It seems to HE that LAFCA giving its top two trophies — Best Picture and Director — to The Zone of Interest and director-screenplay adapter Jonathan Glazer — was primarily a political-cultural gesture of support for Israel in its current Gaza conflict against Hamas.

And because of this timely symbolic stance three unmistakably superior or at least more exciting and inventive films, obviously lacking in terms of Zone’s moral astringence but (this is hardly a failing) with far more robust cinematic material, more sublime and emotionally abundant energy than can be found in Glazer’s necessarily grim and austere concentration-camp arthouse study…these three took the hit.

The Holdovers, Maestro and Poor Things, alas, were ceremoniously uncoupled from the main deck and allowed to fall into the sea — victims of an actual war and passed over for the same reason that Zone benefitted — Zone had the important symbolic echo factor and the other three didn’t.