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Category: Los Angeles Film Critics Assn.

L.A. Critics name 'Descendants' best film, laud 'Tree of Life' too

December 11, 2011 |  2:35 pm

Tree_of_life_brad_pitt
"The Descendants" was named best picture of the year Sunday by the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. Awards, but the group also showered praise on Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life." They named Malick best director, and his film runner-up for best picture. "Tree's" Jessica Chastain was named best supporting actress, and Emmanuel Lubezki the best cinematographer.

Here's a full rundown of the group's awards, and some links to our recent coverage of these titles.

Best picture: "The Descendants." Runner-up: "The Tree of Life."

Best director: Terrence Malick, "The Tree of Life." (Read our profile of the reclusive director here.) Runner-up: Martin Scorsese, "Hugo." (Check out our story on how the 69-year-old Scorsese was inspired to make the 3-D family film because of his 12-year-old daughter.)

Best actor: Michael Fassbender, for his work in "A Dangerous Method," "Jane Eyre," "Shame" and "X-Men: First Class." Runner-up: Michael Shannon, "Take  Shelter."

Best actress: South Korea's Yun Jung-hee in "Poetry." (For nearly three decades, Yun was one of the brightest lights in Korean cinema. She made her feature debut in 1967's "Sorrowful Youth," then went on to appear in nearly 300 films, amassing a reputation as possibly the greatest actress in the nation's history. She announced her retirement in 1994 after completing the film "Two Flags"; ever since, fans had clamored for her return. Now in her mid-60s, she said she "had many offers from different directors, television dramas and plays, but I was waiting for something special." Read L.A. Times film critic Kenneth's Turan's review of this film here and our May interview with her here.) Runner-up: Kirsten Dunst, "Melancholia." (Check out our recent Q&A with her here.)

Best supporting actress: Jessica Chastain, who was recognized for her work in six films -- "Coriolanus," "The Debt," "The Help," "Take Shelter," "Texas Killing Fields" and "The Tree of Life." (Our critic Betsy Sharkey recently wrote about Chastain's appeal.) Runner-up: Janet McTeer, "Albert Nobbs."

Best supporting actor: Christopher Plummer, "Beginners." Runner-up: Patton Oswalt, "Young Adult."

Best Documentary/Nonfiction film: "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" by Werner Herzog.  Runner-up: "The Arbor" by Clio Barnard.

Best animated film: "Rango." Runner-up: "The Adventures of Tintin."

Best screenplay: Asghar Farhadi, “A Separation.” (This Iranian film will be arriving in U.S. theaters at the end of the month. Our Sunday Calendar section today features this and other foreign films of the season.) Runner-up: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, “The Descendants.”

Best foreign film: "City of Life and Death." Runner-up: "A Separation."

Best cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, "The Tree of Life." Runner-up: Cao Yu, "City of Life and Death."

Best music/score: The Chemical Brothers, "Hanna." Runner-up: Cliff Martinez, "Drive." (L.A. Times pop music critic Randall Roberts talked with  Martinez about the soundtrack recently.)

Best production design: Dante Ferretti, "Hugo." Runner-up: Maria Djurkovic, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy."

Best Independent, Experimental: "Spark of Being." Directed by Bill Morrison, it's a re-imagining of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein,: using images culled from archives around the world.

The L.A. critics group doesn't see itself as a predictor or advocate for the Academy Awards and often goes its own way in choosing which films it honors. Last year, the group named "The Social Network"  best picture and handed it three other awards -- best director for David Fincher (in a tie), screenplay for Aaron Sorkin and, in another tie, music for Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. But "Social Network" did not win best picture or best director Oscars -- those instead went to "The King's Speech." 

RELATED

What will win the LA film critics' top award?

National Board of Review names 'Hugo' best picture

New York critics name 'The Artist' best film of the year

-- Julie Makinen

Photo: Brad Pitt and Laramie Heppler in Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life." Credit: Merie Wallace/Fox Searchlight 

 

 

 

 

 

 


L.A. Film Critics choose best actor, best actress winners

December 11, 2011 |  1:30 pm

Fassbender shame
The L.A. Film Critics Assn. is handing out its annual awards today. They've named their best actor and actress -- Michael Fassbender and Yun Jung-hee, along with several other awards. Here's the list so far.

Best actor: Michael Fassbender, for his work in "A Dangerous Method," "Jane Eyre," "Shame" and "X-Men: First Class."

Runner-Up: Michael Shannon, "Take Shelter."

Best Actress: Yun Jung-hee, in the South Korean film "Poetry."

Runner-up: Kirsten Dunst, "Melancholia."

Best Documentary/Nonfiction film: "Cave of Forgotten Dreams" by Werner Herzog.

Runner-Up: "The Arbor" by Clio Barnard.

Best screenplay: Asghar Farhadi, “A Separation.”

Runner-Up: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, “The Descendants.”

Best supporting actress: Jessica Chastain, who was recognized for her work in six films -- "Coriolanus," "The Debt," "The Help," "Take Shelter," "Texas Killing Fields" and "The Tree of Life."

Runner-up: Janet McTeer, "Albert Nobbs."

Best supporting actor: Christopher Plummer, "Beginners."

Runner-up: Patton Oswalt, "Young Adult."

Best cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, "The Tree of Life."

Runner-up: Cao Yu, "City of Life and Death."

Best music/score: The Chemical Brothers, "Hanna."

