- Beretta leaves Maryland over gun laws, heads for Tennessee
- Neal Boortz defends Hillary Clinton for representing child rapist
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Top federal judge uses pizza to explain complex Obamacare situation
- Obama, Biden overhaul job training programs
- Drought-plagued Californians turn to paint to keep lawns green
- ISIL now forcing Iraqi shopkeepers to veil mannequins in Mosul
- 11 parents of Nigeria’s abducted girls die
- Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia
- Turkish P.M. Erdogan won’t speak to Obama, but he’ll take calls from Biden
Clooney’s ‘Descendants’ leads LA critics’ awards
Question of the Day
LOS ANGELES (AP) - George Clooney’s family drama “The Descendants” was chosen Sunday as the year’s best film by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, whose prizes are an early influence on the way to the Academy Awards.
From “Sideways” director Alexander Payne, “The Descendants” stars Clooney as a neglectful father in Hawaii trying to tend his daughters after his wife falls into an accident-induced coma.
Michael Fassbender won best actor for a breakout year that included leading roles as a sex addict in “Shame,” as a genetic mutant in “X-Men: First Class,” as psychiatrist Carl Jung in “A Dangerous Method” and as sullen Victorian gentleman Rochester in “Jane Eyre.”
The best-actor runner-up was Michael Shannon as a man beset by apocalyptic visions in “Take Shelter.”
The critics’ group passed over big Hollywood names to bestow its best-actress prize on Yun Jung-hee for the South Korean drama “Poetry,” in which she plays a grandmother in the early stages of Alzheimer’s who struggles with a new desire to write a poem.
Kirsten Dunst was best-actress runner-up as a depressive woman who finds inner strength as another planet bears down on a collision course with Earth in “Melancholia.”
Notoriously press-shy filmmaker Terrence Malick was named best director for his epic family drama “The Tree of Life,” starring Brad Pitt as a domineering father who mixes tenderness and cruelty in raising his sons. “Tree of Life” was the best-picture runner-up to “The Descendants.”
The film also helped pick up the supporting-actress honor for Jessica Chastain, who was cited for “The Tree of Life” and five other films in which she co-starred this year. “Tree of Life” also earned the cinematography award for Emmanuel Lubezki (the runner-up was Cao Yu for “City of Life and Death”).
The directing runner-up was Martin Scorsese for his 3-D family adventure “Hugo,” about an orphan boy unraveling a mystery pegged to a toy-seller at a Paris train station in the 1930s.
Christopher Plummer won as supporting actor for “Beginners,” in which he plays an elderly dad who announces to his son that he’s gay. The runner-up was Patton Oswalt as an aging nerd who becomes unlikely pals with an old high school bombshell in “Young Adult.”
Chastain, largely unknown until this year when she appeared in half a dozen films, was picked as supporting actress for her rush of movies, among them “Tree of Life,” in which she plays a nurturing mother as counterpoint to Pitt’s harsh dad. Besides “Tree of Life,” Chastain’s films included “The Help,” “Take Shelter” and “Coriolanus.”
Janet McTeer was runner-up for supporting actress for her cross-dressing role as a woman disguising herself as a male laborer in “Albert Nobbs.”
The LA critics passed over the acclaimed silent film “The Artist,” considered a potential best-picture favorite at the Feb. 26 Oscars. Their East Coast counterparts, the New York Film Critics Circle, chose “The Artist” as the year’s best picture last week. “The Artist” also is tied for the lead with five nominations at the Spirit Awards honoring independent film.
Prizes from the two critics’ groups help sort out the awards picture amid the crush of Oscar contenders that studios fling into theaters at the end of the year. The Oscar outlook will be further refined by nominations Wednesday for the Screen Actors Guild Awards and Thursday for the Golden Globes.
The LA critics honored Johnny Depp’s Western comedy “Rango” as best animated film. Steven Spielberg’s globe-trotting action tale “The Adventures of Tintin” was runner-up.
TWT Video Picks
The president could pay the full price for ignoring Congress
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- IRS seeks help destroying another 3,200 computer hard drives
- D.C. appeals panel deals big blow to Obamacare subsidies
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
- Beretta moving to Tennessee over Maryland gun laws
- Gen. James Amos, Marine Corps commandant, slams Obama's handling of Iraq
- Pentagon team dispatched to Ukraine amid crisis with Russia
- BERMAN & MADYOON: An Iranian-Turkish reset
- MAY: Barbarians at Jordan's gate
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq