Ah, there is nothing like the magic of the Broadcast Film Critic’s Association and the bigger and better Critic’s Choice Awards. As the first major awards show of the season (no the People’s Choice Award”s doesn’t count) it seemed like a good idea to sit in front of the TV with an East Coast feed and, um, react.
Please, add your comments to the party. We can all pretend we’re in Santa Monica too!
5:55 PM PST
Have you had enough of Sam Rubin yet? I hear there a lot of “last minute A-list arrivals” on the way.
5:56 PM PST
Big star no. 1! Jason Alexander.
(Well, it turns out there were lots of relevant stars on the pre-show, but I was enroute and missed them.)
6:00 PM PST
Alexander kicks off the show spending 10 minutes embarrassing Clint Eastwood, Mickey Rourke, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Oh, and he justifies the existence of the Broadcast Critic’s because if not, we’d have to endure…his mother. Who also happens to be the president of the Boca Raton Mickey Rourke fan club. Hey, he was available, right?
6:10 PM PST
Josh Brolin and Kate Beckinsale look might fine, although the set behind them looks like Jonathan Adler designed it and that might not be a good thing.
Best Comedy Winner: “Tropic Thunder”
Accepting is Ben Stiller, who finally gets an award from an organization other than MTV. He’s also growing his hair out. Interesting.
6:15 PM PST
Amanda Bynes and Corbin Bleu, two actors I can guarantee you won’t be anywhere near the Oscar stage as presenters next month (or nominees for that matter), are here to present the Best Acting Ensemble Award.
(Geez, I haven’t seen this many clips on an awards show since 1993. The BFCA members spend way too much time watching those EPK’s.)
Best Acting Ensemble Winner: “Milk”
Josh Brolin wins an award! Where is Sean Penn? Shouldn’t he be up at the mike? Why is he hiding? Is Emile Hirsch making a pirate movie (or a retro porn movie)? Nice.
Backstage interviews with whatshername from MTV. Awkward. Emile and Brolin excuses the rest of the cast for not coming up on stage and then Hirsch is forced to give a serious response about making a movie about Harvey Milk. Sell it baby!
6:23 PM PST
Common and Eva Longoria Parker are here to tell us: there”s a house band. Rooney.
Best Young Actor/Actress: Dev Patel, “Slumdog Millionaire”
Somewhere all the Searchlight publicists are cheering and jumping up and down, but…Dev isn’t there! But his beautiful co-star is and this certainly doesn’t hurt for his underdog shot at a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Where is Dev?
6:26 PM PST
Stop. Are they putting member’s review comments over clips? Doe these people have no shame? (Why am I even asking?) I wanna see their quotes for “Fool’s Gold” and “Meet Dave.” Is Shawn Edwards in the house?
6:35 PM PST
Best Action Movie: “The Dark Knight”
Chris Nolan gives an OK speech. Let’s be honest, he isn’t he most charismatic fellow and never has been, but it’s nice to see some recognition for his work in his hands instead of just those Warner Bros. checks (not that he’s complaining)
6:40 PM PST
Gotta hand it to the director, that cut in to Jolie and Pitt coming over to Eastwood’s table was nice and seemingly genuine. We’ll get more of that Sunday night with the Globes.
6:44 PM PST
That’s an inspired couple Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Katy Perry. Not sure I’ve ever caught him without glasses before. Smart career move. Hearing the woman who made a career off “I Kissed A Girl” say she’s “nervous” because of badly written joke is somewhat hard to believe.
Best Composer: A.R. Rahman, “Slumdog Millionaire”
Another win for “Slumdog.” More jumping up and down from Searchlight publicists. Yay.
Best Song: “The Wrestler,” Bruce Springsteen.
Plasse has no idea who Darren Aronofsky is as he comes onstage to accept the award. Ouch.
6:52 PM PST
Marisa Tomei and someone I missed (seriously, who is that woman?) are here to present the Best Documentary award. These nominees don’t seem to be worthy of extended clips. Imagine that.
Best Documentary Feature: “Man on Wire”
Ya know, when I watched “Wire” I was at the Toronto Film Festival sick off my ass. Now, I am blogging it winning an award…almost sick off my ass. Coincidence? Probably not, but a good excuse for any punctuation or spelling errors.
6:55 PM PST
A very tall Laura Dern and a not so short in person Aaron Ekhart have a big award to give away, Best Supporting Actor.
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”
One of many Ledger should win as the one true lock this year. Nolan comes on stage to accept the award in his behalf. A standing ovation from the audience. Thankfully, Nolan’s speech here is better than his earlier one. Yep, we all miss Heath.
More BFCA member montages.
Do we really need this? I mean, can’t it just be called the Critic’s Choice Awards and not show the critics? Perhaps I see too many of these people at screenings and press days.
Virginia Madsen and Chris Nolan come out to present the Foreign Language Film award. Again, like the Docs not as many clips as the American flicks, but lots of cheers from the audience.
