‘Boyhood’ Named Picture of The Year By Los Angeles Film Critics Association

Boyhood - (IFC Films)
Boyhood – (IFC Films)
Boyhood, director Richard Linklater’s magnum opus of a young child’s (Ellar Coltrane) subtle journey of self-discovery, was named Best Picture of the Year by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA).

“Originality was honored in this year’s awards from LAFCA, with several prizes going to Richard Linklater’s twelve years in the making Boyhood, and other important awards for the imaginative Grand Budapest Hotel, the groundbreaking cinematography of Birdman, and the tour de force performance by Tom Hardy in Locke,” said LAFCA president Stephen Farber. “Our group again honored a range of films from around the world and an impressive array of emerging and veteran talents.”

The 40th annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association awards takes place Saturday, January 10 at the Intercontinental, Los Angeles.

Lorelei Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Ellar Coltrane in Boyhood (IFC Films, Matt Lankes)
Lorelei Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Ellar Coltrane in Boyhood (IFC Films, Matt Lankes)

Below is a list of the winners:

Picture: Boyhood (Runner-up: Grand Budapest Hotel)

Director: Richard Linklater, “Boyhood” (Runner-up: “The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson)

Actor: Tom Hardy, “Locke” (Runner-up: Michael Keaton, “Birdman”)

Actress: Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood” (Runner-up: Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”)

Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash” (Runner-up: Edward Norton, “Birdman”)

Supporting Actress: Agata Kulesza, “IDA” (Runner-up: Rene Russo, “Nightcrawler”)

Screenplay: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson (Runner-up: Birdman, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. and Armando Bo)

Animation: The Tale of Princess Kaguya (Runner-up: The Lego Movie)

Foreign Language Film:  Ida (Runner-up:  Winter Sleep)

Documentary/Non-Fiction Film: Citizenfour (Runner-up: Life Itself)

New Generation: Ava DuVernay, “Selma”

Film Editing: Sandra Adair, “Boyhood” (Runner-up: Barney Pilling, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”)

Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, “Birdman” (Runner-up: Dick Pope, “Mr. Turner”)

Production Design: Adam Stockhausen, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (Runner-up: Ondrej Nekvasil, “Snowpiercer”)

Score: (tie)  Jonny Greenwood, “Inherent Vice” and Mica Levi, “Under The Skin”

Douglas E. Edwards Independent/Experimental Film/Video: Walter Reuben, “The David Whiting Story”

Career Achievement: Gena Rowlands

‘The Imitation Game’ To Receive “Ensemble” Award At Palm Springs Fest

The Imitation Game, a WWII set feature that centers on code breaker Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), will receive the Ensemble Performance Award at the 26th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF).

The cast members, along with Cumberbatch, include Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard, Charles Dance, and Mark Strong. The Awards Gala takes place Saturday, January 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

The Imitation Game is one of the very best ensembles to grace the screen this season,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley lead an outstanding cast in The Imitation Game, a film about Alan Turing as he attempts to crack Germany’s Enigma machine. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present the entire cast of The Imitation Game with the Ensemble Performance Award.”

Other honorees that will receive awards at the event include Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl), Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), and J.K. Simmons (Whiplash).

PSIFF runs January 2-12. For more info, please go to its official site.

Jared Leto Praises “Tireless” & Oscar Winning Hair & Make-Up Artists

 One of the few reasons why I enjoy the Oscars is that the event, amidst all the bloated production and self-congratulatory glad handing, actually contains a few nuggets of true emotion. Jared Leto, upon winning his Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club, spent most of his acceptance speech thanking his mother. During the backstage interviews, Leto talked about his the importance of having his family at the Academy Awards.

“I thanked my mother because she’s everything,” said Leto. “She has inspired me in ways that I could talk about for days. So I was really proud to bring my mom tonight, to bring my brother tonight. (They’re the) two most important people in my life and (I) was really fortunate to be able to thank them in a unique and grand way.”

Leto also gave props to hair and makeup artists Adruitha Lee and Robin Matthews. Although they had a $250 budget for Dallas Buyers Club, they took home Oscars for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

Click on the media bar to hear Leto talk about the makeup team’s “tireless” work ethic on Dallas Buyers Club:

Oscar Winner Lupita Nyong’o Allows The Impossible To Be Possible

Lupita Nyong’o was honored Sunday evening with the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work in director Steve McQueen’s epic drama 12 Years a Slave. The project would also take home Best Film and Screenplay honors, but it’s the heartfelt acceptance speech delivered by Nyong’o which served as the Oscars’ most memorable moment.

“When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid,” said the Kenyan actress as she finished her speech. “Thank you.”

She was equally as memorable backstage as she answered various journalists’ questions. “I know I mean a lot to my countrymen and I am so grateful for that kind of support – from the entire world actually,” said Nyong’o. “The entire world did not have a say in whether I got this or not but the fact that I won in so many people’s hearts, that is incredible. And I am so grateful to that.”

Click on the audio below to hear Nyong’o talk about the importance of “allowing the impossible to be possible.”

Matthew McConaughey Brings Good Medicine To “Dallas Buyers Club”

It’s a pretty huge weekend for Matthew McConaughey, as he’s up for an Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club and another episode of the acclaimed HBO series True Detective,  which has the actor playing an all too obsessive investigator, also airs Sunday evening.

Dallas BuyersClub, directed by Jean-Marc Valée, effectively balances drama and a few light touches of levity. During the interviews for the film, McConaughey explains why he and the director didn’t want to make a one-dimensional, preachy take on Ron Woodroof’s life.

“We got some good medicine that also tastes good,” said McConaughey. “And it’s fun. And it’s rock ‘n roll. The humor brings forth the humanity.”

Click on the audio below to hear McConaughey talk about why not going “deep into the hardcore sentiment” of the narrative was an important element to the success of Dallas Buyers Club.

Here’s a pretty solid interview of McConaughey conducted by the Film Society of Lincoln Center:

Oscar Sunday begins 7 et on ABC.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t add an episode 7 preview of True Detective:

Critics’ Choice Awards Presenters Announced

The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, which takes place on Thursday, will be hosted by Aisha Tyler and air on the CW Network (8 pm et/pt). The scheduled list of presenters include Jensen Ackles, Christina Applegate, Kristen Bell, Jessica Chastain, Don Cheadle, Bill Hader, Jonah Hill, Sir Ben Kingsley, Nia Long, Kellan Lutz, James Marsden, Jared Padalecki, Margot Robbie, Julia Roberts, Ian Somerhalder, Isaiah Washington, and Marlon Wayans.

Forest Whitaker will receive the Joel Siegel Award, and Oprah Winfrey will present the honor to her fellow castmate from Lee Daniels’ The Butler. The Broadcast Film Critics Association will also honor Before Midnight collaborators Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater with the LOUIS XIII Genius Award for their work on the Before trilogy. The award spotlights visionaries and performers who have achieved “an unprecedented demonstration of excellence in the cinematic arts.”

As a fellow BFCA member, I encourage movie buffs to watch the show. I haven’t gone to the awards show for several years due to my hermetic nature, but the program is definitely a fun watch. One of my favorite performances from last year was given by Blue Jasmine lead Cate Blanchett, and she’s one of the many stars expected to attend the event.