Members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) bestowed their honors in film during the 20th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards (CCMA). These honors coincided with the revealing of the coveted Academy Awards nominations (January 15)—which can be either a feather in your cap or a hard pill to swallow. In the latter case, three films were vindicated: “Life Itself” won Best Documentary Feature while “The LEGO Movie” won Best Animated Feature and “Force Majeure” won Best Foreign Language Film, all of which are shockingly absent in the Oscar race. At the end of the day—or night, in this case—filmmakers can walk away knowing that their CCMA award was garnered by people (critics) who spend countless hours in dark theaters analyzing film by peeling back the layers, down to the minutest of details that general audiences may have missed.
It was a star-studded night, as they say, at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, complete with iconic tall beam lights that shined up into a clear night sky. Stars arrived on the Red Carpet, posed for photos, gave sound bites to reporters, and were whisked inside to their respective tables all to applaud on cue as the show aired live on A&E, hosted by the energetic Michael Strahan.
Strahan opened the show with a bang as tuxedo-clad “Magic Mike” dancers, who at the end of the number were wearing only their spandex shorts, surrounded him. Strahan followed suit, mentioning his up-coming appearance in the sequel to “Magic Mike” while taking off only his trousers followed by a joke about his legs. He displayed a large, charismatic stage presence and comfortably moved amongst the tables in the audience during various points in the show.
“Birdman” was the big winner of the night with a whopping seven awards, including Best Actor for Michael Keaton, Best Acting Ensemble, Best Original Screenplay for Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr., and Armando Bo, Best Cinematography for Emmanuel Lubezki, Best Editing for Douglas Crise and Stephen Mirrione, Best Actor in a Comedy for Michael Keaton, and Best Score for Antonio Sanchez.
Michael Keaton is the first person in the twenty-year history of the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards to win three awards in a single year (Best Actor, Best Actor in a Comedy, and as part of the “Birdman” Best Ensemble). Yes, he was busy jaunting to and from the stage and, at one point, he tripped on a step and fell approximately four feet off the stage. Ethan Hawke came to his rescue, at which time he regained this balance and seemed to be walking fine.
Keaton was as humble as in his memorable Golden Globe acceptance speech this past Sunday, stating from the podium, “I just wanna thank anybody who’s ever thrown me a solid.”
“Boyhood” was named Best Picture and was presented by Sir Ben Kingsley, who, by the way, sat next to me at my assigned table. The film had three additional wins, including Best Supporting Actress for Patricia Arquette, Best Young Actor/Actress for Ellar Coltrane, and Best Director for Richard Linklater.
Linklater was grinning ear to ear as he accepted. He reminisced about his personal “boyhood.” He grew up shuffled back and forth between households, having the stigma of “child of divorce” along with being a product of “a failed marriage, a broken home.” Clearly, his view of his childhood changed. He said, “Especially as I got older, I realized, you know, no one was broken. No one failed. This happens to so many people, you know. It’s just life. All of these little imperfections that we carry around with us, that is really just the essence of life itself. Life doesn’t give you perfect, but it does give us all an opportunity to care about one another and be supportive.”
He further stated that working with Wes Anderson was, “Nothing but spectacular; he’s an amazing genius who’s twenty steps ahead of you. I learned so much from him.”
Julianne Moore, seated a table away, won for Best Actress for “Still Alice.” She looked stunning while walking to the podium, giving a heartfelt speech centering on her role as a woman with Early Onset Alzheimer’s disease.
“Thank you very much to the Broadcast Critics for this award. Thank you for noticing a little movie and thank you for honoring me among these really wonderful women. One thing I know about myself for sure is that I’m a girl’s girl. I love talking to women, hanging out with women, acting with women. One of the things about being an actress, the hardest part is that you never get to act with other women — or very rarely, anyway.
“I’d like to thank all the women who I spoke to who are living with Alzheimer’s disease. They are truly, truly amazing. I want to thank them for their time and their generosity, and sharing their experience. I really hope I did you justice. And I want to give a special shout out to my friend Sandy Oltz [50 years of age], my redheaded sister who has been living with Alzheimer’s for the last three years. Thank you very, very much for this.”
Check out Sarah Knight Adamson’s full article on the Critics Choice Awards includes Red Carpet, Interviews, Recap of the show and more, posted to RogerEbert.com
Sarah Knight Adamson© January 16, 2014