I wasn’t sure that “Everything Everywhere All at Once” could win Best Picture, but I can be sure now.
The A24 Multiverse comedy had a great night at the Critics’ Choice Awards, winning five statues, including Best Picture, Supporting Actor for Kay Hue Kwan, Director for Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, and Original Screenplay and Editing for Paul Rogers. It’s all happening as voting for the Oscar nominations ends on Tuesday.
The three-hour show, anchored very well by host Chelsea Handler, delivered a mixed bag of Golden Globe winners, with “The Fablemans” and “The Banshees of Inishrein” leading the list. Both movies were virtually shut out of the CCA, with “Fabelmans” taking the young actor only for Gabrielle LaBelle (a potential contender for a Best Actor nomination?) and nothing for “Banshees.” The only Globe repeats were for Best Actress Cate Blanchett and the “RRR” number for “Natu Natu” for Original Song.
Note: CCA members are not AMPAS voters. However, you have to go back to 2004 — when Martin Scorsese won best picture for directing and both supporting races for “The Aviator” and “Sideways” — to find CCA winners that were far from the Academy wrong.
Here are four things I learned from critics’ favorite winners.
Daniels did what they needed to do to get the Oscar nod.
Christopher Nolan (“The Dark Knight” and “Inception”), Ben Affleck (“Argo”), Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”) and directors branch pass watching cautiously optimistic or mild reward PTSD others; They can be high brow about who they let into their “exclusive” club. Casting Daniels as Steven Spielberg (“The Fablemans”) was a powerful statement for their campaign. I have been reluctant to predict the author duo in the section. Still, it would be sad to see them eliminated, especially since they led the Pioneers with nearly two dozen wins this season. I might be on board.
Brendan Fraser is going to be tough to beat.
I love awards shows, but I rarely get emotional when watching or attending. Fraser’s CCA win for “The Whale”, his emotional “Go to your feet, and go to the light” left me and the rest of the room reeling. The comeback story of the year continues to deliver, with the film growing after its PGA nom and strong SAG showing, with Hong Chow.
Fellow nominees Austin Butler (“Elvis”) and Colin Farrell (“The Banshees of Inisharine”), who both won Golden Globes, are still very competitive. SAG will tell us what we need to know (maybe).
Cate Blanchett may have won, but she may have tipped her hand in her acceptance speech.
Blanchett picked up her third CCA statue for “Her,” a particularly interesting development given the big night “Everything Happening All at Once” was overall. I caught a beautiful moment when Blanchett caught Michelle Yeoh’s table before greeting her and calling out their categories. However, on a night palpable with energy and joy, Blanchett’s speech, calling on the industry to “stop the television race of it all,” struck a bit of a sour note with social media and people in the room.
We’ve heard the “award show hawk” talking point, as Joaquin Phoenix once said. But what we see are those same figures, front and center in the ceremonies honoring them. Blanchett, a two-time Oscar winner for “The Aviator” (2004) and “Blue Jasmine” (2013), is now likely to win a third acting award, something only seven people in history have done. On top of that, there’s a good chance she’ll accomplish the feat against a field composed of women of color. In 94 years of Oscar winners for Best Actress, a black woman (Halle Berry) has won; There are zero Asians or Latinas. When you are actively campaigning to win a prize from the same “patriarchal pyramid” you condemn, it doesn’t seem genuine and seems ungrateful.
And because of this, Michelle Yeoh is still running fat. Your move, SAG.
The supporting sections are stitched.
Angela Bassett (“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”) and Kay Hui Kwan (“Everything Everything All at One”) walked away with their respective supporting categories; I’m not sure anything can stop them. The house lit up with excitement as the duo took to the stage.
Bassett’s long career and ongoing speeches have spurred her to make history as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first acting nominee, as well as possibly the oldest black woman to win for acting. Kwan’s comeback is a story we hope to see every award season. His potential win makes him the second Asian Oscar winner for supporting actor, after Heng Sngor for “The Killing Fields” (1984), and fifth in any acting category.
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see 2022-2023 Awards Season Calendar For all key dates and timelines.