For the first time, the show of the combined film and TV Critics' Choice Awards aired on A&E, Lifetime and LMN, hosted by actor and comedian T.J. Miller. The "Inside Out" table where I was sitting, at least, thought he was funny. Also hilarious was Best Actor Oscar nominee ("Trumbo") and Critics Choice presenter Bryan Cranston, who read stiltedly off the teleprompter for a laugh. Whenever you see Cranston in a room, you feel the warmth for him.
With a raft of no-shows the week after the end of the feverish campaign season ending with Golden Globes weekend and the Academy Award nominations, Schumer was the highlight of the evening. She landed well-deserved double TV and film writing nominations from the Writers Guild, but came up empty on Oscar nominations morning."I am plus plus-size actress Amy Schumer," she said. "I can't believe this year happened. Thank you Judd Apatow for letting me tell my story."
Open Road's “Spotlight” won Best Picture, Best Acting Ensemble and Best Original Screenplay; writer-director Tom McCarthy was missing in action as co-writer Josh Singer, Supporting Actress Oscar nominee Rachel McAdams and Boston Globe Spotlight team reporter Sacha Pfeiffer joined Anonymous Content's Steve Golin onstage. On Oscar night, Critics' Choice wins should repeat for Original Screenplay with Adapted going to "The Big Short."
“Mad Max: Fury Road" won nine awards including Best Director for George Miller (who was not there), Best Production Design for Colin Gibson, Best Editing for Margaret Sixel, Best Costume Design for Jenny Beavan, Best Hair & Makeup, Best Visual Effects, Best Action Movie, Tom Hardy for Best Actor in an Action Movie, and Charlize Theron for Best Actress in an Action Movie.
Many of these awards were not shown on TV or presented in the room, including the animation prize to "Inside Out" (see clip below).They didn't announce Best Documentary, either (it went to Oscar frontrunner "Amy"). If the Broadcast Film Critics Association (of which I am a voting member) wants big Hollywood names to show up ("The Martian" Best Actor Oscar nominee Matt Damon was there, good-naturedly accepting more ribbing from Apatow for the Golden Globes comedy classification), they might want to let them go onstage to accept their awards.
Truth is, Oscar voters don't watch this show and will read the list of winners in stories like this one.
I was sitting behind "Star Trek: The Force Awakens" director J.J. Abrams, who was in the running for Best Picture after the BFCA forced a special vote to add an 11th movie; he did go up to present the “Critics’ Choice Genius Award” to Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), and entertained a line of well-wishers all night.
Best Actor winner Leonardo DiCaprio sent a clip saying he was on the road overseas promoting "The Revenant," while another Oscar frontrunner, Brie Larson, who won best Actress for "Room," was shooting "King Kong" in Australia; her diminutive co-star Jacob Tremblay charmingly picked up the Best Young Actor award as a stage hand held a horizontal mic for him.
Sylvester Stallone inspired another standing ovation for winning Supporting Actor for reprising Rocky Balboa in “Creed.” I guess the Oscar is his to lose. "Thank you to my director!"" he started off this time (after forgetting Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan at the Golden Globes) and delivering a gracefully humble speech.
"The Big Short" won Best Comedy, accepted by Adam McKay, and comedy supporting actor, accepted by a hirsute Christian Bale, who is up for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar.
Well-tanned Alicia Vikander, resplendent in a metallic sheath, stiffly accepted Best Supporting Actress for “The Danish Girl"—thanking co-star Eddie Redmayne and reminding that the movie took producer Gail Mutrux 15 years to make—as well as Best Sci-Fi Film for "Ex Machina." She's new to this; she'll get better.
FX Networks' "Fargo" took home four trophies including Best Movie Made for Television or Limited Series, Kirsten Dunst for Best Actress in a Movie Made for Television or Limited Series, Jesse Plemons for Best Supporting Actor in a Movie Made for Television or Limited Series, and Jean Smart, who tripped on stage but recovered, for Best Supporting Actress in a Movie Made for Television or Limited Series.
"Mr. Robot" (USA) scored three wins for Best Drama Series, Best Actor in a Drama Series (Rami Malek), and Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Christian Slater), from the mind of "a film-obsessed nerd," Sam Esmail. "Master of None" (Netflix) won for Best Comedy Series with Aziz Ansari on hand, citing "the tiny hot dogs" served at the event. (Dinner was finally served to starving and tipsy attendees at the Santa Monica Airport Barker Hanger after-party.)