'Moonlight' Named Best Picture by L.A. Film Critics

'Moonlight' (Photo: David Bornfriend/A24)
‘Moonlight’ (Photo: David Bornfriend/A24)

Moonlight was named this year’s best picture by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association on Sunday. The critics group also recognized the drama about a gay black man coming of age in a rough Miami neighborhood with awards for director Barry Jenkins; supporting actor Mahershala Ali, who plays a drug dealer who takes a fatherly interest in a fearful boy; and cinematographer James Laxton.

The LAFCA voted as best picture runner-up the musical La La Land, which was named best picture by the New York Film Critics Circle earlier in the week. La La Land was also cited for its music score by Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

French actress Isabelle Huppert was hailed as best actress for both Elle, in which she plays a strong woman dealing with rape, and Things to Come, in which she plays a philosphy teacher dealing with grief and betrayal.

In several categories, the LAFCA chose to shine their spotlight on smaller indie films, tapping Adam Driver as best actor for playing a poetic bus driver in Paterson and Lily Gladstone as best supporting actress for portraying a lonely Montana ranch hand in Certain Women.

How ‘Moonlight’ Became a “Personal Memoir” for Director Barry Jenkins: “I Knew the Story Like the Back of My Hand”

In one surprise result, the critics group gave its best editing award not to a narrative feature but to Ezra Edelman’s epic documentary O.J.: Made in America. (La La Land was the editing runner-up.) But O.J. lost the documentary prize, coming in runner-up to Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro, which uses the words of James Baldwin to examine black life in America.

This winners will be celebrated at the annual awards dinner on Jan. 14 at the InterContinental Hotel in Century City. Shirley MacLaine will receive this year’s career achievement honor, and the ceremony will be dedicated to late director Curtis Hanson.

Picture: Moonlight
Runner-up: La La Land

Director: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Runner-up: Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Actress: Isabelle Huppert, Elle and Things to Come
Runner-up: Rebecca Hall, Christine

Actor: Adam Driver, Paterson
Runner-up: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Supporting actress: Lily Gladstone, Certain Women
Runner-up: Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Supporting actor: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Runner-up: Issey Ogata, Silence

Animated Film: Your Name
Runner-up: The Red Turtle

Foreign-Language Film: The Handmaiden
Runner-up: Toni Erdmann

Documentary/Non-Fiction: I Am Not Your Negro
Runner-up: O.J.: Made in America

Screenplay: Efthymis Filippou and Yorgos Lanthimos, The Lobster
Runner-up: Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Editing: Bret Granato, Maya Mumma, Ben Sozanski, O.J.: Made in America
Runner-up: Tom Cross, La La Land

Production Design: Ryu Seong-hee, The Handmaiden
Runner-up: David Wasco, La La Land

Music score: Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, La La Land
Runner-up: Micah Levi, Jackie

Cinematography: James Laxton, Moonlight
Runner-up: Linus Sandgren, La La Land

Douglas Edwards Independent/Experimental Film/Video Prize: The Illinois Parables from writer-director Deborah Stratman

Next Generation: Trey Edward Shults, Krisha Fairchild, Krisha

Special Citation: Turner Classic Movies for preserving historic cinema and bringing it to a wider audience via FilmStruck.

Lifetime Achievement: Shirley MacLaine

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