Last night at the 18th annual Critics' Choice Awards—a yearly opener to the Winter 'Ward'show Wipeout that culminates in February with the Oscars Ceremony and a festive virgin sacrifice—passed judgment on their favorite films and actors of the year from a wide berth of genres and age groups.
Jennifer Lawrence, who arrived in a gorgeous dress made of the cured hides of her enemies, had a big night. Our lady won the award for Best Actress in an Action Movie for her fiery embodiment of Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games, and later in the evening also won the Best Actress in a Comedy award for her leading role in Silver Linings Playbook. To quote Alicia Keys, "This girl is on fire!" And to quote the Black Keys, "[screedily-deedily-dee guitar noises]."
Yesterday was also a rad day to be Quvenzhane Wallis (and when isn't it, with a name like that?). FIRST, the 9-year-old star of Beasts of The Southern Wild makes Oscar history by becoming the youngest-ever human to earn a nomination in the Academy Awards' Best Actress category. THEN, she goes on to trounce the Critics' Choice Awards category for Best Young Actor/Actress, beating Perks of Being a Wallflower's 20-year-old Logan Lerman (tough luck for Charlie, as usual), Moonrise Kingdom scowl-queen Kara Hayward, Life of Pi's Suraj Sharma, and two other kids from movies we've never heard of.
(deep breath) FINALLY, Quvenzhane spent most of her acceptance speech hugging director Benh Zeitlin (who will soon undergo surgery to get his extra "h" removed), earning her EVEN MORE media love than she already had. Quvenzhane is a shooting star, and you can't hold her down! She is now taking congratulatory messages on her chicken phone.
But which films won it big, you have no choice but to ask as you read this sentence? Unlike the Oscars, who throw foreign, animated, weepy, and happy stories together higgledy-piggledy into their Best Picture category, the Critics' Choice ("Critters") delve out awards to films based on genre, giving some shine to a wider assortment of awesomeness. It's a neat system, with neat and varied winners as a result:
- Silver Linings Playbook won Best Comedy, as well as Best Acting Ensemble, Best Actress in a Comedy (J-Law) and Best Actor in a Comedy (B-Coop).
- Looper won Best Sci-Fi/Horror, beating a skimpy spread over Cabin in the Woods and Prometheus.
- Wreck-It Ralph won Best Animated Feature, beating Brave, ParaNorman and others in one of the most solid categories of the ceremony.
- Amour won best Foreign Language Film.
- Skyfall won Best Action Movie, as well as Best Song, giving Adele one more trophy to cram into her cupboard (or, as they say in the UK, "crumpet vault").
- Ben Affleck's "declassified true story" Argo won all-around Best Picture, earning him a Best Director trophy in the process.
With the exceptions of Moonrise Kingdom and The Master making their list, the Critters list of Best Films mirrors the Oscars list exactly. Some Internet soothsayers take the Critters results as dark auguries of what WON'T win at the Oscars, meaning Affleck may be walking away from the Academy Awards with naught but a gentle palm kiss from Matt Damon. But who knows. Stay tuned, for more Winter 'Ward'show Wipeout wrap-ups to come.
Full list of Critters winners and nominees right here.
Do you agree with the Broadcast Film Critics Association in their judgment?
Is Jennifer Lawrence the best?
Do you like the system of awarding films based on genre as well as overall best-ness?