And the Trumpets Sounded!
Capote was a triple winner, though only one prize, for Philip Seymour Hoffman's lead performance, was exclusive to this film. Dan Futterman's screenplay prize was shared with Noah Baumbach for The Squid and the Whale (two impeccable winners there), and Catherine Keener's win as Best Supporting Actress actually cited her entire stable of 2005 turns, which I'd rank in the following order, quality-wise: The 40-Year-Old Virgin (wonderful), Capote (really good), The Interpreter (perfectly sufficient), and The Ballad of Jack and Rose (um, no).
Best Cinematography went to Robert Elswit for Good Night, and Good Luck. and Production Design to 2046; each of those films was the runner-up in the opposite category. Animated Film went to Wallace and Gromit..., while the animated Howl's Moving Castle won for its Score, which I don't remember even slightly. Best Documentary went to my beloved Grizzly Man, Foreign-Language Film to Michael Haneke's post-colonial surveillance thriller Caché, and the New Generation Award to Terrence Howard, whom I still refer to as Terrence Dashon Howard, for Hustle & Flow and Crash. (Apparently, the LAFCA weren't paying attention in Glitter and Angel Eyes, like I was.)
I'm saving my favorite category, Best Actress, where the LAFCA endorsed a real dark horse, Vera Farmiga (pictured), for playing a drug-addicted housewife in Debra Granik's Down to the Bone. Both the performance and the film were Sundance victors, but the Academy-baiting theatrical run at the end of November was distressingly brief in NYC and LA, so Farmiga had better hope someone is sending screeners around Hollywood. Her selection by this group recalls their joint endorsement in 1998 of Fernanda Montenegro in Central Station, a Brazilian superstar unknown on these shores who actually did score a come-from-behind Oscar nod in a year as weak as this one. Montenegro tied, though, with Ally Sheedy in High Art, who was unjustifiably missing from Oscar's list. I'm betting that Farmiga goes the way of Sheedy rather than Montenegro, but the LAFCA's early laurel could really help.
Who this all really hurts is Joan Allen, and by extension, me. Allen, historically a favorite of this group, had her best chances of a big critical boost here, or else at the National Board of Review. It is crucial that Allen get a critics' prize, so that she can more likely be Oscar nominated, so that she can be a surprise winner, so that she can prove me right in my rather sanguine insistences throughout the fall that she is a front-runner. This dame needs an Oscar! (Alas, she wasn't even LAFCA's runner-up; Judi Dench was.)
Correction: Down to the Bone is still playing at the Quad Cinema on 13th St. in NYC, which gave Being Julia such a good long run last year, and at the Laemmle Fairfax in Los Angeles. Seek it out, people. Maybe it's time for me to get moving for a day.
Labels: Awards 2005