The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) voted the drama About Schmidt best picture of the year today (Dec 14), while top directing honours went to Pedro Almodovar for the acclaimed comedy-drama, Talk To Her (Hable Con Ella). Best actor was a tie between Jack Nicholson, for his performance in the best picture as troubled retiree Warren Schmidt, and Daniel Day-Lewis, who plays a ruthless gang leader in Martin Scorsese's Gangs Of New York. Announcing a broad list of winners that spanned generations and genres, LAFCA added further sparkle to Julianne Moore's early awards season run with the best actress award for her work in both Far from Heaven and The Hours. Moore was recently named best actress by the National Board of Review for Far From Heaven and last week received an IFP Independent Spirit Awards best actress nomination for the same picture; she was previously named best actress for the film at the Venice Film Festival.
Elsewhere, Chris Cooper won best supporting actor for his much fancied performance as an orchid thief in Spike Jonze's Adaptation, which failed to pick up any other accolades. Lynn Ramsey won the New Generation award for her work, which to date includes the dramas Ratcatcher and Morvern Callar, this year's release starring Samantha Morton.
LAFCA president Jean Oppenheimer told Screendaily: "It is true to say there were no runaway winners, there were no front-runners going into the voting and there were some very tight races. The awards happened to be spread around partly because there was no major consensus this year."
The awards will be presented at LAFCA's 28th annual achievement awards ceremony on Jan 15 at the Casa Del Mar Hotel in Santa Monica.
2002 LAFCA award winners:
BEST PICTURE: About Schmidt
BEST DIRECTOR: Pedro Almodovar (Talk To Her)
Runner-up: Todd Haynes (Far From Heaven)
BEST ACTRESS: Julianne Moore (Far From Heaven and The Hours)
Runner-up: Isabelle Huppert (The Piano Teacher)
BEST ACTOR: tie - Jack Nicholson (About Schmidt) and Daniel Day-Lewis (Gangs Of New York)
SCREENPLAY: About Schmidt (Alexander Payne And Jim Taylor)
Runner-Up: Adaptation (Charlie Kaufman And Donald Kaufman)
SUPPORTING ACTOR: Chris Cooper(Adaptation)
Runner-up: Christopher Walken (Catch Me If You Can)
SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Edie Falco (Sunshine State)
Runner-up: Kathy Bates (About Schmidt)
FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM: Y Tu Mama Tambien
Runner-up: Talk To Her
DOCUMENTARY: The Cockettes
Runner-up: Bowling For Columbine
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Dante Ferretti (Gangs Of New York)
Runner-up: Mark Friedberg (Far From Heaven)
ANIMATION: Miyazaki's Spirited Away
MUSIC/SCORE: Elmer Bernstein (Far From Heaven)
Runner-up: Philip Glass (The Hours)
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Ed Lachman (Far From Heaven)
Runner-up: Conrad L Hall (Road To Perdition)
NEW GENERATION: Lynne Ramsay
CAREER ACHIEVEMENT: Arthur Penn
INDEPENDENT/EXPERIMENTAL: Michael Snow (Corpus Collosum) and Kenneth Anger for his body of work
EXCELLENCE IN CHARACTER DESIGN AND ANIMATION: Lilo & Stitch