Will the winners of the New York Film Critics’ Circle awards parlay those victories into Oscars or at least nominations? Based on an analysis of the 42-year history of these kudos, not all of the LAFCA picks can expect to hear their names called when Academy Awards nominations are announced on Jan. 23, 2018. As to whether they will win on March 4, 2018 that remains even less certain.
For the last two years running, the LAFCA pick for best pic — “Moonlight” (2016) and “Spotlight” (2015) — has gone on to win the top Oscar. Before that, LAFCA last aligned with the academy in 2009, the first year of the expanded Best Picture race, when both bodies went with “The Hurt Locker.” Prior to that, the last time that the L.A. critics predicted the top Oscar winner was way back in 1993 when “Schindler’s List” ran the board, also winning NYFCC and NBR before triumphing at the Oscars. The other Best Picture winners that were recognized first by these west coast critics were: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975, tied with “Dog Day Afternoon” here); “Rocky” (1976, tied with “Network” here); “Kramer vs. Kramer” (1979); “Amadeus” (1984) and “Unforgiven” (1992).
The LA critics have previewed the academy’s pick for Best Director 14 times, with the most recent of these being in in 2013 when Alfonso Cuaron won both awards for his helming of “Gravity.” Last year LAFCA liked the direction by Barry Jenkins of its top winner “Moonlight” while the Oscar went to Damien Chazelle (“La La Land”) who had been the runner-up here.
They’ve gotten Best Actor right 21 out of 42 times. However, two of their choices for the last three years — Adam Driver (“Paterson,” 2016) and Tom Hardy (“Locke,” 2014) — were not on Oscar’s radar. Other recent winners did receive Oscar nominations: Michael Fassbender (“Steve Jobs,” 2015), Bruce Dern (“Nebraska,” 2013) and Joaquin Phoenix (“The Master,” 2012). The last time the L.A. critics foresaw an Oscar champ was in 2010 with Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”).
In 2013, Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”) became the 14th LAFCA Best Actress winner who went on to claim the Oscar in that category; she had tied here with Adèle Exarchopoulos (“Blue Is the Warmest Colour”) who was snubbed by the academy. The two LAFCA winners in 2012 — Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”) and Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour”) — both went on to contend at the Oscars with Lawrence prevailing.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Seventeen of the LAFCA choices for Supporting Actor repeated at the Oscars, most recently in 2016 with Mahershala Ali (“Moonlight”). In 2013, eventual Oscar champ Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club”) tied here with James Franco (“Spring Breakers”) who was not nominated by the academy. Prior to that, the last L.A. winner to go on to an Oscar was Christopher Plummer (“Beginners”) in 2011.
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Likewise, 14 of the group’s Supporting Actress winners picked up matching Oscar bookends, the most recent of which was 2013’s double champ Lupita Nyongo (“12 Years a Slave”). In 2012, LAFCA cited Amy Adams who went on to contend at the Oscars for “The Master.” In 2011, Jessica Chastain won over the L.A. critics with six films: “Coriolanus,” “The Debt,” “The Help,” “Take Shelter,” “Texas Killing Fields” and “The Tree of Life.” She contended at the Oscars for “The Help” but lost to co-star Octavia Spencer.
Be sure to make your Oscar nomination predictions so that Hollywood studio executives can see how their films are faring in our Academy Awards odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominees are announced on January 23.
CORRECTION: An earlier draft of this article mistakenly said Michael Fassbender was not nominated by Oscar voters for “Steve Jobs.” The error is corrected above.