'Wall-E' wins L.A. Film Critics award

The Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. named " Wall-E," Disney/Pixar's animated film about a little robot who falls in love, the best film of 2008 on Tuesday afternoon. The Batman adventure "The Dark Knight" was runner-up. Sally Hawkins, who played the eternally optimistic Poppy in Mike Leigh's "Happy-Go-Lucky" won best actress honors. Melissa Leo was runner-up for " Frozen River."

Leigh also won for his screenplay for "Happy-Go-Lucky. "

Sean Penn received the best actor award from the LAFCA for his performance in " Milk," as openly gay San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk. Mickey Rourke was runner-up for "The Wrestler."

Danny Boyle won best director for " Slumdog Millionaire," his drama about young man who grew up orphaned on the streets of Mumbai and reflects upon his difficult life while on a quiz show. Christopher Nolan was runner-up for "The Dark Knight."

The late Heath Ledger was named best supporting actor for his go-for-broke performance as the Joker in "The Dark Knight." Eddie Marsan was runner-up in the category for "Happy-Go-Lucky.

Penelope Cruz won for her roles as Javier Bardem's wacky ex-wife in Woody Allen's comedy " Vicky Cristina Barcelona," as well as for for the drama "Elegy." Viola Davis was runner-p for "Doubt."

Jia Zhangke's "Still Life" from China was named best foreign-language film; "The Class" was runner-up. " Waltz With Bashir" picked up the top prize in animation.

Documentary honors went to " Man on Wire." "Waltz With Bashir" was runner-up.

The LAFCA selected Yu Like Wai as best cinematographer for "Still Life." Anthony Dod Mantle was runner-up for "Slumdog Millionaire."

Mark Friedberg won best production design for "Synecdoche, New York." Nathan Crowley placed second for "The Dark Knight."

The music/score award went to A.R. Rahman for "Slumdog Millionaire." Alexandre Desplat was runner-p for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

Steven McQueen won the New Generation award for "Hunger" and James Benning received the Douglas E. Edwards Independent/Experimental Film/Video Award for his two films, "RR" and "Casting a Glance."

The last time the eclectic LAFCA and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences agreed on a best film was 1993's "Schindler's List."

However, the critics group's choices for best actor and best actress last year -- Daniel Day-Lewis for "There Will Be Blood" and Marion Cotillard for "La Vie en Rose" -- both went on to win the Academy Award.

The LAFCA will hold its 34th annual achievement awards ceremony Jan. 12 at the InterContinental Los Angeles