music of one of the anthology’s films, Lovers Rock, on its own, and then the series of films took the cinematography prize.
The late Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) and Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman) nabbed the best actor and best actress trophies, respectively. Runners-up there were Riz Ahmed in Sound of Metal and Boseman’s co-star Viola Davis for Best Actress. Boseman now has two major critics wins in two different categories and for two different films. He won supporting actor at New York for Da 5 Bloods on Friday.
Glynn Turman surprised in best supporting actor, winning for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Paul Raci (Sound of Metal), who won at Boston last week, was the runner-up. Leslie Odom, Jr. (One Night in Miami), Brian Dennehy (Driveways) and Turman’s Ma Rainey co-star Colman Domingo also received votes. Youn Yuh-jung, who plays the endearing grandmother in Minari, won supporting actress. Others receiving votes included Maria Bakalova, Talia Ryder, Ellen Burstyn, Sonia Braga, and Hong Chau.
Emerald Fennell’s bracing and vibrant script for Promising Young Woman on the best screenplay award, with Eliza Hittman grabbing the runner-up spot with Never Rarely Sometimes Always. Every winner here in the last decade has turned it into an Oscar nomination.
Yorgos Lamprinos won best editing for The Father (with Gabriel Rhodes as runner-up for Time) with lots of love for Palm Springs, City Hall and Nomadland. It’s also worth noting that every narrative feature to win this category at LAFCA went on to earn a Film Editing Oscar nomination.
Previously announced were the Career Achievement awards presented to Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Harry Belafonte and Norman Lloyd was honored with the group’s first-ever Legacy Award. Radha Blank won the New Generation Award for her first feature film, The Forty-Year Old Version.
Note that like New York, Los Angeles is going to by a traditional calendar year eligibility so films like Judas and the Black Messiah and The United States vs Billie Holiday were not contenders.
Here is the full list of winners and runners-up from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association today and my predictions from yesterday.
Winner: Small Axe
Winner: Chloé Zhao, Nomadland
Runner-up: Steve McQueen, Small Axe
Winner: Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Runner-up: Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
Winner: Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman
Runner-up: Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Glynn Turman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Runner-up: Paul Raci, Sound of Metal
Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Youn Yuh-jung, Minari
Runner-up: Amanda Seyfried, Mank
Winner: Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman
Runner-up: Eliza Hittman, Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Winner: Shabier Kirchner, Small Axe
Runner-up: Joshua James Richards, Nomadland
Best Production Design
Winner: Donald Graham Burt, Mank
Runner-up: Sergey Ivanov, Beanpole
Winner: Yorgos Lamprinos, The Father
Runner-up: Gabriel Rhodes, Time
Best Music Score
Winner: Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, Soul
Runner-up: Mica Levi, Lovers Rock
Best Foreign-Language Film
Runner-up: Martin Eden
Best Documentary/Non-Fiction Film
New Generation Award: Radha Blank, The Forty-Year Old Version
Career Achievement: Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Harry Belafonte
Legacy Award: Norman Lloyd
The Douglas Edwards Experimental/Independent Film/Video Award: John Gianvit, Her Socialist Smile