Spotlight was named Best Picture today by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. The film has been acclaimed for its measured approach to a difficult subject, allegations of child molestation in the Boston diocese of the Catholic Church and its coverup. In today’s voting by the LA group, Spotlight also was honored for Best Screenplay.
Mad Max: Fury Road, popular again at least with critics, today made runners-up honor roll for best picture.
Finally there also was a little awards love for Steve Jobs with LA’s critics voting for Michael Fassbender as Best Actor for his characterization of the prickly and perfectionist computer pioneer. Géza Röhrig made runner-up for Son of Saul. Charlotte Rampling was chosen Best Actress for 45 Years. Saoirse was runner-up for Brooklyn.
George Miller was named best director for Mad Max: Fury Road, the latest chapter in a series of movies that began 36 years ago. Runner-up Todd Haynes was in an utterly different universe with Carol.
Spotlight‘s Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy have nabbed Best Screenplay honors as voting resumed this afternoon by the LAFCA. Charlie Kaufman was the runner-up for his animated film Anomalisa.
Anomalisa gained additional luster as the movie directed by Kaufman and Duke Johnson was honored as Best Animation. Runner-up was Disney/Pixar’s Inside Out, directed by Pete Docter and co-directed by Ronnie Del Carmen.
Each year the LA critics also reward a relative newcomer as a member of what it calls the New Generation. This year they honored Creed director Ryan Coogler, who’s in the running to direct a hot Marvel property, Black Panther. Last year’s New Generation honoree was Ava DuVernay who was in the middle of the success of her Selma.
Best Foreign Language Film honors went to Son of Saul, with the runner-up going to The Tribe.
Amy, the popular nonfiction movie about the late singer Amy Winehouse, was voted Best Documentary of 2015 before the critics took a lunch break. Asif Kapadia’s film has been one the year’s most commercially successful documentary features. Runner-up in the category was Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look Of Silence, which just last night was honored as Best Documentary at the International Documentary Association Awards.
Alicia Vikander was named Best Supporting Actress for her role as a seductive and manipulative artificial humanoid in Ex Machina. As runner-up, LA Film Critics cited Kristen Stewart for Clouds Of Sils Maria. Michael Shannon was named Best Supporting Actor for his turn as a home-foreclosure shark in 99 Homes. Runner-up was Mark Rylance in Steven Spielberg’s Bridge Of Spies.
Carter Burwell took the Best Music award for his work on Todd Haynes’ Carol and for Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s Anomalisa. Runner-up for Best Music was Ennio Morricone for Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight. Mad Max: Fury Road and John Seale were acknowledged for Best Cinematography. Runner-up for that nod is Edward Lachman for his work on Carol.
The nod for Best Editing went to Hank Corwin for The Big Short; runner up was Margaret Sixel for Mad Max: Fury Road.
Mad Max: Fury Road and Colin Gibson were designated as winners of the nod for Best Production Design. Carol‘s Judy Becker was runner-up in the category.
LAFCA’s special citation recognizing for David Shepard’s work in film preservation, particularly films from the silent era, was previously announced, as was the lifetime achievement award for editor Anne V. Coates, who won an Oscar for Lawrence of Arabia and was nominated for four other films.
Awards season was already well under way with the usually contrary National Board Of Review’s designation of Mad Max: Fury Road as Best Picture. New York Film Critics sided with Carol in major categories including best picture, and Boston Online Critics Association voting Mad Max: Fury Road as Best Picture over the hometown favorite, Spotlight. The online group’s elder relative, The Boston Society of Film Critics had the opposite result, naming Spotlight best picture and Mad Max: Fury Road runner-up.