The Los Angeles Film Critics Association named Call Me By Your Name its Best Picture of 2017, extending the momentum for the Sony Pictures Classics title, which also took top honors at last week’s Gotham Awards.
A24’s The Florida Project was runner-up for Best Picture. (See full list of winners and runners-up below.)
Deliberations of candidates in 16 categories took more than four hours as critics debated the merits of a strong field across the board. Call Me, directed by Luca Guadagnino, has been on a lot of awards-season shortlists since even before its world premiere at Sundance. Set in 1983, the adaptation of André Aciman’s novel tells the story of burgeoning romance in a 17th century Italian villa. Armie Hammer stars along with Timothée Chalamet, who was chosen as Best Actor by the LAFCA.
Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water) and Guadagnino shared the Best Director prize. According to a tweet by Glenn Whipp of the Los Angeles Times, only a handful of votes separated the top five directors, with Dee Rees (Mudbound), Sean Baker (The Florida Project) and Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) all receiving nearly as many votes as del Toro and Guadagnino. Gerwig received the critics group’s New Generation prize.
Fox Searchlight’s The Shape of Water had a strong overall showing, with Sally Hawkins taking Best Actress honors and Dan Laustsen winning for Best Cinematography.
Max Von Sydow was recognized with a career achievement award.
The LAFCA has recently been an Oscar Best Picture bellwether. The group picked Spotlight in 2015 and Moonlight last year — both went on to win the marquee award. Over the LAFCA’s 42-year history, though, it has forecast only nine Best Picture winners and three of them came in the first five years out of the gate. Before Spotlight, the L.A. critics last matched up with the Academy in 2010 with The Hurt Locker, but the last alignment before that was back in 1994 with Schindler’s List.
Nothing resembling a Schindler’s-style favorite has come forward in an awards race that remains wide-open at this early stage. Critics groups have tended toward indie fare, with the New York Film Critics last week naming Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird its film of the year, while the National Board of Review went with Steven Spielberg’s The Post.
At the Gotham Awards last Monday, Call Me By Your Name and Jordan Peele horror blockbuster Get Out were the two big winners. Aside from a screenplay win for Peele, Get Out did not emerge as a major force among the L.A. critics.
The LAFCA will hand out prizes at its annual gala on Jan. 13 at the InterContinental hotel in Century City.
Here is the list of winners and runners-up:
Best Picture: Call Me By Your Name (runner-up: The Florida Project)
Best Director: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water and Luca Guadagnino, Call Me By Your Name (tie)
Best Actress: Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water (runner-up: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
Best Actor: Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name (runner-up: James Franco, The Disaster Artist)
Best Foreign-Language Film: BPM (Beats Per Minute) and Loveless (tie)
Best Animated Film: The Breadwinner (runner-up: Coco)
Best Screenplay: Jordan Peele, Get Out (runner-up: Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
Best Documentary/Non-Fiction Film: Faces Places (runner-up: Jane)
Best Supporting Actress: Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird (runner-up: Mary J. Blige, Mudbound)
Best Editing: Lee Smith, Dunkirk (runner-up: Tatiana S. Riegel, I, Tonya)
Best Production Design: Dennis Gassner, Blade Runner 2049 (runner-up: Paul D. Austerberry, The Shape of Water)
Best Supporting Actor: Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project (runner-up: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)
Best Music/Score: Jonny Greenwood, Phantom Thread (runner-up: Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water)
Best Cinematography: Dan Laustsen, The Shape of Water (runner-up: Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049)
New Generation: Greta Gerwig
The Douglas Edwards Award for Experimental Film: Lee Anne Schmitt, Purge This Land