By John H. Foote
For the second consecutive year, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFC) honoured a film not in English as their Best Film of the year.
Parasite, an acclaimed film since winning the top prize at Cannes last May, took Best Picture honours as well as Best Director for Bong Joon Ho. Martin Scorsese was runner up for Best Director, and his film, the masterful The Irishman was Runner up. The Irishman is hugely touted as the years very best and seems on track to win Best Picture and Director at the Academy Awards.
Antonio Banderas won Best Actor in Pain and Glory, while Mary Kay Place took Best Actress in the criminally underseen Diane. I am surprised enough critics even screened Diane, it flew so low under the radar. Incredibly Lupita Nyong’o was Runner up for Us, likely the most overrated performance of the year.
Song Kang Ho was a huge surprise as Best Supporting Actor in Parasite, edging out Joe Pesci in The Irishman.
Jennifer Lopez took Best Supporting Actress in Hustlers, confirming she is in the Oscar race for real.
Marriage Story was named outstanding screenplay, surprising no one.
Strangely Parasite voted Best Film was not named Best Foreign Language Film, which instead went to Pain and Glory. It makes no sense.
The LA critics, while prestigious, lack the clout of the New York critics awards and always have. They went their own way this year and might have displayed their credibility. Being different to be different is not cool. It is stupid.
For me Parasite was average and I do not understand or agree with the adulation. Scorsese’s accomplishment is one for the ages, Parasite is not.
John H. Foote is a well-recognized Canadian film critic/historian who has been an active critic for 30 years. His deep love for the movies began at a very young age. He began his career as co-host of the popular TV show Reel to Real where he remained for nine years. While on TV he began dabbling in education, eventually ascending to Director of the Toronto Film School, where he also taught film history. After leaving the college to care for his wife, he returned to teaching at Humber College where he taught both Film History and Method Acting Theory. John has written two books: “Clint Eastwood – Evolution of a Filmmaker” and the upcoming “Spielberg – American Film Visionary”. He is currently working on two books, one about the films of the seventies and another on the films of Martin Scorsese. Through his career he has worked in TV, radio, print and the web. John has interviewed everyone in the industry (more than 300 interviews) except Jack Nicholson, he says sadly. Highlights include Martin Scorsese, Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep Robert Duvall, Jane Fonda, Francis Ford Coppola and Kathryn Bigelow.