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Amy Winehouse movie hailed by LA film critics

Published 07/12/2015

LA critics gave Amy, the film about the life of Amy Winehouse, pictured, the best documentary award
LA critics gave Amy, the film about the life of Amy Winehouse, pictured, the best documentary award

Los Angeles film critics have given Amy, the story about the late pop star Amy Winehouse, the best documentary honour at their awards show.

Charlotte Rampling was another British winner, picking up the best actress award for her role in the marital drama 45 Years.

High-octane Mad Max: Fury Road might have driven off with the most awards, but the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) had another in mind for its top film of the year - Spotlight, the comparatively subdued drama about the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into sex abuse in the Catholic Church.

Lafca, one of the highest-profile regional critics groups, often strays from the mainstream in its annual awards choices. Only once in the past 20 years has the best film winner gone on to win the Best Picture Oscar.

There was no clear favourite this year, and Lafca honoured a vast variety of some of the year's best films further reinforcing the narrative that the Oscar race is still fairly undefined.

Mad Max: Fury Road, picked up three awards, the most for any film, including best director for George Miller, best cinematography, and best production design.

But the dystopian rager, which the National Board of Review chose as their best film earlier this week, took second place to Tom McCarthy's Spotlight, which also won for its screenplay.

Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson's dark animated film Anomalisa also won multiple awards, including best animated film and best music/score for composer Carter Burwell, who was also recognised for Carol.

Acting awards were given similarly out-of-the-box choices with Rampling's award and Michael Fassbender's best actor honour for portraying the tech titan in Steve Jobs.

Michael Shannon won best supporting actor for playing the predatory property broker in the housing bubble film 99 Homes, and Alicia Vikander won best supporting actress for her performance as the beguiling Artificial Intelligence creation in Ex Machina.

Son Of Saul won best foreign film.

Director Ryan Coogler also won the Lafca new generation award for Creed, a continuation of the Rocky Balboa saga.

Carol, Todd Haynes' 1950s-set romance, which dominated the New York Film Critics Circle Awards this past week was practically shut out, aside from Burwell's co-win for score and a host of runner-up awards, including director and production design.

The awards-friendly Joy, The Revenant, The Danish Girl and Room were nowhere to be found in Lafca's choices. Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight was recognised only for Ennio Morricone's score as the runner-up to Burwell's compositions.

Ultimately, the awards race continues to be wide open in nearly every category. The competition will heat up this week though, when nominees are announced for both the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Golden Globes.

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