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LA Film Critics: ‘The Descendants’ Best Pic, Terrence Malick Best Director; Michael Fassbender, Yun Jung-Hee Top Actors; ‘Rango’ Best Animation

UPDATE, 2:11 PM: Alexander Payne’s The Descendants won Best Picture in voting Sunday by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association that grew increasingly contentious as the day wore on. One member identified as Amy Nicholson tweeted afterward, “While the morning vote went fast, LAFCA awards now bogged down by fighting. No fisticuffs yet, but I did just yell “Chaos!” In any case the voting is complete. Terrence Malick took the nod for Best Director for The Tree Of Life. Top acting honors went to Michael Fassbender for his work over four movies including Shame and X-Men First Class and Yun Jun-hee for Poetry.
PREVIOUSLY, 1:17 PM: Los Angeles Critics Association voting on this season’s best films is in progress (refresh for updates):

BEST PICTURE, Winner: “The Descendants.”
Runner-Up: “The Tree of Life.”

BEST ANIMATION, Winner: “Rango.”
Runner-Up: “The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.”

BEST DIRECTOR, Winner: Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life.”
Runner-Up: Martin Scorsese, “Hugo.”

BEST ACTOR, Winner: Michael Fassbender, “A Dangerous Method,” “Jane Eyre,” “Shame,” “X-Men: First Class.”
Runner-Up: Michael Shannon, “Take Shelter.”

BEST ACTRESS, Winner: Yun Jung-hee, “Poetry.”
Runner-Up: Kirsten Dunst, “Melancholia.”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM, Winner: “City of Life and Death.”
Runner-Up: “A Separation.”

BEST INDEPENDENT/EXPERIMENTAL: “Spark of Being.”

BEST DOCUMENTARY/NONFICTION, Winner: “Cave of Forgotten Dreams.”
Runner- Up, “The Arbor.”

BEST SCREENPLAY, Winner: Asghar Farhadi, “A Separation.”
Runner-Up: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, “The Descendants.”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR, Winner: Christopher Plummer, “Beginners.”
Runner-Up: Patton Oswalt, “Young Adult.”

BEST SUPPORTING. ACTRESS, Winner: Jessica Chastain, “Coriolanus,” “The Debt,” “The Help,” “Take

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Doris Day To Receive Career Achievement Honor From L.A. Film Critics

By | Saturday October 29, 2011 @ 1:03pm PDT

Doris Day, the actress whose girl-next-door image helped her to become a  huge Hollywood box office draw in the 1950s and ’60s, has been named to receive this year’s Career Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Although Day stopped acting in the mid-1970s and became a high-profile animal rights advocate, she cultivated a reputation as Hollywood’s virginal sweetheart in a series of romantic comedies including, from 1959, Pillow Talk with Rock Hudson (for which she was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar) and That Touch of Mink (1962). The versatile Day also starred in the 1956 Alfred Hitchcock thriller The Man Who Knew Too Much as well as her own network sitcom (The Doris Day Show, 1968-73) before abruptly leaving the business. Previous recipients of LAFCA’s Career Achievement Award include Paul Mazursky, Jerry Lewis, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Richard Widmark, Robert Mulligan, Arthur Penn, Sidney Lumet, Robert Altman, Ennio Morricone and Conrad L. Hall. Day is the first woman to be honored since Dede Allen in 1999.

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New York Film Critics Jump The Gun, Unveil New November Awards Voting Date

Pete Hammond

There’s new intrigue surrounding the race to be first among critics groups in announcing film awards. In a pre-emptive move that should send shudders down the spines of the National Board of Review — normally always first to announce — and the Los Angeles Film Critics — which normally gets a one-day jump on their New York counterparts — the New York Film Critics Circle has just announced that it will vote for their choices of the year’s best films on Monday, November 28, immediately after the Thanksgiving holiday. “As the nation’s pre-eminent critic’s group, we are excited about kicking off the annual end-of-year discussion with our new early voting date,”  says new chairman John Anderson, who replaced Armond White as head of the group. (See the full release below.)

The surprise chess move puts the other groups racing for influence in the Oscar race in a tough position as they would likely have to advance their voting dates to pre-Thanksgiving to beat NYFCC to the punch — a tough task when studios and distributors probably haven’t screened all year-end contenders at that point, especially those with tight post-production schedules. It’s known that some of them rush contenders just to meet the early December voting date of the National Board of Review, so anything before the 28th could be stretching it.

New York critics were likely frustrated last year following the gang of groups crowning The Social Network best picture and thereby looking like they were following the pack. The National Board of Review chose the film first on December 2, and the LAFCC followed suit December 12, a day before NYFCC announced it as their choice December 13. In between all that, the Broadcast Film Critics Association announced their nominations.

It will be especially interesting to see what the National Board of Review does now. This is not a critics group but rather a “film society” that is placated by studios with special treatment because they are always first to announce. Even officials of this group have admitted to me in the past that the reason their choices get so much scrutiny in the entertainment media is because they are first. L.A.’s critics also like beating their East Coast rivals, but from what I hear have already planned to select their picks that weekend of December 10.

With lots of talk about the Oscars moving up a full month as early as 2013 (although I am told until they figure out how to do electronic voting, no decision is being made), today’s NYFCC move will only add to the discussion. Is it only a matter of time before one of these organizations announces their nominees on Halloween?

Here’s the NYCFF release that came out this morning: Read More »

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