This morning, the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association (of which I am a member) proudly named their picks for their year-end awards, naming Damien Chazelle's outstanding musical "La La Land" as the best film of 2016. Remarkably, the film took almost every other category it was nominated in as well, including Best Director (Chazelle), Best Original Screenplay (Chazelle), Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, and Best Original Score, making it the biggest winner in the group's history.
In fact, the only two awards the film didn't win were Best Actor and Best Actress, which went to Casey Affleck ("Manchester by the Sea") and Natalie Portman ("Jackie") for their excellent performances.
Looking over the rest of the winners, the only one I would say is a bit of a surprise is "Hell or High Water" winning Best Acting Ensemble, which has some fine performances in it, but going up against the likes of "Manchester by the Sea," "20th Century Women," and "Fences," it's a little shocking to see it take the win.
Unlike LAFCA's picks yesterday, these are much more likely to line up with what the Academy will choose come February. After all, the group has matched the Academy's choice for Best Picture six times in its 14-year history.
Coming up next week, we have the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics Online, Boston, and San Francisco announcing their awards, so be sure to check back for the winners. In the meantime, please see below for a list of WAFCA's winners:
Best Film: La La Land
Best Director: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Best Actor: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
Best Actress: Natalie Portman (Jackie)
Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Best Supporting Actress: Viola Davis (Fences)
Best Acting Ensemble: Hell or High Water
Best Youth Performance: Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)
Best Voice Performance: Liam Neeson (A Monster Calls)
Best Motion Capture Performance: Mark Rylance (The BFG)
Best Original Screenplay: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Best Adapted Screenplay: Eric Heisserer, Based on the Story "Story of Your Life" by Ted Chiang (Arrival)
Best Animated Feature: Kubo and the Two Strings
Best Documentary: 13th
Best Foreign Language Film: Elle
Best Production Design: Production Designer: David Wasco; Set Decorator: Sandy Reynolds-Wasco, SDSA (La La Land)
Best Cinematography: Linus Sandgren, SFS (La La Land)
Best Editing: Tom Cross, ACE (La La Land)
Best Original Score: Justin Hurwitz (La La Land)
The Joe Barber Award for Best Portrayal of Washington, DC: Jackie