Tuesday, December 09, 2008

LAFCA hearts WALL•E

What a nice surprise. The Los Angeles Film Critics have named WALL•E their Best Picture of the year. I'm over the moon. Pun intended. I love it when critics organizations stake their claim boldy on "Best" rather than try and guess what 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences might be thinking. Why else should critics organizations exist? We have pundits and journalists for "predictions"

Pic: WALL•E (runner up The Dark Knight here and in Best Director)
Dir: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Actor: Sean Penn, Milk
Actress: Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky

Good for Sally after that painful snub this morning at the BFCA. My interview with Sally here if you missed it.

Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Elegy
Screenplay: Mike Leigh, Happy-Go-Lucky
Foreign Language film:
Still Life
Documentary:
Man on Wire
Animation: Waltz With Bashir
Cinematography:
Yu Lik Wai, Still Life
Music/Score:
A.R. Rahman, Slumdog Millionaire
New Generation Award: Steve McQueen, Hunger
Production Design:
Mark Friedberg, Synecdoche, New York

I've no time for real notes but on that last award: great call. Friedberg has never been nominated by the Academy despite outstanding and memorable work in this category. He also did the honors for The Ice Storm, Far From Heaven and the Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

How are you feeling about the Los Angeles honors...
*

38 comments:

David Giancarlo said...

I want to make love to the LAFCA; this is the fourth consecutive year that they picked my favourite film for Best Picture. Yay Penn! Yay Sally!

RJ said...

I think we have our acting wins right there (minus Sally, unfortunately). I think that'll be Winslet

Derek said...

I know you get bored with sweeps, Nathaniel, but I'm totally on the bandwagon for Ledger & Cruz this year. Wheeeee, keep 'em coming!

(Well, if Cruz doesn't win the Oscar this year, then I hope at least that she's great in Nine next year and wins for that!)

Anonymous said...

More slumdog love...yawn.

Anonymous said...

This is a great set of acting winners. I hope Cruz can keep this streak going until Oscar night.

Anonymous said...

Except for Danny Boyle director's award I totally love it and even don't care that there is no Kate Winslet. Sally Hawkins NEEDS critics awards to get Oscar nom and her Poppy is a terrific performance.

RahulB said...

I love love love love Wall-E love.

Ben said...

So happy that WALL•E managed at least one (hopefully not the last) Best Pic critics' prize. I'm starting to think actor and actress are perhaps harder to call? I was pretty ready to call it for Winslet, but it looks like Streep, Hathaway, and maybe even Hawkins aren't going down without a fight. And actor is kind of all over the map, yes? Eastwood, Rourke, and Penn all have legitimate shots, I think.

Oh well - we said this last year about actress, right? And it went to the conventional pick, so... I guess we all trick ourselves every year into thinking that a race is closer than it is. :-)

BBats said...

I have to rewatch Wall-e but I remember liking it but it not being great. Overrated?

par3182 said...

The LA critics love Mike Leigh's women - Brenda Blethyn and Imelda Staunton started their run to Oscar nominations here

changetheworld360 said...

The WALL-E win is interesting indeed. It's nice to see all the Happy-Go-Lucky love; go Sally! :)

NATHANIEL R said...

derek --i'm ok with Ledger / Cruz bandwagons.

i mean I'd prefer no sweeps (it's more interesting and i maintain that no matter how great someone is... they don't realy need all 23 awards you know? it's just so stingy to so many hardworking people) but i love both those performances. The only time i got absolutely bonkers is when we get all 4 sewn up. 2003 just killed me. PENN/THERON/ZELLWEGER/ROBBINS constantly. so dull and I didn't love any of the performances.

NicksFlickPicks said...

Murray got his share of stuff in '03, and Depp got SAG. There was actually a little suspense up in here by the time My Sean won the Oscar, remember? Theron didn't win an important Best Actress prize till the NSFC, and I don't think any of the top-tier critics groups went for Robbins or Zellweger. Don't let the specter of bad Oscar wins (I mean Robbins' and Zellweger's) get you turned around about the how lead-up went. A lotta people even thought Shohreh had a shot till the very end.

I'm feeling a little smug cuz I've been high on Leo's and WALL•E's chances all through the fall, and things are looking good...

Rich Aunt Pennybags said...

I'm feeling a little smug cuz I've been high on Leo's and WALL•E's chances all through the fall, and things are looking good...

