My respects to the 20th Annual Critics Choice Awards for getting a few things right that the Oscar nominations got wrong.
Instead of failing to nominate the widely-praised The LEGO Movie for Best Animated Feature, as the Academy did this morning, the Broadcast Film Critics Association stood up and gave it the big prize. Instead of ignoring Gillian Flynn‘s adaptation of her Gone Girl novel, as the Academy did this morning, the Critics Choice guys gave Flynn their Best Adapted Screenplay award. The Academy declined to nominate Steve James‘ Life Itself, an affectionate portrait of the late Roger Ebert, for Best Documentary Feature, and tonight the BFCA give it that very award. And Birdman‘s Antonio Sanchez, whose all-percussion score was churlishly disqualified by the Academy’s music branch, won the Critics Choice Award for Best Score.
And Obvious Child‘s Jenny Slate, who gave one of the most engaging, deep-down female performances of the year, won Best Actress in a Comedy. No one expected the Academy to nominate her for Best Actress — she wasn’t in the conversation, had no backing, had barely campaigned — but it was great to see her win tonight. This and more to come.
Otherwise the Critics Choice Awards stayed right in the comfort zone, and probably foreshadowed many of the Oscar winners. Boyhood won Best Picture, Richard Linklater won the Best Director award, Birdman‘s Michael Keaton took the Best Actor award, Still Alice star Julianne Moore (who else?) won Best Actress, Whiplash‘s J.K. Simmons was named Best Supporting Actor, Boyhood‘s Patricia Arquette took Best Supporting Actress, etc. And Birdman‘s Emmanuel Lubezki won for Best Cinematography. And the Best Editing prize went to Birdman‘s Douglas Crise and Stephen Mirrione.
I respectfully disagree with the BFCA’s decision to give the Best Foreign Language Film to Force Majeure.