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article imageL.A. Film Critics hand top prize to 'Boyhood'; director wins, too

By Tim O'Brien     Dec 7, 2014 in Entertainment
Los Angeles - The Los Angeles Film Critics handed "Boyhood" its top prize for 2014 today (Dec. 7). The win means it lands another major award as the season picks up steam.
"Boyhood" also took best picture titles from the British Independent Film Awards, the New York Film Critics Online and the Boston Film Critics Society, noted The Wrap. Those were all handed out today.
But, The L.A. Film Critics have done it again. In keeping with the quirk that is the society, they have named Tom Hardy as best actor for "Locke." With Michael Keaton as runner up, it proved their style for throwing a wrench or two. They did do in animation and supporting actress, too (see below).
But, looking at some other categories is eye-opening, too. Here are critics who play and work in the same playground as the movies themselves. Sometimes they feel the need to not go along with the pack. Sometimes they set the trends. They do not pay attention to their colleagues on the East Coast, for the most part.
With the L.A. Film Critics they award a top prize for each category and then a runner up. Last year, “Gravity” and “Her” tied at the top.
Best Picture: "Boyhood"
Runner up: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Notes: While New York Film Critics Circle went with "Boyhood," too, this is a rarity. Both critics circles went for the same film. Gotham, however, went with "Birdman." The runner up status for "The Grand Budapest Hotel" is very telling as L.A. really like this film.
Best Animation: “Tale of the Princess Kaguya”
Runner up: “The LEGO Movie”
Notes: In a curve ball for sure, as "The LEGO Movie" is the favorite for Oscar. This may make some rethink that idea.
Best Documentary: "Citizenfour"
Runner up: "Life Itself"
Notes: It is beginning to shape up like the Edward Snowden film is taking the lead over the others, namely the Roger Ebert story, "Life Itself." But, Ebert does have critics in his corner, as he was one. Will Oscar like "Citizenfour," as it hits the current administration in Washington?
Best Director: Richard Linklater, "Boyhood"
Runner up: Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Notes: Linklater is proving to be the one to beat. A movie that was filmed over 12 years would surely be hard to beat in this category. Could be another year where director and top film split come Oscar time. Once a rarity, but lately, not so much.
Best Foreign Language Film: “Ida”
Runner up: “Winter Sleep”
Notes: The Polish entry about a girl who discovers a secret from her family's past takes it.
Best Actor: Tom Hardy, “Locke”
Runner up: Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
Note: A huge curve ball here with Hardy and "Locke." A story of a construction worker Ivan Locke and what happens after he get a phone call. "Locke" was released in 2013 in Britain, but made the rounds in the states in 2014.
Best Actress: Patricia Arquette, "Boyhood"
Runner up: Julianne Moore, "Still Alice"
Notes: Arquette and Moore may be battling all the way to the Oscars. One wins here and the other there and it makes for some tight races. That is good. It also means someone else, like say, Reese Witherspoon could come along and ruin the party.
Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”
Runner up: Edward Norton, “Birdman”
Notes: "Whiplash" is gaining ground as is Simmons. This is not far-fetched and s well-deserved. Simmons starred in "The Closer" on TV and is well-known for his role in the Farmer's Insurance commercials.
Best Supporting Actress: Agata Kulesza, “Ida”
Runner up: Rene Russo, “Nightcrawler”
Notes: A polish foreign language film nabs a top honor. That is vintage L.A. Also, an eye-opener is the runner up in Russo. A film that is actually pretty good, but not getting award season love so far.
Best Screenplay: Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Runner up: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr. and Armando Bo, “Birdman”
Notes: Two good choices and the keeping tabs of all that talent and spreading the dialogue around in "Budapest" is not easy.
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, “Birdman”
Runner up: Dick Pope, “Mr. Turner”
Notes: "Mr. Turner" is making waves of late.
Best Editing: Sandra Adair, “Boyhood”
Runner up: Barney Pilling, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Note: Editing a film that took 12 years to film. Yes, that makes sense.
Best Production Design: Adam Stockhausen, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Runner up: Ondrej Nekvasil, “Snowpiercer”
Note: Not often during award season has "Snowpiercer" been uttered.
The two that did not have the runner up:
Best Music Score: (tie) Jonny Greenwood, “Inherent Vice,” and Mica Levi, “Under the Skin”
Douglas Edwards Independent/Experimental Film/Video Award: Walter Reuben, “The David Whiting Story”
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