By: Kate Gruetter
On Jan. 15, the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles held the 28th Critics’ Choice Awards, recognizing Hollywood’s finest achievements from the past year. Among those attending were Cate Blanchett, Michelle Yeoh, Viola Davis, Austin Butler, Jessica Betts, and Brendan Fraser.
The Critics’ Choice Awards occur in the time between the Golden Globes and the Academy Awards, and many believe they accurately predict how the Academy Awards will go. For example, last year Jessica Chastain won Best Actress at both the Critics’ Choice Awards and the Academy Awards, and Will Smith, who won Best Actor for King Richard, also took awards home at both events.
If the Choice Awards are any indicator, Everything Everywhere All At Once will take home more than one Oscar in March. The film won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Supporting Actor. The film’s success makes sense; audiences raved about the film and consider it one of the year’s best projects. Netflix’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery won Best Comedy as well as Best Acting Ensemble, with the film’s lead actress Janelle Monáe receiving the #SeeHer award. The #SeeHer award recognizes women whose character portrayals are authentic, push boundaries, and advocate for gender equality; past winners include Zendaya and Kristen Bell. Monáe was more than deserving of this honor; her role in Glass Onion was not only refreshing and truthful but also beautiful to watch. Monáe’s co-star, Kate Hudson, raved about the actress prior to presenting her the award, exclaiming, “Perhaps the true achievement lies in what Janelle has done for others through her activism on behalf of women, LGBTQ+ communities and race equality. . .She is an advocate, an ally, a warrior.”
This event also honored TV series, bringing the best of two worlds (movies and TV) to the stage. Jennifer Coolidge took home Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for White Lotus, and Giancarlo Esposito received Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Better Call Saul. That wasn’t the only victory for Better Call Saul; Bob Odendirk also took Best Actor in a Drama Series for the show.
Chelsea Handler hosted the ceremony and left the stage with jokes — and jabs — worth remembering. In her debut speech, Handler poked fun at Hollywood drama, joking, “It is an honor to be your host tonight after everything that we have all been through together over the past few years between Covid, monkeypox, the Don’t Worry Darling press tour.” The comedian later went on to joke about talk-show host Ellen Degeneres, saying, “In the movie Tár, Cate [Blanchett] portrayed an iconic lesbian whose career is affected by her toxic behavior. And she didn’t even have to host her own daytime talk show.”
This award season may be the best yet, given the variety of films enjoyed in the past year and their diversity in content and cast. The Critics’ Choice Awards successfully represented the nature of these projects, recognizing talent where it was due. Hopefully, the Academy Awards will do just as good a job in honoring these achievements in the spring.
(Sources: Deadline, ET, Goldderby, USA Today, Variety)