And for the most part, if you're looking for an indicator of how things might turn out at the end of February at the Kodak Theater, this seems to be a pretty good one. "The Artist" continued its general sweep by picking up Best Picture and Best Director for Michel Hazanavicius (along with Best Costume Design and Best Score), while front-runners George Clooney and Christopher Plummer walked away with Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor respectively for "The Descendants" and "Beginners."
Meanwhile, it was good news for the ladies of "The Help," who've been widely tipped, but mostly ignored by the critics' groups, with Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer winning Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, and the cast picking up a Best Ensemble Prize. "Midnight in Paris" and "Moneyball" took Screenplay awards, "Harry Potter" won two technical prizes, and otherwise, the love was spread, with "Hugo, "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," "The Muppets" and "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" all winning below-the-line awards, with "The Tree of Life" and "War Horse" splitting Cinematography. Meanwhile, "A Separation" took Foreign FIlm, and "Rango" Best Animation, both choices likely to be reflected by the Academy, and Martin Scorsese's "George Harrison: Living In The Material World," ineligible for the Oscars (but given a DGA nod), won the Documentary award.
And, the BFCA also has a few non-Oscar categories -- Best Action Film and Best Comedy -- which meant that "Drive" and "Bridesmaids" stuck around the conversation as well, while "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" finally got some awards love with its young star Thomas Horn winning Best Young Actor/Actress, and Sean Penn and Martin Scorsese both got lifetime-achievement awards. The Critic's Choice aren't massively influential (although more so than the Globes), but there's certainly some trends to be spotted here. More to come in our Amazing Race column later this afternoon, full winners below.
Best Picture: "The Artist"
Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
Best Actor: George Clooney, "The Descendants"
Best Actress: Viola Davis, "The Help"
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, "Beginners"
Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, "The Help"
Best Original Screenplay: Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris"
Best Adapted Screenplay: Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, "Moneyball"
Best Foreign Language Film: "A Separation"
Best Animated Feature: "Rango"
Best Documentary: "George Harrison: Living in the Material World"
Best Cinematography: "The Tree of Life" and "War Horse" (tie)
Best Art Direction: "Hugo"
Best Costume Design: "The Artist"
Best Film Editing: "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"
Best Makeup: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"
Best Original Score: "The Artist"
Best Original Song: "Life's a Happy Song" from "The Muppets"
Best Sound: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2"
Best Visual Effects: "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"
Best Ensemble: "The Help"
Best Young Actor/Actress: Thomas Horn, "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close"
Best Comedy: "Bridesmaids"
Best Action Film: "Drive"
Joel Siegel Award: Sean Penn
Music and Film Award: Martin Scorsese