1. Still Life for Best Foreign Language Film
2. Wall-E for Best Picture
3. Yu Lik Wai for Best Cinematography (Still Life)
4. Synecdoche, New York's Mark Friedberg for Best Production Design
5. Sally Hawkins and Mike Leigh for Best Actress and Best Screenplay respectively.
And so on...
No, seriously, how AMAZING are these LAFCA nominations? Correct answer is "very!" Zhang Ke Jia's imaculate and beautiful Still Life - a winner of the Golden Lion at Venice over two years ago! - took out Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography, two awards that I'd never even considered for this film considering, as to the best of my knowledge, Still Life hadn't actually received any form of official release outside of festivals. Makes me wonder whether I should include it in my 2009 UMA awards. I did love it so at last year's MIFF, but didn't include it in my 2008 awards due to a lack of release. Hmmmm
I also love the citation of Wall-E for Best Picture. Fancy that! Critics actually saying it should be a Best Picture contender at the Oscars and then giving it their own Best Picture award. Amazing! Lovely news for Sally Hawkins and Mike Leigh and, even though I haven't seen Vicki Cristina Barcelona (or Elegy for that matter) - Australian's aren't allowed to see it yet - I'm loving that Penelope Cruz is truly becoming "the one to beat". It's funny how your perceptions of somebody can change so dramatically. Before Volver I merely tolerated her and now I love her and wish they'd cast her in every movie being made on the planet. Lovely.
And, again, I haven't been given the opportunity - I am no worthy of master Sir - to see Synecdoche, New York but the win for Mark Friedberg in the Production Design category is bliss. He's such a good designer, he should be at least a two-time Oscar nominee for Far From Heaven and Across the Universe. And it's nice to see a different kind of movie honoured in that period-centric category. I actually predicted that nomination at the Oscars way back in February so we'll see if the Academy take notice.
So, yet again, the LAFCA prove they are "where it's at", which is more than I can say for the worst awards body of all time. And, no, I'm not talking about the Golden Satellites or whatever. I hate this group so much I'm not even going to name them. They're a horrible beast of an organisation though. Retched things.
And yet not even my hatred of that group can wipe the smile off of my face caused by the LAFCA. May they continue to actually award movies that they like and not what they think the Academy will. Three cheers to Los Angeles!