L.A. Film Critics cite Bill Nighy's roles in Lawless Heart and AKA
Love Actually star Bill Nighy has been named best supporting actor of 2003 by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association for his work in the romantic comedy and three other films. Nighy, who plays a rock star aging disgracefully in Richard Curtis's film, was also honored for his roles in I Capture the Castle and the gay-themed films AKA and Lawless Heart. Naomi Watts won the actress award for her role as a woman whose life undergoes a shattering transformation in 21 Grams, beating out Charlize Theron's portrayal of lesbian multiple murderer Aileen Wuornos in Monster. American Splendor, the acclaimed film about idiosyncratic comic book writer Harvey Pekar, was voted best picture of 2003 by the association on Wednesday, while Lord of the Rings wizard Peter Jackson was named best director.
The group spread the awards thinly, with no picture winning more than two awards. American Splendor, which also won the screenplay prize for its writer-directors, Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, was one of three double winners. The other two were The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and the French-language cartoon The Triplets of Belleville. Bill Murray won the best actor prize for playing a disenchanted thespian in Lost in Translation, a performance that was also recognized by the New York Film Critics Circle. Iranian actress Shohreh Aghdashloo won the supporting actress prize for House of Sand and Fog, also repeating her New York win.
Appropriately edgy and offbeat, American Splendor stars Paul Giammati as comic book icon Pekar. It has picked up two prizes from the New York critics, five Independent Spirit nominations, and one Golden Globe nomination for supporting actress Hope Davis. The New York critics named The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King best picture. In Los Angeles, the final installment of the Hobbit epic was honored both for Jackson's direction and for production design. The Triplets of Belleville won its pair for animation and music/score. Girl With a Pearl Earring picked up the cinematography prize. That film's 19-year-old star, Scarlett Johansson, who also appeared in Lost in Translation, received the group's New Generation award.
Director Errol Morris's The Fog of War, a study of former U.S. defense secretary Robert McNamara, was named best documentary, and the French crime saga The Man on the Train best foreign-language film. The awards will be presented on January 26. Nominations for the Academy Awards will be announced the next day.
Here is a complete list of winners and runners-up from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association:
Picture: American Splendor; runner-up: Lost in Translation
Actor: Bill Murray, Lost in Translation; runner-up: Sean Penn, Mystic River and 21 Grams
Supporting Actress: Shohreh Aghdashloo, House of Sand and Fog; runner-up: Melissa Leo, 21 Grams
Supporting Actor: Bill Nighy, AKA, I Capture the Castle, Lawless Heart, Love Actually; runner-up: Benicio Del Toro, 21 Grams
Director: Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; runner-up: Clint Eastwood, Mystic River
Foreign Language Film: The Man on the Train, directed by Patrice Leconte; runner-up: City of God, directed by Fernando Meirelles
Screenplay: American Splendor, by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini; runner-up: Dirty Pretty Things, by Steve Knight
Documentary/Non-Fiction Film: The Fog of War, directed by Errol Morris; runner-up: Capturing the Friedmans, directed by Andrew Jarecki
Production Design: Grant Major, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King; runner-up: William Sandell, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Animation: Sylvain Chomet, The Triplets of Belleville; Special Citation to the Disney restoration of the Walt Disney-Salvador Dali short Destino
Independent/Experimental: Pat O'Neill, The Decay of Fiction and Thom Andersen, Los Angeles Plays Itself
Music/Score: Benoit Charest, Mathieu Chedid, The Triplets of Belleville; runner-up: Christopher Guest, John Michael Higgins, Eugene Levy, Michael McKean, Catherine O'Hara, Annette O'Toole, Harry Shearer, Jeffrey C.J. Vanston, A Mighty Wind
Cinematography: Eduardo Serra, Girl With a Pearl Earring; runner-up: Harris Savides, Elephant