On Sunday, the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. chose “The Descendants” as the Best Picture of the Year continuing their love affair with writer/director Alexander Payne. His last two films — “Sideways” (2004) and “About Schmidt” (2002) — each won this top prize while his first film, “Election,” earned him and collaborator Jim Taylor the New Generation Award in 1999. The pair also won screenplay honors for both “About Schmidt” and “Sideways” while Payne picked up the Best Director prize for the latter.
This year’s Best Director award went to Terrence Malick who helmed “The Tree of Life,” which was the runner-up for Best Picture. Martin Scorsese (“Hugo”) came second. Asghar Farhadi (“A Separation”) claimed the Best Screenplay award over Payne as well as Nat Faxon and Jim Rash who adapted “The Descendants.”
LAFCA cited Michael Fassbender for his leading performances in four films (“A Dangerous Method,” “Jane Eyre,” “Shame” and “X-Men: First Class”) while Yun Jung-Hee was named Best Actress for “Poetry.” Michael Shannon (“Take Shelter”) was the Best Actor runner-up while Cannes champ Kirsten Dunst (“Melancholia”) came in second place among the leading ladies.
Christopher Plummer picked up another Supporting Actor prize for “Beginners” (Patton Oswalt of “Young Adult” was second) and Jessica Chastain edged out Janet McTeer (“Albert Nobbs”) to win a bookend for her NYFCC award. The LA critics listed six films next to Chastain’s name: “Coriolanus,” “The Debt,” “The Help,” “Take Shelter,” “Texas Killing Fields” and “The Tree of Life.”
See the full list of winners here.