22nd Critics Choice Awards: The Way Too Early Analysis

Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) in LA LA LAND. Photo Credit: Dale Robinette

The Critics’ Choice Awards is usually one of the pre-cursors to February’s Academy Awards ceremony, airing on ABC. The 300-plus member Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) of television, radio, and online film critics voted on the awards and they usually do a better job than the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in my opinion. That being said, this telecast is one that tends to air in January rather than December.

Hosted by comedian T.J. Miller, the awards aired this evening on A&E as awards season is just getting underway.

Going into tonight’s ceremony, La La Land led the way with 12 nominations, followed by Arrival and Moonlight with ten each.

La La Land took home the award for best picture. They took home a handful of awards throughout the evening, including director (Damien Chazelle), song (“City of Stars”), score (Justin Hurwitz), editing (Tom Cross), production design (David Wasco & Sandy Reynolds-Wasco), cinematography (Linus Sandgren), and original screenplay (Damien Chazelle, who tied with Manchester by the Sea’s Kenneth Lonergan). That’s an incredible eight wins out of twelve nominations.

Casey Affleck took home best actor his phenomenal performance in Manchester by the Sea. He may as well start writing his Oscar acceptance speech.

Did the race for best actress solidify tonight? Maybe. Natalie Portman and Emma Stone were the front-runners early in the race although Isabelle Huppert has been drawing critical acclaim for her role in the foreign film, Elle. Natalie’s win tonight may just forecast what’s going to happen for the rest of the season. She disappears into her role as Jackie Kennedy in Jackie.

With his win for best supporting actor in Moonlight, Mahershala Ali delivered the first of what should be many speeches during the season.

Taking home the award for best supporting actress was Viola Davis for her performance in Fences. While I have no doubt that her performance is award-worthy judging by the trailer, this is where I have a serious issue with how early the Critics’ Choice Awards are this year.

Best Animated Feature seems to be all but a lock for Zootopia. The Disney family had some nice films to choose from but Zootopia was definitely the best of them this year.

While La La Land‘s City of Stars won best song tonight, will the power of Lin-Manuel Miranda be enough to woo Oscar voters for Moana‘s How Far I’ll Go. It’s hard to say.

The fact that the Critics’ Choice Awards are being held the night before the HFPA nominations are announced is ridiculous to say the least. This is an awards show that should have aired in January, not December.

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.

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