L.A. Film Critics name ‘Amour’ 2012’s best, praise ‘The Master’

After being snubbed by major critics groups this award season, “The Master” got a boost Sunday from the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. The Paul Thomas Anderson-directed film was awarded more prizes than any other film, taking home honors for the filmmaker, lead actor Joaquin Phoenix, supporting actress Amy Adams and production design.

But the film couldn’t steal the best picture title from “Amour,” Michael Haneke’s Palme d’Or-winning French drama about an aging married couple. Instead, “The Master” had to settle for runner-up. Still, the picture fared far better with LAFCA than other critics: the movie about a boisterous leader of a controversial faith and his wayward protégé did not receive any awards from the National Board of Review or the N.Y. Film Critics Circle.

Over the years, LAFCA has earned a reputation for recognizing less predictable movies and performances. One of the organization’s more surprising choices this year came with its supporting actor selection, “Beasts of the Southern Wild” star Dwight Henry. The actor, who worked in a bakery before being cast in Benh Zeitlin’s film, has been largely excluded from the award race conversation this season.


AWARDS: Oscars 2013

Meanwhile, “Zero Dark Thirty,” Kathryn Bigelow’s Osama Bin Laden drama which has been a favorite with critics groups, only received one award from LACMA — best editing. (Bigelow was also a runner-up for director.)

Other choices, however, were less obscure. Two women who are considered Oscar front-runners, Jennifer Lawrence and Emmanuelle Riva, were deemed the best actresses of the year. Lawrence, 22, stars as a depressed widow in “Silver Linings Playbook,” while 85-year-old Riva plays an aging woman whose health is rapidly declining in the French drama “Amour.”

In 2011, LAFCA — comprising around 60 L.A.-based film critics who work for the city’s print and online media outlets — gave the award for best picture to “The Descendants,” while the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said the year’s top film was “The Artist.” The group also expressed its support for Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” by honoring the film with prizes for director, supporting actress and cinematographer.

Find the full rundown of the awards below:

Best director: Paul Thomas Anderson, “The Master.”
Runner-up: Kathryn Bigelow, “Zero Dark Thirty”

Best actor: Joaquin Phoenix, “The Master”
Runner-up: Denis Lavant, “Holy Motors”

Best actress (Tie): Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook” and Emmanuelle Riva, “Amour”

Best supporting actor: Dwight Henry, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Runner-up: Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”

Best supporting actress: Amy Adams, “The Master”
Runner-up: Anne Hathaway, “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Les Miserables”

Best animation: “Frankenweenie”
Runner-up: “It’s Such a Beautiful Day”

Best documentary: “The Gatekeepers”
Runner-up: “Searching for Sugar Man”

Best foreign film: “Holy Motors”

Runner-up: “Footnote”

Best cinematography: Roger Deakins, “Skyfall”
Runner-up: Mihai Malaimare Jr., “The Master”

Best screenplay: Chris Terrio, “Argo”
Runner-up: David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”

Best editing: Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Runner-up: William Goldenberg, “Argo”

Best music score: Dan Romer and Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Runner-up: Jonny Greenwood, “The Master”

Production design: David Crank, Jack Fisk, “The Master”
Runner-up: Adam Stockhausen, “Moonrise Kingdom”


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‘Zero Dark Thirty’ named best 2012 film by National Board of Review