The Clint-rules faction prevailed in the Los Angeles Film Critics Association voting earlier today, resulting in the org’s Best Picture prize going to Letters From Iwo Jima — a very deserving choice. This is the second such tribute handed to Clint Eastwood‘s Japanese-language Iwo Jima drama following the National Board of Review’s Best Picture honoring two or three days ago.
The big winners beside this were Stephen Frears‘ The Queen and Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris‘ Little Miss Sunshine. The former captured four awards and one runner-up prize, including a Best Actress trophy for Helen Mirren (her second following the Boston Film Critics decision just a couple of hours ago), plus a Best Supporting Actor award for Michael Sheen and a Best Screenplay win for Peter Morgan. Dayton, Faris and screenwriter Michael Arndt won the New Generation Award, and Arndt was named 1st runner-up for Best Screenplay.
United 93‘s Paul Greengrass, however, was named Best Director (with Eastwood getting the runner-up prize for Letters and Flags of Our Fathers). Borat‘s Sacha Baron Cohen and The Last King of Scotland‘s Forest Whitaker tied for the Best Actor prize.
Davis Guggenheim and Al Gore‘s An Inconvenient Truth was named Best Documentary. Happy Feet won for Best Animated Feature .
Volver‘s Penelope Cruz was just behind Mirren in the Best Actress voting, and Pan’s Labyrinth costar Sergi Lopez was the runner-up in the best Supporting Actor category.
A big surprise (and a possible indicator of critical reservations about Dreamgirls) was the Best Supporting Actress award going to Luminita Gheorghiu — who? — for her performance in The Death of Mr. Lazarescu. The runner-up in this category was Dreamgirls powerhouse Jennifer Hudson. (There’s no joy in Mudville over this one, let me tell you.)
The great Emmanuel Lubezki won the Best Cinematography award — deservedly — for his work on Children of Men. (Runner-up: Tom Stern for Flags of Our Fathers and Letters From Iwo Jima.) The Best Production Design award went to Pan’s Labyrinth‘s Eugenio Caballero, (good call) — the runners up were Children of Men‘s Jim Clay and Geoffrey Kirkland.
Florian von Henckel Donnersmarck‘s The Lives of Others won for Best Foreign Language film…yes! (Runner up: Volver.) Alexandre Desplat won the Best Musical Score award for his work on The Queen and The Painted Veil. (Runner-up: Thomas Newman for The Good German and Little Children.