By Dave Karger
Updated December 10, 2008 at 08:15 PM EST
Credit: ©Pixar/Disney

The often-contrarian Los Angeles Film Critics Association went blockbuster, naming Wall-E their Best Picture of the year with The Dark Knight as runner-up. Last year the LAFCA gave There Will Be Blood a big boost when they named it Best Picture after it was left out of the National Board of Review top 10. The win for Wall-E (which also made the NBR and Broadcast Critics top 10 lists) increases its chances of escaping the Best Animated Feature Oscar ghetto and scoring a spot in the Best Picture race, though it still has an uphill battle in front of it. Similarly, the strong showing for Mike Leigh’s divisive Happy-Go-Lucky helps its case for a Best Actress nod for Sally Hawkins, but the competition is tough in that race as well. Here are the L.A. winners.

Picture: Wall-E
Runner-up: The Dark Knight

Director: Danny Boyle, Slumdog Millionaire
Runner-up: Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight

Actor: Sean Penn, Milk
Runner-up: Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Actress: Sally Hawkins, Happy-Go-Lucky
Runner-up: Melissa Leo, Frozen River

Supporting actor: Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight
Runner-up: Eddie Marsan, Happy-Go-Lucky

Supporting actress: Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Elegy
Runner-up: Viola Davis, Doubt

Screenplay: Mike Leigh, Happy-Go-Lucky
Runner-up: Charlie Kaufman, Synecdoche, New York

Foreign-language film: Still Life
Runner-up: The Class

Documentary: Man on Wire
Runner-up: Waltz With Bashir

Animation: Waltz With Bashir

Cinematography: Yu Lik Wai, Still Life
Runner-up: Anthony Dod Mantle, Slumdog Millionaire

Production design: Mark Friedberg, Synecdoche, New York
Runner-up: Nathan Crowley, The Dark Knight

Music/score: A.R. Rahman, Slumdog Millionaire
Runner-up: Alexandre Desplat, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button