Awards season is officially underway, and on Sunday night that meant we all got to get down and intimate with Hollywood’s royalty at the 25th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards—a mere week after the Globes. Everyone from J-Lo and Nicole Kidman to Adam Sandler and Rene Zellweger were in attendance, because let’s face it: what else do celebs have to do with their time in January but attend awards shows?
And what a show it was. Join us as we break down some pivotal moments.
The host with the most
Oscars take note: hosts DO bring something to a show. Taye Diggs returning to emcee the CCAs after doing a bang-up job last year, and the All American star proved he’s got charisma with the best of them. Throughout the three-hour show he mingled with his fellow celebs and played games with the crowd, like the movie trivia gig that put celebs on-the-spot on live television (as if we’d ever get enough of THAT).
Two winners in one
It took some getting used to, but we think we’re behind the idea of naming two winners at once. The Critics’ Choice Awards were kind of ballsy when they announced some of the best supporting actors and actresses at the same time, but it actually cut down on a lot of the weird dead space these shows sometimes have. Sure, one winner had to stand by awkwardly while the other went over their time (we see you, Jean Smart), but we could totally get behind this idea for future awards shows.
Watchmen and Succession love
Speaking of Jean Smart, she and Watchmen star Regina King came out big at the show with their wins for best supporting and lead actress. It basically confirmed all of our feelings about the series being far from another comic book series, and we kind of hope that the Emmys get on board later this year too. (Otherwise we may send Rorschach after them.)
Also in the “we love this” category? Succession. The show won for best comedy, while Jeremy Strong also took home an acting trophy. Recognize.
Eddie Murphy’s comeback continues
It’s been a very big year for Eddie Murphy. He made his TIFF debut. His return to SNL gave the show its highest ratings in two years. And on Sunday night his latest movie, Dolemite is My Name won a Critics’ Choice Award. But it truly was Murphy’s night when he won a Lifetime Achievement Award, and we got a clip package reminding us that he’s played everything from a donkey to a spaceship over the years.
“I’ve been making movies, next year, 40 years… being able to make a living as an actor is a privilege and a blessing,” he said. “To make a living making other people laugh… you’re the luckiest person to be able to do that.”
The critics see When They See Us
For all of those who were up-set that When They See Us didn’t get nearly enough love at the Emmys or Golden Globes (read: the entire internet), they were definitely rewarded when the series won Best Limited Series and star Jharrel Jerome won Best Actor in a Limited Series. “Thank you critics, for finally letting us take the stage,” director and producer Ava DuVernay said when she took the podium, basically speaking for us all.
“This is for the damned exonerated five,” Jerome rightfully added later on.
The Irishman’s acceptance speech was almost as long as the movie
Okay, okay so it wasn’t THAT long, but it was definitely comical. When the cast won the Best Ensemble in a film, Robert De Niro came up to accept. But he quickly passed the baton to his co-star Al Pacino, who didn’t exactly run with it… it was more like a slow saunter. He did a sunglasses bit, pretended to take requests for impressions and then basically read off every single one of his co-stars names, before thanking “Marty” Scorsese for “bringing us along” and then asking the audience if Marty was even in attendance. Weird? Yes. But it was Al Pacino, so we were all cool with it.
RELATED: Why ‘The Irishman’ is such a historic moment in film history
Everyone sees Kristen Bell
Kristen Bell may have wondered how she was named the fourth winner of the #SeeHer award, following in the footsteps of Viola Davis, Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and The Queen (Claire Foy). But we didn’t—she’s basically the sister we all wish we had in our lives, and she’s done a ton of humanitarian work to boot. She also proved with her touching speech that she absolutely deserves an award that honours the advancement of women in media.
“Women have been conditioned to fit into boxes… but nobody is just one thing,” she said. “We are all, all the things. Thank you for this. For the reminder to see her and to see myself… even the parts that cry at sloths.”
For the record, that sloth thing will never, ever get old.
Michelle Williams just didn’t show up
Winning an award for Fosse/Verdon is so last week. Just ask Michelle Williams, who picked up a win for playing Gwen Verdon at the Globes, and then again on Sunday night at the Critics’ Choice Awards. A newly engaged Williams showed up at the first show (that speech!), but was inexplicably absent at the second one.
“Unfortunately Michelle didn’t care enough to show up tonight… so we’ll get it to her I guess,” presenter Bradley Whitford… joked?
Quentin Tarantino injects himself again
Okay so the director didn’t thank himself like he did at the Globes, but when Brad Pitt won Best Actor for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, presenter Lupita Nyong’o was about to give a quick thanks on his behalf when Tarantino crashed the stage. Luckily his speech was short and sweet, and he only made one dig about how for the first time ever he agreed with the critics.
We wish he was less self-congratulatory when the flick won Best Movie. He let his fellow producers speak before throwing it to Harvey Keitel, and saying that he wouldn’t be here without Reservoir Dogs. Mmmkay.
Fleabag’s streak continues
Phoebe Waller-Bridge obviously found the winning formula, because she and Fleabag have now won Television Critics’ Choice Awards, Emmys, Golden Globes, and Critics’ Choice Awards. So what does she chalk it all up to? J-Lo. Apparently “Jenny From the Block” is Hot Priest’s favourite song, and when Phoebs realized that it opened up the entire world.
Now here’s hoping J-Lo somehow inspires a third season of the show, because that would definitely make our entire world.