Best Foreign Language Film: “Waltz with Bashir”
Great and, currently, popular choice. The director makes a nice statement about his hope that the babies born during the production think of the wars in that part of the country as “ancient video games” when they are all grown up. True, true.
7:09 PM PST
Kevin Bacon and Angela Bassett are here for Best Supporting Actress. Bassett is really annunciating these days. And, ugh, more hack critic’s comments over nominee”s performances.
Best Supporting Actress: Kate Winslet, “The Reader”
Surprisingly, Winslet isn’t there (shouldn’t she be at every event she can?), but great win. Penelope Cruz is also deserving for “Vicky Christina Barcelona,” but this is the performance of Winslet’s career and chances are, she’ll never get recognized anywhere else for it.
7:17 PM PST
Poor Amy Adams, after “Enchanted,” she’ll always have that animation connection.
Best Animated Feature: “WALL-E”
Not really a surprise. Andrew Stanton is here to accept the award, the question is whether he’ll have a Best Picture nomination to celebrate on the 22nd.
Next, the always stunning Diane Lane comes out to present the Joel Siegel Award and it goes to her three-time co-star Richard Gere. It’s a fine speech and it appears she might have written it herself (or is that wishful thinking?).
Gere gets a standing ovation for all his charitable efforts and he and Lane do some heavy kissing on stage. I wonder what Lane’s husband Josh Brolin thinks about that? “I want three more with her!” As long as it’s not another “Nights in Rodanthe” sir. Please. The rest of his speech is a little rambling and sells his love of the Tibetan people, but everyone in that room is ready applaud that the last eight years are “almost” over.
7:32 PM PST
Hey, a wildcard. Sarah Silverman. Knocking VH1 and all the candidates. Love her. “And I think we can all agree, all the best movies are made for television.” (Somewhere Fienberg is saying, ‘You bet they are!’)
Best Picture Made For Television: “John Adams”
O.K., how come this happens every year? One HBO movie or miniseries dominates the award shows for months on end. Can’t we have one year with a little competition? Seriously?
Ben Stiller follows with a funny:
“I remember seeing Barbara Streisand in ‘Yentl.’ That’s when I knew I wanted to be an actress.”
(I remember seeing “Yentl” and wondering, “Who really thinks she’s a boy?”)
A TIE! A TIE! You only get this sort of drama (and even voting it appears) at the Critic’s Choice Awards.
Best Actress: Meryl Streep, “Doubt,” and Anne Hathaway, “Rachel Getting Married”
Hathaway gets on stage first to win her first award and seems genuinely moved. And honestly, this might help her get that fifth Best Actress slot (eh, maybe not).
O.K., now Hathaway is rambling a bit. Doesn’t she realize the show has only 19 min to go?
That look on Jolie’s face in the cutaway as Hathaway finally finishes? Priceless.
Viola Davis accepts for Streep unsure of what to say because Streep didn’t provide her with any official remarks. Instead, Davis gives what sounds like her own acceptance speech. “She would especially thank me.” Cute, Viola. Say that with Streep in the room next time. Double dare you.
7:49 PM PST
Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Banks, add them to the list of actors who won’t be near the Kodak next month, strut out to present one of the last remaining awards. And quickly! The winner?
Best Director: Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire”
More Searchlight publicists jumping up and down! (I’m sure of it.) Boyle speaks lovingly of Mumbai and gives a short, but sweet speech (perhaps someone told him the show has only ten more minutes?)
Kristin Scott Thomas comes out to give the Best Actor award. Her hair is either very short or pulled, way, way, way back. Hard to tell, but the woman, like Lane, looks amazing for her age (she’s 48).
Best Actor: Sean Penn, “Milk”
Penn is actually in the house, loose tie and all. He gets a standing ovation (is this a requirement for a straight actor who plays gay?) and cracks, “I hope you know at heart, this is a beauty contest, so I had an advantage.” Ha. Not always so dour is he? Penn thanks his screenwriter, director and, of course, the man he brilliantly played on screen, Harvey Milk. Only one more award to go!
7:58 PM PST
Dustin Hoffman is the last big star (?) to appear as its time for the Best Picture award. All. 10. Nominees. And that means we get to see those insightful BFCA quotes all over again.
Hoffman scares the audience announcing there is a three-way tie. Oh, what a tease.
Best Picture: “Slumdog Millionaire”
We have a frontrunner! O.K., we’ll officially have a frontrunner if it wins the Globe on Sunday, but again, more Searchlight publicist happiness. And screenwriter Simon Beaufoy smartly thanks Peter Rice and his team for saving the film’s release (it’s the best partnership Alan Horn may have ever agreed to). And with five awards, “Millionaire” is the critic’s choice for this night. Will their international brothers and sisters second that recognition? Check back Sunday when we go full bore with Globes coverage and analysis.