It was a big and varied year for movies in 2012, and this year's LA Film Critics Association's winners and runners-up are proof of just that.
Founded in 1975, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA for short and those who like humorous-sounding acronyms) is comprised of Los Angeles-based film critics working in the town's print and electronic media. Every December, these members get together to "vote on the year’s Achievement Awards, honoring screen excellence on both sides of the camera." The group live-tweeted the winners on their Twitter account as they were decided.
This year saw a lot of heavy-hitters coming to play—with huge films such as Argo and Silver Linings Playbook and The Master all bringing major awards-season buzz to the table—as well as more independent fare such as Amour and Holy Motors holding their own. And those accolades proved to be advantageous, as all three films picked up multiple wins and runners-up spots in Sunday morning's "spirited vote." Perhaps the biggest surprise of all, though, was the near-shut-out of Les Misérables, earning no more than a runner-up spot for the much-buzzed-about work of Anne Hathaway in the Best Supporting Actress role of Fantine.
Another surprise? The big-ticket wins for Amour, the Michael Haneke-directed foreign film that snapped up both Best Picture and Best Actress wins: Emmanuelle Riva tied with Playbook's Jennifer Lawrence for the top spot for leading ladies.
Check out the full list of winners and runners-up below:
Runner-Up: The Master
Winner: Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Runner-up: Denis Lavant, Holy Motors
Winner (tie): Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook and
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
Winner: Dwight Henry, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Runner-up: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Winner: Amy Adams, The Master
Runner-up: Anne Hathaway, The Dark Knight Rises and Les Misérables
NEW GENERATION AWARD:
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Winner: Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master
Runner-up: Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Winner: Chris Terrio, Argo
Runner-up: David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook
BEST FOREIGN FILM
Winner: Holy Motors
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:
Winner: David Crank and Jack Fisk, The Master
Runner-up: Adam Stockhausen, Moonrise Kingdom
BEST MUSIC SCORE:
Winner: Dan Romer and Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Runner-up: Jonny Greenwood, The Master
Runner-up: It's Such a Beautiful Day
Winner: The Gatekeepers
Runner-up: Searching for Sugar Man
Winner: Roger Deakins, Skyfall
Runner-up: Mihai Malaimare Jr., The Master
Winner: Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg, Zero Dark Thirty
Runner-up: William Goldenberg, Argo
What do you think of this year's winners? Surprised to see who won and who lost? Let us know in the comments!
[Photo Credit: Warner Brothers]
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The Switch is being touted for its on-screen pairing of “longtime friends” Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston. Which is odd because I found their scenes together in Josh Gordon and Will Speck’s romantic comedy about a 40-year-old single woman who sires a son artificialy with sperm that unbeknownst to her came from the loins her best friend to be its weakest aspect. Bateman whose improvisational wit is widely heralded appears tentative and deferential in the presence of Aniston as if he’s wary of going all-out for fear of eclipsing his co-star who also happens to be an executive producer on the film.
Their strained comic rapport makes for a flat and largely unfunny first act in which it is explained how Wally (Bateman) a cranky neurotic investment banker inadvertently impregnates his baby-mad best friend Kassie (Aniston). The whole contrived episode culminates during an “insemination party ” a peculiar New York City cougar ritual presided over by Kassie’s new-age pal Debbie (Juliette Lewis) wherein Wally drunkenly substitutes his semen for that of the Nordic Adonis (Patrick Wilson) originally designated for the job.
But just when The Switch’s foreboding intro has us steeling ourselves for 90 more minutes of high-concept rom-com pabulum the film pull a dirty trick: Its story fast-forwards seven years during which Kassie returns to her native Minnesota gives birth to a son named Sebastian and is lured back to present-day New York six-year-old Sebastian (Thomas Robinson) in tow by an irresistible job offer. It’s a shamelessly manipulative ploy bringing in the adorable pint-sized ringer off the bench but it turns out to be a welcome one breathing much-needed life into The Switch’s moribund proceedings.
Sebastian is truly a miniature version of his father whom he knows only as “Uncle” Wally with all of his intelligence and neuroses but none of the weary cynicism that adulthood inevitably breeds in such types. Bateman is clearly more comfortable — and a lot funnier — around Robinson and The Switch’s most memorable moments are found in the bond they develop.
But alas The Switch is a rom-com and so space must be allotted for the less appealing “rom” portion of its story. Kassie spends the bulk of the film believing that the Nordic Adonis is Sebastian’s true father despite the fact that he bears no resemblance to him whatsoever and when Wally finally confesses to his sperm-swapping she goes predictably ballistic renouncing him entirely. But the two are destined to be together so we are told and their estrangement is a brief one — lasting only a somber montage or two. When they’re inevitably united (if you consider this a spoiler you are beyond hope) we’re happy about it if only because no child should be forced to grow up with Jennifer Aniston as a single mother.