“Boyhood” was named the best film of 2014 by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, capping a day in which it also won awards from the British Independent Film Awards, the New York Film Critics Online and the Boston Film Critics Society.
Richard Linklater‘s long-in-the-works chronicle of 12 years in the life of a family also won awards for its director, lead actress Patricia Arquette and editor Sandra Adair, on a day when it firmly established itself as the year’s dominant critical favorite.
While guild and Oscar voters have yet to weigh in, the cumulative weight of critical opinion behind “Boyhood” certainly makes it a must-see film for any conscientious voter who has yet to pick up the screener.
Also read: 'Boyhood' Named Best Picture by Boston Society of Film Critics
Wes Anderson was best-director runner up for “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” just as his film was runner up to “Boyhood” in the best picture category. According to LAFCA members who tweeted after the announcement, the vote between the two films was very close.
Arquette was named the Best Actress, with Julianne Moore taking the runner-up spot for “Still Alice,” despite the fact that IFC Films is campaigning for her in the supporting-actress category. LAFCA voters decided that she more properly belonged in lead.
Tom Hardy won the Best Actor award for his performance in “Locke,” which takes place entirely within a car on a late-night drive. He edged out Michael Keaton, an Oscar frontrunner for “Birdman.”
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“Whiplash” star J.K. Simmons was named the best supporting actor for “Whiplash,” with Edward Norton the runner-up for “Birdman.”
In the Best Supporting Actress category, the winner was the kind of off-the-radar choice for which the LAFCA has become known: Agata Kulesza for “Ida,” the Polish foreign-language entry. Rene Russo was runner up for “Nightcrawler.”
The Studio Ghibli film “Tales of the Princess Kaguya” was named the year’s best animated film, with “The Lego Movie” as runner up. In the documentary field, Laura Poitras’ “Citizenfour” won and Steve James’ “Life Itself” came in second.
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“Ida” won the award as the year’s best foreign-language film, with Palme d’Or winner “Winter Sleep” runner up.
Other awards went to”The Grand Budapest Hotel” writers Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness, “Birdman” cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” production designer Adam Stockhausen and, in a tie, composers Jonny Greenwood and Mica Levi for “Inherent Vice” and “Under the Skin,” respectively.
The Los Angeles critics are typically one of the more idiosyncratic of the main critics’ groups, with a history of making off-the-wall choices. Its 2009-2010-2011 Best Actress winners, for example, were Yoon Jeong-hee for “Poetry,” Kim Hye-ja for “Mother” and Yolande Moreau for “Seraphine.”
Also read: 'Boyhood' Is the Year's Best Movie, Say New York Film Critics
In the last 20 years, only one LAFCA Best Picture winner –
Best Picture: “Boyhood”
Runner up: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Best Director: Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
Runner up: Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Best Actor: Tom Hardy, “Locke”
Runner up: Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
Best Actress: Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Runner up: Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”
Runner up: Edward Norton, “Birdman”
Best Supporting Actress: Agata Kulesza, “Ida”
Runner up: Rene Russo, “Nightcrawler”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Ida”
Runner up: “Winter Sleep”
Best Animation: “Tale of the Princess Kaguya”
Runner up: “The Lego Movie”
Best Documentary: “Citizenfour”
Runner up: “Life Itself”
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”
Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, “Birdman”
Runner up: Dick Pope, “Mr. Turner”
Best Editing: Sandra Adair, “Boyhood”
Runner up: Barney Pilling, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Best Production Design: Adam Stockhausen, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Runner up: Ondrej Nekvasil, “Snowpiercer”
Best Music Score: (tie) Jonny Greenwood, “Inherent Vice,” and Mica Levi, “Under the Skin”
New Generation Award: Ava DuVernay, “Selma”
Douglas Edwards Independent/Experimental Film/Video Award: Walter Reuben, “The David Whiting Story”