The Los Angeles Film Critics Association have spoken and decided to muddy up the award season. They have picked a foreign film as their top picture of the year. That film is "Amour."
Noble yes, but not likely to repeat come Oscar time. But, they also inserted "The Master" back into the discussions with the director nod to Paul Thomas Anderson, and other awards, most notably, Joaquin Phoenix for for actor. "Amour" did clean up at the recent European Film Awards, too. But naming it tops in the states is a surprise.
The awards were handed out in Los Angeles this afternoon (Dec. 9).
Momentum was leaning the direction of Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty," but can it maintain that lead? Meanwhile, the Boston Film Critics Society went with "Zero Dark Thirty." The New York Film Critics also went with this film.
Overall, it seems the critics are choosing the Bigelow directed film, but will the overall industry folk follow suit?
Perhaps, that is expected from critics, but a film has yet to open wide, may be one that takes all of that "ZD30" momentum away. With a Christmas Day opening, "Les Miserables" is not running over the award season so far, but the buzz is all good for it. As "The Artist" made its run, it was doing what "Zero" is doing.
That may leave many wondering, is the Oscars and other majors already a done deal. Nope, not this year, as it still seems wide open. As "Zero Dark Thirty" is eligible for Oscars as it opens in New York and Los Angeles on Dec. 19 (it goes wide in January), it doesn't have the power that "The Artist" had. However, that January push will not mean anything to Oscar voters since the nominations come out Jan. 10. The movie goes wide on Jan. 11.
Critics often want to be different and looking at the best actor, they did. A little slap at the Oscar campaigning from Phoenix mattered little here as he won. It could have served as a badge of honor for the critics. Actress ended in a tie, so a curve ball there as well. Why? A foreign film actress, Emmanuelle Riva from "Amour" ties with Jennifer Lawrence for "Silver Linings Playbook." A nice touch, but will that translate as the season progresses?
Winners and runner-up:Picture: "Amour"
Runner-up: "The Master"
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson, "The Master
Runner-up: Kathryn Bigelow, "Zero Dark Thirty"
Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, "The Master"
Runner-up: Denis Lavant, "Holy Motors"
Actress: (tie) Jennifer Lawrence, "Silver Linings Playbook" and Emmanuelle Riva, "Amour"
Supporting actor: Dwight Henry, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Runner-up: Christoph Waltz, "Django Unchained"
Supporting actress: Amy Adams, "The Master"
Runner-up: Anne Hathaway, "Les Miserables"
Screenplay: Chris Terrio, "Argo"
Runner-up: David O. Russell, "Silver Linings Playbook"
Foreign-language film: "Holy Motors"
Runner-up: "It's Such a Beautiful Day"
Documentary/Non-fiction film: "The Gatekeepers"
Runner-up: "Searching for Sugar Man"
Cinematography: Roger Deakins, "Skyfall"
Runner-up: Mihai Malaimare Jr., "The Master"
Editing: Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg, "Zero Dark Thirty"
Runner-up: William Goldenberg, "Argo"
Music/score: Dan Romer and Benh Zeitlin, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"
Runner-up: Jonny Greenwood, "The Master"
Production design: David Crank and Jack Fisk, "The Master"
Runner-up: Adam Stockhausen, "Moonrise Kingdom"
Do these matter? Well, they do play out in Oscar's backyard.