On Sunday, the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. couldn’t decide between “Gravity” and NBR champ “Her” and so named them co-winners of the Best Picture award. New York Film Critics Circle winner “American Hustle” was shut out by the LA group while Oscar frontrunner “12 Years a Slave” won only one award. (See full list of LAFCA winners here.)
“Gravity” helmer Alfonso Cuaron took Best Director from LAFCA. NBR victor Spike Jonze (“Her”) was the runner-up while NYFCC winner Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”) came third. Cuaron shared the Editing award with co-cutter Mark Sanger and “Gravity” lenser Emmanuel Lubezki won Best Cinematography.
NBR winner Bruce Dern (“Nebraska) prevailed in a tight race for Best Actor over Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave”). NYFCC champ Robert Redford (“All is Lost“) and Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club”) were also strong contenders.
LAFCA has a long history of feting foreign language performances for Best Actress but NYFCC winner Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine“) rallied to tie Gallic ingenue Adele Exarchopoulos (“Blue is the Warmest Color“) whose film won the foreign language award over EFA champ “The Great Beauty.”
Best Screenplay went to “Before Midnight.” “Her,” which was the runner-up for this award, won Best Production Design.
Last year, this Southern California-based group chose “Amour” as Best Picture while that film’s leading lady Emmanuelle Riva tied Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”) for Best Actress. Lawrence went on to win the Oscar over, among others, Riva. The big winner was “The Master,” which took Best Director (Paul Thomas Anderson), Actor (Joaquin Phoenix), Supporting Actress (Amy Adams) and Production Design. While the performers went to compete at the Oscars, the helmer and production designers did not. Dwight Henry won Supporting Actor for “Beasts of the Southern Wild” but was snubbed by the Oscars.
In this group’s recent history, the Best Actress category has been a sore spot in terms of predicting Oscar success. Prior to last year, the previous five winners were snubbed by the Oscars: Yun Jung-Hee (“Poetry,” 2011), Kim Hye-Ja (“Mother,” 2010), Yolande Moreau (“Seraphine,” 2009), and Sally Hawkins (“Happy-Go-Lucky,” 2008). Only three ladies out of the past dozen winners have won Oscars the same year: Marion Cotillard (“La Vie en Rose,” 2007), Helen Mirren (“The Queen,” 2006), and Julia Roberts (“Erin Brockovich,” 2000).
While Phoenix reaped an Oscar bid, 2011 champ Fassbender, who won for four films, was snubbed by the Oscars. Prior to that the L.A. critics correctly predicted six Best Actor winners in a row: Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech,” 2010), Jeff Bridges (“Crazy Heart,” 2009), Sean Penn (“Milk,” 2008), Day-Lewis (“There Will Be Blood,” 2007), Forest Whitaker (“The Last King of Scotland,” 2006), and Philip Seymour Hoffman (“Capote,” 2005).
Below, begin your predictions for the Oscars by forecasting the winner of Best Picture.