Runner-up: Cliff Martinez, "Drive."

Best production design: Dante Ferretti, "Hugo."

Runner-up: Maria Djurkovic, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy."

Best Independent, Experimental: "Spark of Being." Directed by Bill Morrison, it's a re-imagining of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein,: using images culled from archives around the world.

RELATED

National Board of Review names 'Hugo' best picture

New York critics name 'The Artist' best film of the year

'Bridesmaids,' 'Tree of Life,' 'Hugo' in AFI's top 10 films of 2011

Photo: Writer-director Steve McQueen, left, and actor Michael Fassbender on the set of "Shame." Credit: Abbot Genser/ Fox Searchlight Pictures 
 


Jessica Chastain wins L.A. Film Critics Assn. award

December 11, 2011 | 12:11 pm

Tree of life chastain
The L.A. Film Critics Assn. has started handing out its annual awards Sunday morning. Here’s a look at the first five categories it has chosen winners in so far.

Best supporting actress: Jessica Chastain, who was recognized for her work in six films -- "Coriolanus," "The Debt," "The Help," "Take Shelter," "Texas Killing Fields" and "The Tree of Life."

Runner-up: Janet McTeer, "Albert Nobbs."

Best supporting actor: Christopher Plummer, "Beginners."

Runner-up: Patton Oswalt, "Young Adult."

Best cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, "The Tree of Life."

Runner-up: Cao Yu, "City of Life and Death."

Best music/score: The Chemical Brothers, "Hanna."

Runner-up: Cliff Martinez, "Drive."

Best production design: Dante Ferretti, "Hugo."

Runner-up: Maria Djurkovic, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy."

RELATED:

What will win the LA film critics' top award?

National Board of Review names 'Hugo' best picture

New York critics name 'The Artist' best film of the year

-- Julie Makinen

Photo: Jessica Chastain and Tye Sheridan in Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life." Credit: Merie Wallace/Fox Searchlight 


What will win the L.A. film critics' top award?

December 9, 2011 | 12:43 pm

George Clooney and Shailene Woodley in The Descendants
It’s the last working day before this Sunday’s L.A. Film Critics vote, which means that my phone is ringing ringing ringing with publicists calling, all wanting to hear the same thing.

“Please tell me ‘The Artist’ isn’t going to win … please!!!”

Two things: 1) No, these inquiries are not coming from the Weinstein Co. They’d be happy for their lovely little film to win here just as it did when the New York Film Critics Circle voted last week.

2) No, “The Artist” isn’t going to win.

How can I say that? As a LAFCA member, I have just one vote, but having participated in these drawn-out gatherings since the twilight of the 20th century, I can note that Los Angeles and New York rarely make the same choices, unless the movie is spectacularly good. (Last year, the NYFCC rubber-stamped LAFCA’s selection of “The Social Network.”) And “The Artist” just isn’t that good.

So what movie will take LAFCA’s top honor? The voting figures to come down to three films: “The Descendants,” “The Tree of Life” and “Melancholia.” All have their champions. Many members adore all three. But if the cineaste wing of the group splits its vote between “Tree” and “Melancholia,” then Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants” might just emerge victorious.

Then again, “The Descendants” could also just run away with the day. Payne has a strong history with the group, winning (with writing partner Jim Taylor) LAFCA’s New Generation award in 1999 for “Citizen Ruth” and “Election,” and then taking best picture honors for his next two films, “About Schmidt” and “Sideways.”

If you’re keeping score, that makes Payne four for four with LAFCA. The group loves him more than the motion picture academy hearts Stephen Daldry. And since “The Descendants,” Payne’s first movie since “Sideways,” may be his most accomplished film yet, there’s no reason to think this particular penchant will end this year.

RELATED:

Predicting the Golden Globes: Motion picture drama races

-- Glenn Whipp

Photo: George Clooney and Shailene Woodley in "The Descendants." Credit: Fox Searchlight


Doris Day to receive L.A. Film Critics Assn. career award

October 29, 2011 |  2:03 pm

DorisdayStory
Doris Day will receive the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn.'s Career Achievement Award, the group decided Saturday morning.

The blond, perky actress/singer was one of the biggest films stars during the late 1940s, '50s and '60s appearing in films such as 1955's "Love Me or Leave Me" and 1959's "Pillow Talk," for which she earned her only best actress Oscar nomination. "Pillow Talk" marked her first collaboration with actor Rock Hudson, and the two WENT on to star in 1961's "Lover Come Back" and 1964's "Send Me No Flowers."

She also appeared in hits such as 1953's "Calamity Jane," the 1956 Alfred Hitchcock thriller "The Man Who Knew Too Much" and 1958's "Teacher's Pet."

Her last film was 1968's "With Six You Get Eggroll." She then starred on TV in "The Doris Day Show" from 1968 through 1973 on CBS. A noted animal rights activist, the octogenarian lives in Carmel, where she operated a pet friendly hotel. She recently released a new album of songs,  "My Heart." 

The critics group said it would announce its selections for the best films of 2011 on Dec. 11. 

The awards will be handed out at a dinner in January.

RELATED:

Photos: Hollywood Film Gala Awards

Mary Tyler Moore to receive SAG Life Achievement Award

American Cinematheque Award: An emotional night for Robert Downey Jr.

--Susan King

Photo: An old publicity photo of Doris Day in "Pillow Talk." Credit:  Universal Pictures


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