Last Monday, the New York Film Critics Circle went with “Boyhood” for Best Picture and this Sunday its West Coast counterpart, the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn., went against its tradition of being contrary and endorsed this decision. (See complete list of winners here.)
These two groups of movie critics rarely agree. The L.A. scribes began handing out awards in 1975 but it took till 1979 till they went with the same film — eventual Oscar champ “Kramer vs. Kramer” — as the New York crowd, which was formed in 1935. They have agreed 10 more times since: “Terms of Endearment’ (1983), “Hannah and Her Sisters” (1986), “Goodfellas” (1990), “Schindler’s List” (1993), “Leaving Las Vegas” (1996), “L.A. Confidential” (1997), “Saving Private Ryan” (1998), “Sideways” (2004), “Brokeback Mountain” (2005) and “The Hurt Locker” (2009). Of these, only “Kramer,” “Terms,” “Schindler’s List” and “The Hurt Locker” went on to win the Best Picture Oscar.
Last year, the Gotham critics opted for “American Hustle” while the LA crowd couldn’t decide between “Gravity” and National Board of Review champ “Her.” The Oscar went to “12 Years a Slave.” This year, the NBR picked “A Most Violent Year” as Best Picture.
“Boyhood” also won Best Director (Richard Linklater), Actress (Patricia Arquette) and Editing. Yes, you are reading that right — these critics bumped Arquette, who won the supporting actress award with the NYFCC and several other groups, up to lead.
Of course, when it comes to the acting awards, these left coasters have always gone their own way. This year, they gave Best Actor to Tom Hardy for the little-seen “Locke” and Supporting Actress to Agata Kulesza for the Polish film “Ida,” which also won Best Foreign Langugage Feature. The only conventional choice was Supporting Actor to Oscar frontrunner J.K. Simmons (“Whiplash“).
The surprise of the day was the strong showing by “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” which two won races (Screenplay, Production Design) and was the runner-up in three more (Picture, Directing, Editing).
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