I was pretty vocal last year about how the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, presented by the Broadcast Film Critics Association began to lean too heavily on red carpet glitz (adding more opportunities to honor celebrities with a wealth of new, dubious, categories) while sacrificing potentially great on-camera moments (leaving the great Tony Kushner to accept his screenplay award for “Lincoln” un-televised during a commercial break). Though it might be an uphill battle, I stand by those criticisms as a member of the organization handing out the awards.
This year, the BFCA has staked out the same territory it did last year for its annual awards show: the night of the Oscar nominations. The 19th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards will be held on Jan. 16, 2014, where the BFCA will hope to continue whatever hot topic conversation will have begun earlier that morning with the announcement of the Academy Award nominees. Last time, that conversation was significant: Ben Affleck, director of “Argo,” had not been nominated for Best Director by the Academy. Yet his film went on to win the BFCA’s Best Picture award, leaving the slighted helmer to say upon accepting the prize (tongue-in-cheek, of course), “I’d like to thank the Academy.”
This also means the Critics’ Choice awards will air after the Golden Globes for the first time in a long while, leaving the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s boozy soiree as, once again, the first televised awards show of the season (on Jan. 13). The Critics’ Choice awards will again be aired on The CW.
(Jan. 16 is also the opening night of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.)
What will be the hot topics at this year’s BFCA event? Time will tell. But first, let’s just hope that whatever list of nominees my fellow voters collectively cook up is more than just a ploy to get more celebrities on the carpet. And let’s hope the show unfolds in at least a somewhat more dignified manner than it did last time around; I heard from more than a few at last year’s ceremony that they weren’t interested in returning.
Nominees for the 20th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards will be announced on Dec. 16.