Imitation of Life

A journal about film, music, literature and any other form of imitation of life. Seeing through a glass darkly…

2010 LAFCA and NYFCC Awards Predictions

I am well aware that Imitation of Life has acquired a dangerously repetitive film awards bent as of late and I intend to go back to more general film analysis and commentary soon, but we are just some hours away from the announcement of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) Awards and the New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC) Awards, arguably the two most prestigious critics’ groups in America.

 Add to that the Golden Globe nominations, which will be announced on Tuesday, and we can say straight out that we are entering the most intense three-day period in the film award season, so I cant’ help trying my luck in that pointless but fascinating game called Awards Predictions.

The Social Network is the clear frontrunner and I think it will end up winning both awards. Since Wall-E was named Best Picture at the LAFCA two years ago, I see Toy Story 3 as the film that could pull off an upset on the west coast, while I still hope that Mike Leigh’s Another Year might have a bigger impact than expected among the NY critics. After all, Leigh won as Best Director and Sally Hawkins as Best Actress for Happy-Go-Lucky, a less satisfying film than Another Year. I also hope Lesley Manville to be present in the final list of both groups, although I’m predicting Tilda Swinton to be a semi-surprise winner in the LAFCA for her Italian and Russian-speaking role in I Am Love, maybe because of last year’s atypical but perfect choice of Yolande Moreau for Séraphine.

An interesting category will be the Animation Film, specially in NY, where films like Fantastic Mr. Fox, Howl’s Moving Castle or Persepolis have prevailed in recent years over Disney/Pixar more obvious choices. That gives me hopes that the New Yorkers will go for the extraordinary The Illusionist over Toy Story 3. The film, based on a script that Jacques Tati wrote more than 50 years ago, might even grab a Best Screenplay win over Sorkin, but that’s a very long shot.

Colin Firth and Christian Bale will dominate the male acting races, while Jacki Weaver and Melissa Leo will fight for the Supporting Actress award. My pick of Hailee Steinfeld at the LAFCA is merely based on that group’s love for young performers. They were, after all, the first group to honour Anna Paquin’s performance in The Piano over that year’s frontrunner Winona Ryder. Paquin shared the award with Rosie Perez, but she ended up winning the Oscar and giving one of the most cherished Oscar acceptance speech moments in recent history.

Here are my predictions. The LAFCA usually announces its winners and runner-ups, so I’ll reflect that in my predictions. The NYFCC doesn’t, but I’ll do it anyhow, so take the runner-up list as a second-choice list.


 Best Picture: The Social Network (runner-up: Toy Story 3)

Director: David Fincher (runner-up: Mike Leigh)

Actor: Colin Firth (runner-up: Jesse Eisenberg)

 Actress: Tilda Swinton (runner-up: Lesley Manville)

 Supp. Actor: Christian Bale (runner-up: Geoffrey Rush)

Supp. Actress: Hailee Steinfeld (runner-up: Jacki Weaver)

Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network (runner-up: Debra Grank for Winter’s Bone)

Animation: Toy Story 3 (runner-up: The Illusionist)


 Best Picture: The Social Network (runner-up: Another Year)

Director: Mike Leigh (runner-up: David Fincher)

 Actor: Colin Firth (runner-up: James Franco)

Actress: Lesley Manville (runner-up: Natalie Portman)

Supp. Actor: Christian Bale (runner-up: Geoffrey Rush)

Supp. Actress: Jacki Weaver (runner-up: Melissa Leo)

Screenplay: Mike Leigh for Another Year (runner-up: Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network)

Animation: The Illusionist (runner-up: Toy Story 3)


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