Sunday night’s Critics Choice Awards in Los Angeles concluded the busiest awards weekend in a few years. Following the AFI, DGA, and BAFTA Awards, all of which took place in a 48-hour span, the 27th Critics Choice Awards included A-list presenters, a handful of emotional speeches, and the season’s first crazy, dance-filled afterparty.
The event also refocused attention on Power of the Dog, Netflix’s best picture contender directed by Jane Campion.
While only Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons were in attendance from the cast, Campion was the focus of attention, riding high on her DGA triumph and her now-viral response to Sam Elliott’s critique of her cowboy drama. Even if her funny, passionate acceptance speech for best director is panned, Campion is all but certain to become only the third woman to win the award.
Given that many people were in London for the BAFTA Awards, which were also held on Sunday, the ballroom at the Fairmont Hotel felt significantly lighter in A-list talent than in past years. (Due to the Omicron wave, the Critics Choice Awards were rescheduled until January 9th.)
To address this transatlantic issue, the Critics Choice Awards hosted a satellite watching party for individuals who were in London for the BAFTAs or, like the cast of Ted Lasso, for filming.
There was a lot of discussion in the Los Angeles ballroom regarding how near the tables were to them other. It was the most crowded event of the season thus far, making it difficult for victors to get up to the stage in a timely way.
Vanity Fair observed Guillermo del Toro and Andrew Garfield speaking at one table, Jared Leto and Netflix’s Ted Sarandos at another, and power couple Joshua Jackson and Jodie Turner-Smith leaning down to speak with Aunjanue Ellis during commercial breaks.
However, because to the confined conditions, no one appeared to be able to return to their seats before the commercial breaks ended. A fire alarm went off during a break late in the event, and a handful of concerned publicists were spotted scurrying about the room, attempting to figure out whether there would be an evacuation. But all was addressed before the show returned to the air.
Several categories were announced during the three-hour Critics Choice Awards broadcast this year, including visual effects (Dune), best comedy (Licorice Pizza), animated feature (The Mitchells vs. the Machines), foreign language film (Drive My Car), adapted (The Power of the Dog), and original screenplay (Belfast). This decision is more notable this year due to the current Oscars controversy, in which eight categories will not be announced during the live telecast this year.
It was also a night when several potential Emmy nominees got to hit the stage for the first time and practice their speeches and campaigns. Melanie Lynskey won best actress in a drama for her role in Yellowjackets, which was the most thrilling and surprising win of the night. However, Lee Jung-jae of Squid Game, who won best actor in a drama series on the heels of his SAG Award triumph, continues to have the most Emmy season momentum. When the Korean superstar re-entered the ballroom following his victory, he was greeted with another wave of applause.