Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Tie, Tie, Tie Again

8 Dec

Oh dear, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association has clouded rather than clarified this year’s awards forecast though things are definitely sunny for Bruce Dern after the harshness of Nebraska; meanwhile, 12 Years a Slave‘s Lupita Nyong’o is now officially on the radar.  Here we go!

Lupita

^ Nyong’o

Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) –  Okay, on one hand, my thought has long been that actresses should not have to portray characters who are repeatedly humiliated and debased, or in this case tortured, in order to be taken seriously. I don’t think actors–men–are asked nearly as often to portray the same trope. On the other hand: Wow! What a  colossal talent! Yale grad Nyong’o took me places I had not expected to go when I sat down to watch  12 Years a Slave. I was expecting great things from star Chiwetel Ejiofor, of course, and I was not disappointed, but Nyong’o’s character’s suffering seared my consciousness.  This skill and dedication to truth in this performance are but two reasons why I am so amazed by actors/actresses. I hope members of the Academy are paying attention. Runner-up: June Squibb (Nebraska)

FrancoGrill

^ Franco

Jared Leto

^ Leto

Best Supporting Actor (TIE): James Franco (Spring Breakers) and Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) – No surprise here with Leto, but Franco is a bit of a shocker. Oh sure, Spring Breakers caused quite a stir when it was released earlier in the year, and it has a hardcore following. Additionally, Franco is certainly one of Hollywood’s most eccentric actors, and he’s always up to something outrageous, per the apocalyptic This is the End, in which he played a fictional version of himself, and his performance as Hugh Hefner in the Linda Lovelace docudrama. As the photo shows, he definitely reinvents himself in Spring Breakers, and “transformation” is always a plus at awarsds time–just ask Leto. Franco might squeak by with Academy members, but it’s too early to consider him a serious candidate yet.  After all, he only tied for this award. He didn’t walk away with it. On the other hand, Leto is still good to go. Now, let’s see what happens later this week when the Screen Actors Guild nominations are announced.

alfonso_Cuaron

^ Cuarón

Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity) – This works. I don’t know if Gravity is the best movie of the year, or even a movie that will be remembered in a year or two, but I do know it’s a technical marvel, and it has touched people in huge numbers all across the globe. The surprise will be if he isn’t nominated for both the DHA award and the Oscar. Bring it. Runner-up: Spike Jonze (Her)

Cate-Blanchett

^ Blanchett

bluewarmestcolour_2716901b

^ Exarchopoulos

Best Actress (TIE):  Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) and Adèle Exarchopoulos   (Blue is the Warmest Color) – Okay, well, both of these actresses have been earning raves for months, going all the way back to May’s Cannes fest in Exarchopoulos’s case. Now, the only thing that members of LA Film Critics Association can seem to agree upon regarding the year’s best performance by a leading actress is that the color blue is lookin’ pretty good so far. Btw: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) and Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) tied for honors with this very organization last year, and both actresses were Oscar nominated with Lawrence ultimately claiming top honors.

nebraska-bruce-dern-300x278

^ Dern

Best Actor: Bruce Dern (Nebraska) –  This is Dern’s second award in less than a week, and he won at Cannes in May. More and more, he looks like the man to beat come Oscar time. Runner-up: Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave

video-undefined-1BA51708000005DC-288_636x358

^ Sandra Bullock in Gravity, which also captured honors for Best Cinematography (Emmanuel Lubezki) and Best Editing (Cuarón and Mark Sanger). I’m thrilled for Lubezki and Cuarón; I’m still waiting for Bullock to reap her rewards.

Scarlett-Johansson-Voices-The-Most-Advanced-Operating-System-in-the-World

^ An image from Spike Jonze’s Her: “Call From Samantha.” Joaquin Phoenix plays a man who apparently falls in love with his operating system. Last year, Phoenix snagged Best Actor accolades from the LAFCA for The Master, which was the runner-up for Best Picture.

Best Picture (TIE): Gravity and Her –  Ties are not uncommon among critics’ voting, but three ties at once isn’t helping. Still, this second win for Her, albeit a shared one, indicates the push by the National Board of Review was no fluke.  Furthermore, four wins for Gravity are also promising.

ernest_et_celestine_ver2

^ France’s Ernest and Celestine, directed by Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar and Benjamin Renner.

Other LFCA highlights include…

  • Best Animation: Ernest & Celestine
  • Best Screenplay: Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy (Before Midnight)
  • Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity)
  • Best Editing: Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger, (Gravity)
  • Best Production Design: K.K. Barrett (Her)
  • Best Music Score: T Bone Burnett (Inside Llewyn Davis)
  • Special Citation: 12 Years a Slave
  • New Generation Award: Megan Ellison, the hot, hot, hot producer of American Hustle, Her, Spring Breakers, Zero Dark Thirty, and The Master among others

Now, as noted, it’s time to kick back and see how the Screen Actors Guild nominations either complicate or clarify.

Thanks for your consideration….

Official Los Angeles Film Critics Association site: http://www.lafca.net/

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2 Responses to “Los Angeles Film Critics Association: Tie, Tie, Tie Again”

  1. Dale 08 December 2013 at 9:57 pm #

    Great Work Again, Melanie! Maybe you could Utube a channel and make some $ with your Insight !!

    • listen2uraunt 08 December 2013 at 10:08 pm #

      Thanks, Dale! I’m not ready for YouTube. Yet. Ha!

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