Final, 4:30 PM If the recent past is any indication, Moonlight‘s Oscar prospects are looking extremely good, as the acclaimed drama absolutely cleaned up at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards this afternoon. The film has been heaped with accolades since its Telluride debut in September and today picked up four LAFCA Awards total, the most of any eligible 2016 film. In addition to winning Best Picture, Moonlight garnered Best Director for writer-director Barry Jenkins, Best Supporting Actor for co-star Mahershala Ali, and Best Cinematography for James Laxton’s work behind the camera.
For reference, last year’s Best Picture Oscar winner, Spotlight, also won the same prize at the 2015 LAFCA Award. Likewise, Mark Rylance won Best Supporting Actor at the 2015 LACFA Awards before winning Best Supporting Actor at the Oscars three months later.
Based on the drama school project In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue by Tarell Alvin McCraney, Moonlight follows a young black man named Chiron from Miami’s rough Liberty City neighborhood, portrayed by three different actors at three different points in his life – in elementary school, in high school, and in his late 20s.
Park Chan-wook’s erotic drama The Handmaiden emerges from the LAFCA Awards with two wins, for Best Foreign Picture and for Production Design. And yes, last year’s winner for the Foreign Language Academy Award, the Hungarian drama Son of Saul, was also named LAFCA’s Best Foreign Picture the previous December. However, The Handmaiden wasn’t picked as South Korea’s official selection for the 2017 Oscars – the honor goes to Kim Jee-Woon’s action thriller The Age of Shadows.
Meanwhile, the anime Your Name, directed and written by Makoto Shinkai based on his novel of the same name, won Best Animated Film. In a year that includes Kubo and the Two Strings and Disney’s Zootopia and Moana, Your Name is likely to have strong competition. That said, last year’s LAFCA animated favorite was Inside Out, which subsequently won the same at the 2016 Oscars.
Interestingly, another possible Oscars-favorite, writer-director Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, has also received a mountain of praise since its Venice Film Festival premiere. But at the LAFCA Awards today it was a perennial bridesmaid. Winning just one LACFA Award for Musical Score, it emerged as the runner up five times, coming in at second place for Best Picture, Best Director, Editing, Production Design, and Cinematography. A musical set in modern-day Los Angeles but deeply inspired by classic musicals of Hollywood’s Golden Age, it follows an aspiring musician and an aspiring actress who fall in love, but find their relationship challenged as they pursue their dream. The film was named Best Picture by the New York Film Critics Association.
Rounding out today’s winners: Isabelle Huppert won Best Actress for her roles in both Elle and Things to Come; Adam Driver took home Best Actor for Paterson; Lily Gladstone won Best Supporting Actress for Certain Women; The Lobster nabbed Best Screenplay for writers Efthymis Filippou and Yorgos Lanthimos; the Civil Rights docu I Am Not Your Negro won for Best Documentary; and OJ: Made In America won for Best Editing.
In addition, Trey Edward Shults and Krisha Fairchild won the New Generation Award for Krishna, and it was announced that a Special Citation will be given to Turner Classic Movies for preserving historic cinema and bringing it to a wider audience via FilmStruck. LAFCA already has picked Shirley MacLaine as the recipient of this year’s Career Achievement award. The prizes for all winning films will be handed out at an awards dinner January 14 at the InterContinental Hotel in Century City.
See the full list of winners and runners up below.
Trey Edward Shults and Krisha Fairchild, Krisha
Best Foreign-Language Film
Winner: The Handmaiden
Runner-Up: Toni Erdmann
Runner-Up: La La Land
Winner: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Runner-Up: Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Winner: Isabelle Huppert, Elle and Things to Come
Runner-Up: Rebecca Hall, Christine
Winner: Adam Driver, Paterson
Runner-Up: Casey Affleck, Manchester By The Sea
Best Animated Film
Winner: Your Name
Runner-Up: The Red Turtle
Winner: Efthymis Filippou and Yorgos Lanthimos, The Lobster
Runner-Up: Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester By The Sea
The Douglas Edwards Independent/Experimental Film/Video Prize
Winner: The Illinois Parables
Winner: I Am Not Your Negro
Runner-up: OJ: Made In America
Winner: Lily Gladstone, Certain Women
Runner-up: Michelle Williams, Manchester By The Sea
Winner: Bret Granato, Maya Mumma, Ben Sozanski, OJ: Made In America
Runner-up: Tom Cross, La La Land
Winner: Ryu Seong-hee, The Handmaiden
Runner-up: David Wasco, La La Land
Winner: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Runner-up: Issey Ogata, Silence
Winner: Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, La La Land
Runner-up: Mica Levi, Jackie
Winner: James Laxton, Moonlight
Runner-up: Linus Sandgren, La La Land