'Amour' Named Best Film by Los Angeles Film Critics

Emmanuelle Riva

Riva plays a difficult scene in which her character briefly loses her bearings because of a stroke.

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association on Sunday named Amour, Michael Haneke's French-language drama about an elderly couple facing the end of life, the year's best film as the group met to vote its annual awards. The Master emerged in the voting as the runner-up.

Emmanuelle Riva, who stars alongside Jean Louis-Trintignant in Amour, tied with Jennifer Lawrence of Silver Linings Playbook for the best actress award.

Joaquin Phoenix was named best actor for his portrayal of a World War II vet seeking answers in The Master. Runner-up in that category was Denis Lavant for Holy Motors.

The Master also triumphed in three other categories. Top directing honors went to the film's Paul Thomas Anderson, while Kathryn Bigelow checked in as runner-up for Zero Dark Thirty. The Master's Amy Adams was selected best supporting actress for her performance as a quietly forceful wife, with the runner-up mention going to Anne Hathaway for both The Dark Knight Rises and Les Miserables. And the film also took the prize for its production design by David Crank and Jack Fisk.

Dwight Henry was named best supporting actor for playing the struggling father in Beasts of the Southern Wild. Christoph Waltz was runner-up for his bounty hunter in Django Unchained. Beasts also won the award for best score, by Dan Romer and the film's director Benh Zeitlin. And Zeitlin was chosen to receive the group's New Generation Award.

Tim Burton's Frankenweenie took the prize for best animation. Dror Moreh's The Gatekeepers, which features interviews with six former heads of the Israeli security agency, was named best documentary.

LAFCA previously had announced that it will honor documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman with its career achievement award when it holds its awards ceremony Jan. 12 at the Intercontinental Hotel.

The complete list of winners and runners-up:

Film: Amour. Runner-up: The Master.

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master. Runner-up: Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty.

Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, The Master. Runner-up: Denis Lavant, Holy Motors.

Actress: (Tie) Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook, Emmanuelle Riva, Amour.

Supporting actress: Amy Adams, The Master. Runner-up: Anne Hathaway, The Dark Knight RisesLes Miserables.

Supporting actor: Dwight Henry, Beasts of the Southern Wild. Runner-up: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained.

Screenplay: Chris Terrio, Argo. Runner-up: David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook.

Animation: Frankenweenie. Runner-up, It's Such a Beautiful Day

Documentary: The Gatekeepers. Runner-up: Searching for Sugar Man.

Foreign-language film: Holy Motors (France). Runner-up: Footnote (Israel).

Cinematography: Roger Deakins, Skyfall. Runner-up: Mihai Malaimare Jr., The Master.

Film Editing: Dylan Tichenor, William Goldenberg, Zero Dark Thirty. Runner-up: William Goldenberg, Argo.

Score: Dan Romer, Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild. Runner-up: Johnny Greenwood, The Master.

Production design: David Crank, Jack Fisk, The Master.  Runner-up: Adam Stockhausen, Moonrise Kingdom.

Douglas Edwards Experimental/Independent Film/Video Award: Leviathan.

New Generation Award: Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild.