'The Hate U Give,' 'The Favourite' Win Top Honors at L.A. Online Film Critics Society Awards

Ben Hardy, Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Joseph Mazzello and Allen Leech - Getty - H 2019
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Brie Larson, John Cho, Amandla Stenberg and Rami Malek were among the stars at the 2nd annual ceremony.

Civil rights drama The Hate U Give on Wednesday night was named best picture by the Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society at the Taglyan Complex in Los Angeles. The group also recognized the late Audrey Wells for her adaptation of Angie Thomas’ novel, Amandla Stenberg for her breakthrough performance and supporting actor Russell Hornsby.

“Films like this that try to be authentic to their culture sometimes get overlooked. But we felt, starting at Toronto, that people wanted to see it,” director George Tillman Jr. told The Hollywood Reporter. “The hardest thing is getting people who have never experienced this to be emotionally connected to it. We had a really great thing going for us — we had a 16-year-old protagonist. Everyone knows what it’s like to have a family that wants to do the right thing by their daughter, and that was our key into it.”

Yorgos Lanthimos period film The Favourite earned best comedy honors, as well as taking home the award for best cast.

Toni Collette was named best actress for her turn in Ari Aster's Hereditary, while her onscreen son Alex Wolff was awarded best performance by an actor under 23.

“It wasn’t an easy movie to make,” Wolff told THR before the ceremony, adding that he would not rule out a sequel to the psychological horror film, but with a big caveat: “Look, if Ari sent me Hereditary 2, it would probably be so good that I would have to do it. What I really want to do is another movie with Ari.” 

Rami Malek accepted his second award of the week for his performance as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. Onstage, he cheekily acknowledged the tepid critical reception of the Queen biopic, which on Sunday also garnered the actor a Golden Globe for his turn as the legendary singer. “How can I say this. … There was not a unanimous acceptance of this film from critics, so thank you for this,” Malek said with a grin. 

Earlier in the evening, Malek told THR that portraying Mercury would likely be the role of his life: “This is a role I don’t think can be outdone. I think we’re always searching for that next great role, and I guess I’m fortunate that I’ve already been met with it. I’d like to think that there is more out there for me to do, and there is, but I do doubt that there is anything that lives up to how precious this role and this human being have been in my life.” 

The first-ever Acting Achievement Award was given to John Cho, whose film Searching won for best editing and best newcomer, director Aneesh Chaganty. “When Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian wrote the script for Searching, they wrote it for me, and they were asked multiple times along the way, ‘Why does it have to be an Asian guy?’ Their answer was, ‘Why not?’” said Cho. “The question that went out as an answer is indicative of a new time, a new era, in which justification is thrown back to the question-asker. It says, ‘We don’t have to explain why this person is in this movie, why our movie is going to look like this. Why don’t you explain, why not?’” 

The evening continued to celebrate diversity, as the critics group that separates directing honors by gender named Spike Lee best male director for BlacKkKlansman and Lynne Ramsay best female director for You Were Never Really HereBlack Panther was awarded the best blockbuster honor, with producer Nate Moore explaining how the film that broke box office records was different for Marvel from the get-go. “We realized we had an opportunity not just to entertain, but to shed a light on something we thought was really important, which was telling a story about Africa, a continent that in cinema is often seen in the worst of lights,” said Moore. “Wakanda, to us, was an aspirational, inspirational place that we thought could transcend the superhero genre. And I think it did that for a lot of people.”

Oscar-winner Brie Larson, who plays Marvel Studios' next superhero, Captain Marvel, was tapped as this year’s Trailblazer, following in the footsteps of last year’s inaugural honoree, Jessica Chastain. Larson was recognized for her efforts to diversify the pool of entertainment journalists. “If I’m going to travel around the world and talk about art, I want to know how you feel about it, too. And part of making that interesting is having a diverse group of people I can speak to,” she told the critics in the ballroom. “There were not enough voices discussing and dissecting and digesting what was being made. … It’s been an eight-month journey of trying to figure out how we can expand this conversation. Being able to blow open some of these doors is truly some of the greatest work that I’ve done. It’s the beginning of a deeper conversation I look forward to.”   

A complete list of winners is below.

Best Picture
The Hate U Give

Best Actress
Toni Collette, Hereditary

Best Actor
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Best Supporting Actress
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Best Supporting Actor
Russell Hornsby, The Hate U Give
Mahershala Ali, Green Book

Best Newcomer Award
Aneesh Chaganty

Best Breakthrough Performance
Amandla Steinberg, The Hate U Give

Best Cast
The Favourite

Best Male Director
Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman

Best Female Director
Lynne Ramsay, You Were Never Really Here

Best Performance by an Actor 23 and Under
Alex Wolff, Hereditary
Lucas Hedges, Ben Is Back

Best Performance by an Actress 23 and Under
Elsie Fisher, Eight Grade

Best Original Screenplay
Adam McKay, Vice

Best Adapted Screenplay
Audrey Wells, The Hate U Give

Best Foreign Film

Best Animated Film
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Best First Feature
Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade

Best Action/War Film
Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Best Blockbuster
Black Panther

Best Comedy/Musical
The Favourite 

Best Documentary
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Best Sci Fi/Horror
A Quiet Place

Best Cinematography 
Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

Best Indie Film
Eight Grade

Best Editing
Nicholas D. Johnson and Will Merrick, Searching

Best Original Song
"Shallow" from A Star Is Born

Best Stunts
Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Best Visual Effects
Josh Brolin and Digital Domain, Avengers: Infinity War

Best Score
Nicholas Britell, If Beale Street Could Talk

Best Visual Effects 
Avengers: Infinity War

LAOFCS Trailblazer Award
Brie Larson

LAOFCS Acting Achievement Award
John Cho