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Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. Crowns ‘Call Me by Your Name’ Best Picture of 2017

The Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. has named “Call Me by Your Name” the best film of 2017. Timothée Chalamet (“Call Me by Your Name”) and Sally Hawkins (“The Shape of Water”) won top acting honors. Willem Dafoe (“The Florida Project”) and Laurie Metcalf (“Lady Bird”) claimed the supporting prizes.

The day’s voting, which lasted nearly five-and-a-half hours, provided the biggest bump for Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” however. Clearly a favorite throughout, the film won three prizes and came in as runner-up in two more. After being largely ignored by a number of precursors so far this season, that ought to help Fox Searchlight breathe a little better. (It’s also great publicity for the film as it heads out into limited release this weekend.)

New York Film Critics Circle victor “Lady Bird” was mostly relegated to the sidelines, save for Metcalf’s prize, though A24’s other major contenders this year — “The Disaster Artist” and “The Florida Project” — had a presence throughout.

Full list of winners with running commentary below. More to follow…

Best Cinematography: “The Shape of Water” (Dan Laustsen)
Finally Guillermo del Toro’s latest gets into the game, after being ignored by the Gotham Awards, Indie Spirits and New York Film Critics Circle.
*Runner-up: “Blade Runner 2049” (Roger Deakins)

Best Music/Score: “Phantom Thread” (Jonny Greenwood)
At a recent Focus Features event, Paul Thomas Anderson was clearly still smarting from Greenwood’s dismissal by the Academy’s music branch for his contributions to “There Will Be Blood.” Greenwood’s work was deemed “diluted” by the use of pre-existing music at the time. Though there are some pre-existing music cues in Anderson’s latest, this time, they kept an eye on it, he said.
*Runner-up: “The Shape of Water” (Alexandre Desplat)

Best Supporting Actor: Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Dafoe is on a streak, after winning this prize from the National Board of Review and NYFCC as well. To reiterate: It seems to be clear sailing to his first Oscar, more than 30 years since his first nomination (for Oliver Stone’s “Platoon”).
*Runner-up: Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Best Production Design: “Blade Runner 2049” (Dennis Gassner)
The LA critics are one of the few major groups to hand out this prize. Also you’ll note from one win and two runner-up prizes, “The Shape of Water” is strong with this group. “Blade Runner 2049” is a tour de force of design. Hard to argue with this.
*Runner-up: “The Shape of Water” (Paul D. Austerberry)

Best Editing: “Dunkirk” (Lee Smith)
You’ll notice “Dunkirk,” despite being critically acclaimed, has been relatively quiet on the critics’ awards circuit so far. It is a technical marvel, though, so it was bound to eventually show up with the groups that dish out below-the-line kudos. Smith was shockingly ignored for his work on Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” seven years ago. Let’s hope the Academy’s editing branch got whatever that was out of its system…
*Runner-up: “I, Tonya” (Tatiana S. Riegel)

Best Supporting Actress: Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Allison Janney (“I, Tonya”), NYFCC winner Tiffany Haddish (“Girls Trip”) and Lois Smith (“Marjorie Prime”) were also in the thick of it. Metcalf is on track to land her first Oscar nomination. “Lady Bird,” meanwhile, won the New York critics’ best picture prize last week.
*Runner-up: Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”

Best Documentary/Non-Fiction Film: “Faces Places” (Agnès Varda, JR)
Varda, an Honorary Oscar recipient this year, is having a banner 2017. She adds this to her and JR’s NYFCC prize in the same category, and she could certainly be on track for her first Academy Award nomination as well.
*Runner-up: “Jane” (Brett Morgen)

Best Screenplay:Get Out” (Jordan Peele)
Finally Jordan Peele breaks out of the the, uh, breakout ranks with critics, though he did win this prize at the Gotham Awards as well. NBR and NYFCC screenplay honors went to “The Disaster Artist” and “Phantom Thread.”
*Runner-up: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (Martin McDonagh)

Best Animation: “The Breadwinner” (Nora Twomey)
You had to figure Twomey’s underdog would pry at least a couple of trophies away from Pixar this year.
*Runner-up: “Coco” (Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina)

Best Foreign-Language Film: (TIE) “BPM (Beats Per Minute)” (Robin Campillo) and “Loveless” (Andrey Zvyagintsev)
Their New York counterparts went with Campillo’s film while the NBR went for Samuel Maoz’s “Foxtrot.” The Academy’s foreign language shortlist is set to be revealed the week of Dec. 11.

Best Actor: Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Same as New York, an easy performance for critics to rally around this year. The question that will come up going forward is whether Chalamet can upset a frontrunning Gary Oldman to become the youngest best actor winner ever.
*Runner-up: James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”

Best Actress: Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Guillermo del Toro’s film is getting a much-needed boost today. According to critics in the room this was the tightest vote of the evening, and that tracks: lead actress is an incredibly competitive race this year.
*Runner-up: Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Best Director: (TIE) Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water” and Luca Guadagnino, “Call Me by Your Name”
More ammunition for Fox Searchlight’s “Shape of Water” campaign, though the second race that stumped the LA crowd so much they had to call it a draw. Dee Rees (“Mudbound”), Sean Baker (“The Florida Project”) and Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”) were also in the running.

Best Picture: “Call Me by Your Name” (Luca Guadagnino)
A significant feather in the cap of this Sundance sensation, which has remained a critical darling all year long and is a threat in a number of Oscar races, including best actor and best adapted screenplay.
*Runner-up: “The Florida Project” (Sean Baker)

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