To their credit, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association managed to restrain themselves from moving their vote forward like the New York Film Critics Circle. Thus they had an extra dozen days to catch up on films such as Stephen Daldry's "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close," which did not, however, turn up on their list of award winners to be celebrated at their annual January ceremony.
While the AFI film jury went mainstream with their top ten picks this year, the LA Film Critics went indie. They picked South Korean actress Yun Jung-Hee ("Poetry") as Best Actress for her performance as a woman facing Alzheimer's. Fox Searchlight had a good day, as Best Picture went to Alexander Payne's family drama "The Descendants," Best Director went to Terrence Malick for "The Tree of Life," cinematography went to that film's Emmanuel Lubezki, and the specialty distributor could also claim partial credit for Best Actor Michael Fassbender for his multiple roles including "Shame," and Jessica Chastain as Supporting Actress for her many 2011 films, including "The Tree of Life." Christopher Plummer continued his winning streak as best supporting actor for his role as an ailing older gay man in Focus Features' "Beginners."
BEST PICTURE, Winner: "The Descendants."
BEST PICTURE, Runner-Up: "The Tree of Life."BEST ANIMATION, Winner: "Rango."
BEST ANIMATION, Runner-Up: "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn."
BEST DIRECTOR, Winner: Terrence Malick, "The Tree of Life."
BEST DIRECTOR, Runner-Up: Martin Scorsese, "Hugo."
BEST ACTOR, Winner: Michael Fassbender, "A Dangerous Method," "Jane Eyre," "Shame," "X-Men: First Class."
BEST ACTOR, Runner-Up: Michael Shannon, "Take Shelter."
BEST ACTRESS, Winner: Yun Jung-Hee, "Poetry."
BEST ACTRESS, Runner-Up: Kirsten Dunst, "Melancholia."
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BEST INDEPENDENT/EXPERIMENTAL, Winner: "Spark of Being."
BEST DOCUMENTARY/NONFICTION, Winner: "Cave of Forgotten Dreams."
BEST DOCUMENTARY/NONFICTION: Runner- Up, "The Arbor."
BEST SCREENPLAY, Winner: Asghar Farhadi, "A Separation."
BEST SCREENPLAY, Runner-Up: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, "The Descendants."
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR, Winner: Christopher Plummer, "Beginners."
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR, Runner-Up: Patton Oswalt, "Young Adult."
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS, Winner: Jessica Chastain, "Coriolanus," "The Debt," "The Help," "Take Shelter," "Texas Killing Fields," "Tree of Life"
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS, Runner-Up: Janet McTeer, "Albert Nobbs."
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY, Winner: Emmanuel Lubezki, "The Tree of Life."
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY, Runner-Up: Cao Yu, "City of Life and Death."
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN, Winner: Dante Ferretti, "Hugo."
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN, Runner-Up: Maria Djurkovic, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy."
BEST MUSIC/SCORE, Winner: The Chemical Brothers, "Hanna."
BEST MUSIC/SCORE, Runner-Up: Cliff Martinez, "Drive."