Going in, critics’ faves “Boyhood,” “Birdman,” “Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Whiplash” were expected to do well. These critics group awards are invaluable for suggesting films for awards voters to pull out of their screener piles.
Sure enough, “Boyhood” editor Sandra Adair took the first of four awards for the film, followed by Patricia Arquette for Best Actress, who IFC has been campaigning in the supporting actress category, where she is widely considered the favorite. (Oscar fave Julianne Moore was runner-up for “Still Alice.”) Richard Linklater handily won Best Director for “Boyhood,” with “The Grand Budapest Hotel” director Wes Anderson as runner-up, and inevitably, “Boyhood” won Best Picture as well, beating out “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”
In one upset over “Boyhood,” Anderson won best screenplay, with “Birdman” as runner-up. Production Design also went to Adam Stockhausen for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” with Ondrej Nekvasil of “Snowpiercer” as runner-up.
In another major surprise, Best Actor went to Tom Hardy for his tour-de-force virtually solo performance in “Locke,” which rivals “Birdman” for its long-take degree of difficulty–runner-up was that film’s Michael Keaton.
The critics group sweep for Supporting Actor frontrunner JK Simmons continues with this win for “Whiplash.” “Birdman” star Edward Norton was the runner-up, and Emmanuel Lubezki took home cinematography for “Birdman,” with Dick Pope (“Mr. Turner”) as runner-up.
“Citizenfour” and “Life Itself” continue to lead the field for Best Documentary, as the former won the LAFCA award and the latter was runner-up.
Agata Kulesza took supporting actress for Poland’s foreign Oscar entry, “Ida,” with Rene Russo of “Nightcrawler” as runner-up. Best foreign film also went to “Ida,” with “Winter Sleep” as runner-up. Animation went overseas as well, to Studio Ghibli’s “The Tale of The Princess Kaguya.”
Confoundingly, LAFCA gave Academy member Ava DuVernay, age 42, its “New Generation” award for her third narrative feature film, “Selma,” which is a strong awards contender. But not strong enough to win a real award?
Winners listed below:
BEST PICTURE, BOYHOOD
BEST DIRECTOR: Richard Linklater, BOYHOOD.
NEW GENERATION: Ava DuVernay, SELMA
BEST DOCUMENTARY/NONFICTION FILM: CITIZENFOUR.
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Emmanuel Lubezki, BIRDMAN.
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: Adam Stockhausen, THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
BEST EDITING: Sandra Adair, BOYHOOD.
BEST ANIMATION: THE TALE OF PRINCESS KAGUYA