The Los Angeles Film Critics Association split between the space odyssey "Gravity" and the futuristic romance "Her," lending no more certainty to an awards season that's so far been full of contenders.
The two films shared best picture in the awards announced Sunday by the L.A. critics, but "Gravity" was the top award-winner. The innovatively made, lost-in-space drama won for best director (Alfonso Cuaron), best editing (Cuaron and Mark Sanger) and best cinematography (Emmanuel Lubezki).
"Her," which is about a man (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with his computer operating system (voiced by Scarlet Johansson), also won for K.K. Barrett's sleek, near-future production design. But the critics otherwise spread its honors around.
Dual winners were the theme. Best actress was shared by Cate Blanchett for her fallen socialite in Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine," and Adele Exarchopoulos for the lesbian coming-of-age tale "Blue Is the Warmest Color." (The later film also won for best foreign language film.)
Best supporting actor was also a two-fer, with the group jointly honoring Jared Leto's performance as an HIV-positive transsexual in "Dallas Buyers Club" and, more surprisingly, James Franco's performance as the cornrowed gangster Alien in "Spring Breakers."
Best actor went to Bruce Dern for his performance in Alexander Payne's father-son road trip "Nebraska."
Early movie awards can help sort out the Academy Awards race, but they've been particularly varied this year. Last week, the New York Film Critics Circle named David O. Russell's Abscam fictionalization "American Hustle" best film. The National Board of Review picked "Her." The Gotham Awards elected the Coen brothers' folk tale "Inside Llewyn Davis" best film.