Inclusion was the big winner at the L.A. Film Critics Association Awards, which was held Saturday night at the InterContinental in Century City.
“This year’s winners are the most diverse in LAFCA’s 43-year history,” announced its president, Claudia Puig, adding that 14 out of their 18 awards were won by women and people of color. Ironically, however, the organization itself is comprised of “mostly old white men,” one member admitted to Variety. But LAFCA is doing its part to change that for the future of film criticism: The first honoree of the night was a formerly homeless student from Los Angeles City College — and a current WME intern — who called out the obvious “gender disparity” in the industry.
Unlike, say, at the Golden Globes where no female directors were even nominated, LAFCA gave best director honors to self-described “social-realist filmmaker” Debra Granik, who helmed the independent movie “Leave No Trace.” “The big thank you I have to LAFCA is for keeping the arena open for the existence of smaller films to be even known,” she said from the stage. The organization, she added, “is an encouragement generator … and I don’t think there is enough thanks for that.”
Granted, the celebrity wattage may have been on the low side: best actor Ethan Hawke, best actress Olivia Colman and best supporting actress Regina King were not in attendance, but the latter did at least tape her acceptance speech. “It feels so good coming from the hometown — I am born and bred in LA — and this means the world to me that the folks in the city that has loved on me for so long is continuing to love on me,” King gushed via video. “I wish I could be there to celebrate and have one drink three times, but it doesn’t make it any less of an honor.”
But the impassioned international flavor and heartfelt speeches from voices rarely heard on the stages of an award show in Hollywood more than made up for the lack of boldfaced names in the room. Other winning films showcased cinema from such far-flung places as Singapore, Korea, and Japan, not to mention Wakanda. Alfonso Cuarón, who won both best cinematography as well as best picture for “Roma,” thanked the country of Mexico, his first-time leading lady, Yalitza Aparicio, and, of course, the organization responsible for this eclectic evening. “I want to salute the Los Angeles Film Critics Association,” he said. “Thanks to your help we can break down walls.” Maybe even before they ever get built in the first place.
The full list of winners:
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 Screenplay: Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (Runner-up: Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara, “The Favourite”)
Best Animated Film: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” (Runner-up: “Incredibles 2”)
Best Foreign Language Film: “Burning” and “Shoplifters” (Tie)
Best Documentary: “Shirkers” (Runner-up: “Minding the Gap”)
Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón, ”Roma” (Runner-up: James Laxton, “If Beale Street Could Talk”)
Best Editing: Joshua Altman and Bing Liu, “Minding the Gap” (Runner-up: Alfonso Cuarón 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”)
Career Achievement Award: Hayao Miyazaki
Douglas Edwards Experimental Film Award: “The Green Fog”
New Generation Prize: Chloe Zhao
Special Citation: “The Other Side of the Wind”