The Los Angeles Film Critics Association issued their annual awards last week. The association is considered one of most prestigious group of critics in the entertainment industry and their honors have successfully predicted Academy Award winners since the late seventies. For the past eleven years each film they nominated for Best Picture has been nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom won several awards. Chadwick Boseman was post posthumously named Best Actor for his portrayal of the talented and ambitious musician Levee. Glynn Turman won Best Supporting Actor. He played the pensive piano player who dismisses Levee’s schemes to upstage the lead of their band. Turman is only the fifth Black actor to receive this award. At 73, he is also is the oldest actor to receive the honor.
Viola Davis, who played the film’s titular character famed Blues musician Ma Rainey, was named runner-up for Best Actress.
The Netflix film from George C. Wolfe is based on the play by August Wilson. The streaming giant has dominated awards season so far. Their film from newcomer Radha Blank, The Forty-Year-Old Version, won LAFCA’s New Generation Prize. The project follows a struggling playwright who decides to revive her creative voice by becoming a rapper at 40.
Blank is one of three Black women who won the top prizes at Sundance Film Festival.
Steve McQueen’s Small Axe won Best Picture. The project, available now on Amazon Prime Video, is an anthology style miniseries that includes five separate films reflecting the experiences of West Indian families that have emigrated to London in the early 1960s through the 1980s. McQueen was the runner up for the Best Director award. Shabier Kirchner earned the Best Cinematography award for his work on the opus. The filmmaker considers each installment a film but was adamant about them being accessible on television.
Congratulations to all the LAFCA winners!