The Los Angeles Film Critics Association hands out its awards this Sunday (December 8). Last year, these journalists chose “Roma” as the best picture as had the New York Film Critics’ Circle three days earlier. Historically, the West coast critics have feted different films and performances from those that merited mention by the Gotham crowd. This rare alignment gave a big boost to “Roma,” which was expected to win Best Picture at the Oscars; it lost to “Green Book.”
Indeed, over the course of its 44-year history, LAFCA has predicted only nine winners of the Best Picture Oscar and three of those came in the first five years of its existence. The last of these double dippers were “Moonlight” in 2017 and “Spotlight” in 2016.
Before those back-to-back winners, LAFCA had not aligned with the academy since 2010, the first year of the expanded Best Picture race, when both bodies went with “The Hurt Locker.” Prior to this, the last time that the L.A. critics foresaw the top Oscar winner was way back in 1994 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” (1976, tied with “Dog Day Afternoon” here); “Rocky” (1977, tied with “Network” here); “Kramer vs. Kramer” (1980); “Amadeus” (1985) and “Unforgiven” (1993).
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 predict right up until just before nominees for the 2020 Oscars are announced on January 13.