The year-end awards decided by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association are almost always outside the box. When they champion a film or a performance that I happen to share admiration for, I go “yay.” But more often my reaction to their oddball picks is (a) “huh, really?…okay” or (b) “what the fuck?” I will therefore signal my reactions today with either (Yay), (HRO) or (WTF).

I’m speaking for the world here. I’m speaking for every man, woman, child and dog on the planet earth. LAFCA awards are partly if not largely about their own challenge-to-conventional-thinking tradition. I’m not saying they’re not trying to salute quality, but they have to do that LAFCA thing, that “hey, look at us, we’re nervy and different” between bites of bagels and lox. Especially in this era of p.c. terror and intimidation by SJWs and virtue signallers — an era that seems to be rivalling the Commie-witch-hunt era of the late ’40 and ’50s.

Best Picture: Roma / (Yay)
Runner up: Burning / Nope — shoulda been Cold War.

Best Director: Debra Granik, Leave No Trace / (HRO)
Runner up: Alfonso Cuarón, Roma / (Yay)

Best Actor: Ethan Hawke, First Reformed / YES! All is forgiven, including the food break bullshit (bagels, lox and onions) — Hawke can’t be denied an Oscar nomination for Best Actor now.
Runner up: Ben Foster, Leave No Trace / (WTF)

Best Actress: Olivia Colman, The Favourite / (Yay), fine but Melissa McCarthy is way, way better (and with a better-written role) in Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Runner up: Toni Collette, Hereditary / (Yay)

Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk / (HRO) — King is the populqr p.c. choice and there’s no disputing she gave a good, commendable performance, but Vice‘s Amy Adams delivers more of an arresting, leap-off-the-screen jolt.
Runner up: Elizabeth Debicki, Widows / (HRO)

Best Supporting Actor: Steven Yeun, Burning / (HRO)
Runner up: Hugh Grant, Paddington 2 / (WTF)
HE comment: They blew off Mahershala Ali‘s note-perfect, crowd-pleasing performance in Green Book because the p.c. elites have condemned Peter Farrelly‘s film because it had the audacity to tell a 1962 story by 1962 standards, and because it doesn’t pass along the progressive ethos of 2018. But there’s no excuse at all — none — for blowing off Richard E. Grant‘s performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Best Screenplay: Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty, Can You Ever Forgive Me? / (Yay)
Runner up: Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara, The Favourite / Approved

Best Documentary/Non-Fiction Film: Shirkers
Runner up: Minding the Gap / Never saw it

Best Music/Score: Nicholas Britell, If Beale Street Could Talk / (HRO)
Runner up: Justin Hurwitz, First Man / (Yay)

Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuaron, Roma / (Yay)
Runner up: James Laxton, If Beale Street Could Talk / (HRO)
HE comment: It’s written in p.c. blood that Barry JenkinsIf Beale Street Could Talk is going to get every awards consideration LAFCA can manage, but they should have manned up and admitted to themselves that the runner-up ho cinematography honor shodl have gone to Cold War‘s Lukasz Zal.

Best Animation: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse / I hate almost all animation
Runner up: Incredibles 2 / I hated this film with a passion.

Best Production Design: Hannah Beachler, Black Panther
Runner up: Fiona Crombie, The Favourite

Best Editing: Joshua Altman and Bing Liu, Minding the Gap / Never saw it
Runner up: Alfonso Cuaron and Adam Gough, Roma / (Yay)

Lifetime Achievement Award: Hayao Miyazaki / Approved.

Posted on 12.2.17, same drill applies: What kind of oddball, left-field choices will the Los Angeles Film Critics Association share tomorrow (i.e., Sunday, 12.3)? If past award picks are any guide LAFCA will probably vote for someone or something of an eccentric cast. If nothing else LAFCA members will want to live up to their well-earned reputation as the quirkiest and foodiest of all the major critic groups.

LAFCA is the only prestigious film critic group that notoriously interrupts its voting process halfway through so the members can chow down on toasted bagels, scrambled eggs, potato salad, lox, cream cheese, cole slaw and red onions. But LAFCA members have another reputation to live up to, and that is a determination to go oddball in their selections — to choose way outside the realm of populist, semi-conventional thinking.

A nominee or two, I mean, that will win an award because of some kind of arbitrary, socially progressive notion or belief scheme of the moment. A choice, I mean, that will feel like the right kind of politically correct fulfillment or projection — a choice that will point the way and especially defy the Gold Derby-ites. Has LAFCA’s eccentricity reached a point of self-parody? Could some members be fearful of letting people down if they don’t give an award to at least a couple of unlikely contenders?