The Los Angeles Film Critics Association has named (9) Michael Haneke’s meditation on mortality, Amour, the 2012 film of the year. Best picture runner-up The Master is a major presence, earning four awards including best director for Paul Thomas Anderson.

Kathryn Bigelow was named runner-up director for Zero Dark Thirty. The New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board Of Review have already given their best picture prizes to Bigelow’s chronicle of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. The Boston Online Film Critics Association followed suit on Saturday (8).

Back to the LAFCA, whose members hailed Joaquin Phoenix best actor for The Master and Denis Lavant runner-up for Holy Motors.

The best actress prize was a tie between Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook and Emmanuelle Riva for Amour.

Amy Adams scooped best supporting actress for The Master while Anne Hathaway took the runner-up slot for The Dark Knight Rises and Les Miserables. Dwight Henry of Beasts Of The Southern Wild claimed best supporting actor honours and Christoph Waltz of Django Unchained was runner-up.

Chris Terrio won best screenplay for Argo while David O Russell was named runner-up for Silver Linings Playbook.

Roger Deakins’ work on Skyfall earned him the best cinematography prize with Mihai Malaimare Jr taking runner-up for The Master.

Jack Fisk and David Crank of The Master took the best production design prize and Adam Stockhausen was runner-up for Moonrise Kingdom.

Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg won the inaugural best editing award for Zero Dark Thirty and in a great day for Goldenberg the editor was also named runner-up for Argo.

In the best music score stakes, Dan Romer and Benh Zeitlin triumphed for Beasts Of The Southern Wild while Jonny Greenwood took runner-up for The Master.

Leos Carax’s Holy Motors was named best foreign-language film and Joseph Cedar’s Footnote was runner-up.

Dror Moreh’s The Gatekeepers was elected best documentary/non-fiction film and Malik Bendjelloul’s Searching For Suger Man was runner-up.

Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie won the best animation prize and Don Hertzfeldt’s It’s Such A Beautiful Day was named runner-up.

Zeitlin won the New Generation award for Beasts Of The Southern Wild. Frederick Wiseman earned the career achievement award and Leviathan took the Douglas Edwards Experimental/Independent Film/Video Award.

“Once again, our group has awarded a diverse and bold group of films, including many international as well as American titles,” said LAFCA president Stephen Farber. “This is evidenced by our decision not only to give Amour honours for best picture, but also to share the best actress award between one of the great veterans of cinema and one of the most exciting new talents to emerge in the past few years.”

LAFCA’s ’s 38th annual awards ceremony will take place on Jan 12 in Los Angeles.