In a tie for Best Picture, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards named “Everything Everywhere All At Once” and “Tár.”
The tie was unexpected but not stunning. In LAFC’s history, there have been four Best Picture ties: in 1975, the year of the league’s founding, “Dog Day Afternoon” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” in 1976, “Network” and “Rocky,” and in 2013, “Her” and “Gravity.”
Some recent examples of their Best Picture Winners lining up with AMPAS include 2019’s Parasite, 2016’s Moonlight, 2015’s Spotlight, and 2009’s The Hurt Locker.
As a result, the organization has a better track record of syncing up with the Oscar’s ultimate Best Picture winner than some New York awards orgs.
One thing about LAFCA is that they’re not afraid to go rogue.
For example, in 1985, they named Terry Gilliam’s carnivalesque, hallucinogenic epic Brazil Best Picture and Best Director, fresh meat for the trades after the director had waged war with Universal over the movie.
Oscar nominations for Art Direction and Original Screenplay were made for Brazil.
Other instances of LAFCA deviating from the norm in the Best Picture category include the 2003 film American Splendor, the comedy biopic about cartoonist Harvey Pekar, and the collection of five movies Small Axe, which wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar in 2020. Small Axe demoted Nomadland to Runner-Up in the category, even though it ultimately won the Oscar for Best Picture.
Drive My Car, directed by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, won Best International Feature Film at the LAFCA Awards last year. In addition, it received four Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Director.
It won’t be shocking if Tár, director Todd Field’s 16-year absence from the big screen, is a commercial success today. In 2001, LAFCA won the Best Picture award for his film In the Bedroom. In addition, Tár was named one of the year’s top films by the AFI and won Best Film at the New York Film Critics Circle as well as Best Actress for Cate Blanchett.
Also, LAFCA will add gender-neutral acting categories for this year’s award voting, with two awards for Best Lead Performance and two for Best Supporting Performance.