‘Roma’ Is the Year’s Best Film, Say Los Angeles Film Critics

Acting awards go to Ethan Hawke for “First Reformed,” Olivia Colman for “The Favourite,” Steven Yeun for “Burning” and Regina King for “If Beale Street Could Talk”; Debra Granik wins best director for “Leave No Trace”

Last Updated: December 9, 2018 @ 4:34 PM

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association has named “Roma,” Alfonso Cuaron’s elegant Spanish-language drama drawn from events in his childhood, the best film of 2018. Lee Chang-dong’s quietly gripping Korean-language film “Burning” was named runner-up.

“Roma” also won the top prize from the New York Film Critics Circle, marking the 13th time that the two top regional critics’ groups have agreed in the 45 years that they’ve both been handing out awards.

The two groups have both honored four films that have gone on to win the Oscar for Best Picture (“Kramer v. Kramer,” “Terms of Endearment,” “Schindler’s List” and “The Hurt Locker”) and nine that have not won the Oscar, including “Boyhood” and “The Social Network” in the last decade.

This year is the fourth time the L.A. critics have named a foreign-language film the year’s best, after “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” in 2000, “Letters From Iwo Jima” in 2006 and “Amour” in 2012. It is the first time that the LAFCA’s two top picks have both been a foreign language.

In voting that was conducted on Sunday, the LAFCA also gave its 2018 best actor and actress awards to Ethan Hawke from “First Reformed” and Olivia Colman from “The Favourite,” and its supporting awards to Steven Yeun from “Burning” and Regina King from “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

Runners-up in the acting categories were Ben Foster (“Leave No Trace”) for best actor, Toni Collette (“Hereditary”) for best actress, Hugh Grant (“Paddington 2”) for best supporting actor and Elizabeth Debicki (“Widows”) for best supporting actress.

Voting for actress and supporting actress took place only after a lengthy debate over the category in which Colman belonged.

Debra Granik was named best director for “Leave No Trace,” with Cuaron the runner-up for “Roma.”

The screenplay award went to Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” “The Favourite” screenwriters Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara were runners-up.

“Shirkers” and “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” won awards as year’s best documentary and animated film, respectively. “Minding the Gap” finished second to “Shirkers,” and “Incredibles 2” second to “Spider-Man.”

“Burning” and “Shoplifters” tied in the best foreign-language film category.

In the craft categories, the LAFCA also gave the best cinematography award to Alfonso Cuaron for “Roma,” with James Laxton taking the runner-up spot for “If Beale Street Could Talk.” Nicholas Britell won the music/score award for “If Beale Street Could Talk,” with Justin Hurwitz as the runner-up for “First Man.”

Hannah Beachler won the production design award for “Black Panther,” with Fiona Crombie finishing second for “The Favourite.” Joshua Altman and Bing Liu won the editing award for the documentary “Minding the Gap,” with Cuaron and Adam Gough runners-up for “Roma.”

The Next Generation Award went to Chloe Zhao, director of “The Rider,” while a special citation went to the completion of Orson Welles’ unfinished final film, “The Other Side of the Wind.”

Particularly in the acting categories, the LAFCA is known for making more idiosyncratic choices than most awards voting bodies, although Colman and King are familiar faces (and winners) in this year’s awards season and Hawke won the Gotham Award and the lion’s share of critics’ awards so far.

Last year, only two of the LAFCA winners went on to win the Oscar, “Dunkirk” editor Lee Smith and “Get Out” screenwriter Jordan Peele. Guillermo del Toro won Best Director at the Oscars and tied with Luca Guadagnino in the L.A. critics’ vote.

The LAFCA best-film winner has won the Oscar for Best Picture 10 times in the 44 years the organization has been giving out awards, including three times in the last decade: “The Hurt Locker” in 2009, “Spotlight” in 2015 and “Moonlight” in 2016.

The group voted in October to give its annual Career Achievement Award to Japanese animation director Hayao Miyazaki.

The group consists of more than 50 Los Angeles-based film critics working in print and electronic media. (TheWrap’s Alonso Duralde is a member.)

The awards will be given out at an awards dinner on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, at the InterContinental Hotel in Century City.

The 2018 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards:

Best Film: “Roma”
Runner-up: “Burning”
Best Director: Debra Granik, “Leave No Trace”
Runner-up: Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma”
Best Actor: Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
Runner-up: Ben Foster, “Leave No Trace”
Best Actress: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Runner-up: Toni Collette, “Hereditary”
Best Supporting Actor: Steven Yeun, “Burning”
Runner-up: Hugh Grant, “Paddington 2”
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Runner-up: Elizabeth Debicki, “Widows”
Best Foreign-Language Film: (TIE) “Burning” and “Shoplifters”
Best Documentary/Nonfiction Film: “Shirkers”
Runner-up: “Minding the Gap”
Best Animated Film: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
Runner-up: “Incredibles 2”
Best Screenplay: “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
Runner-up: “The Favourite,” Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma”
Runner-up: James Laxton, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Editing: Joshua Altman and Bing Liu, “Minding the Gap”
Runner-up: Alfonso Cuaron and Adam Gough, “Roma”
Best Music/Score: Nicholas Britell, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Runner-up: Justin Hurwitz, “First Man”
Best Production Design: Hannah Beachler, “Black Panther”
Runner-up: Fiona Crombie, “The Favourite”
New Generation Award: Chloe Zhao
Douglas Edwards Experimental Film: “The Green Fog,” Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson and Guy Maddin
Special Citation: “The Other Side of the Wind”

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