We really need some kind of way to tell Leo and Leo apart. I assume (yes, I know what happens when you assume) that you're referring to Melissa Leo, but it took me a few seconds there to remember her over the other Leo. I saw that some other readers were having the same problem in another entry. Maybe ML for Melissa and LDC for Leonardo. Or lioness for Melissa and lion for Leo.

NATHANIEL R said...

lioness. ha ha.

i just got off the phone with her!

NATHANIEL R said...

also Nick. you're right about 2003 but i guess it was the globe winners all wining the oscars or something. i don't remember. i just remember i got tired of all 4 of them.

NicksFlickPicks said...

Oh, believe me, I get it: I was tired of Robbins and Zellweger before they even got started. And it says something that they all felt like "sweep" winners even when they really weren't.

Yup, I did mean Melissa Leo. Melissa Lioness. M'Leo.

NATHANIEL R said...

M'Leo... could it catch on like ScarJo

maybe Melissa should wear something really red and really tight to the red carpet and search out Isaac Mizrahi

Anonymous said...

Melissa Leo was the Best Actress runner-up! She'll be nommed - don't forget that when you refresh your predictions.

- cal roth

YH said...

Sally Hawkins! Finally! Ride this win all the way to the Oscars! She so deserves this.

I can't get over them picking "Wall-E" for best film though. That's a progressive leap that hopefully the Oscars will mimic at least with a BP nod.

I don't care how "redundant" it is, but I hope that Heath Ledger sweeps this season to Helen Mirren-ish levels.

Congrats to Penelope Cruz!

I'm nonplussed about Sean Penn though. I'm rooting for Mickey Rourke. I want some new blood acknowledged.

But still, way to go LAFCA!

Arkaan said...

I love that Rourke, who's been in the business for three decades, who's been oscarworthy a couple of times, was a major star at one point, is considered new blood.

Anonymous said...

I hope Cruz ( her performance is a little overrated if you ask me)doesn't win and I'm thinking she won't Amy Ryan anyone Exactly. DeWitt , Davis or Winslet are my choices.

Wall.E is overrated and so was Anne Hathaway in Rachel Getting Married.

YH said...

I meant Mickey Rourke being "new blood" in terms of a first-time Oscar nominee, wiseass.

Arkaan said...

Just jokin' around. My favourite performances are ineligible, so I thought I'd mess around a bit.

NicksFlickPicks said...

Anybody know when the Boston group votes? I like them.

Rick said...

I liked but did not love Hawkins.... Cruz is overrated.. Viola Davis is better choice

The rest of the awards I love.

Rick said...

I liked but did not love Hawkins.... Cruz is overrated.. Viola Davis is better choice

The rest of the awards I love.

greydog said...

I think Cruz was fine in VCB, but a sweep? It was the part as much as the performance. She was much better in Elegy.

Kamikaze Camel said...

LOOOVE! I'm dying over here that Still Life - and it's cinematography - won awards. STILL LIFE!!! I didn't even know it had been released in American officially.

Wow. Love that movie. And it's shocking that critics actually praised Wall-E and called for an Oscar Best Picture nom and now they've actually gone and given it their own Best Picture award. Amazing.

Brooke Cloudbuster said...

I too am thankful that Still Life managed to get some attention, because it's a truly underrated film from a similarly underrated Chinese director.

And bravo on the other wins; no objections there.

Anonymous said...

These are great winners (Slumdog aside), and remarkably similar to my own at the moment.

Googooboo said...

LAFCA continues its streak: this is the 4th year in a row they've picked one of my top two films of the year for best pic (BBM #1, Letters #1, TWBB #2, and now WALL-E #2) And TDK, my number 1 film of this year, got runner-up in Pic and Director and the win for Ledger!

The Random Man said...

Have to say, I’m really happy to see Wall*E on the LAFCA list. I’ve enjoyed a number of the Pixar efforts, but I was still surprised by how much I enjoyed this one.

NATHANIEL R said...

in some ways I feel (fantasize?) that the LAFCA basically threw down the gauntlet to the other critics circles like... here's how it's done. What did you consider the BEST? have the courage of your convictions.

Anonymous said...

Sally Hawkins won NYFCC too!

Anonymous said...

Mike Leigh! Penelope Cruz!

Where is everybody?

NATHANIEL R said...

we're in the NYFCC post. not the LAFCA post ;)

Anonymous said...

It took you long enough.

:=)