The 26th Annual Critics' Choice Awards
The 26th Annual Critics' Choice Awards
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Blends in accurately with the low level of recent awards ceremonies
Here we have "The 26th Annual Critics' Choice Awards" and the title is pretty self-explanatory I guess. This is an awards show and thes in charge of voting this time were the critics. This one takes place every year and this means it started almost three decades ago already and with such tradition, it is fairly disappointing to see a rather weak outcome here. But then again, the Golden Globes or Grammys have existed for way longer and have been even worse lately. But back to this one here: It was actually on television last night and the entire thing ran for no less than three hours, which is definitely a lot. Still it must be said that a great deal of it was commercials. Normally I watched the recording, but I went for it live last night, so I think it was good that the commercial breaks were pretty short, but there were simply too many and that just wasn't acceptable. I think that overall the commercial breaks maybe went on for almost an hour, 45-50 minutes definitely. I don't think it is acceptable with such a quantity. Besides, you could say that it's good news the content was sometimes linked to film and actors at least, but I already had enough with Viola Davis' first "uplifting" speech on tolerance and ambitions. It could not have been any more generic. At least there is a mute button.But we want to talk about the show here I guess. I will just do some brainstorming about what stayed on my mind from last night. Should be a lot because it wasn't even 24 hours. Unfortunately, most of it was negative. This includes Taye Diggs' hosting. Did almost nothing for me. Very weak opening. His material, also for the rest of the show, was nothing remotely special and I cannot say I regret that I am not really familiar with him. So the big question for me here is why they keep picking him as he hosted already previous editions. Maybe the right choice in terms of ethnicity debates, political correctness and other subjects, but even with that approach they could (or should) pick many others first. Creativity I cannot see with him at all. The director here was Emmy winner Richard A. Preuss. Very prolific man, first as second unit director and assistant director, but now he also gets selected as the man in charge for fairly big events. I guess we can call this one here a big event. It's certainly among the ten biggest awards shows of the year I suppose, maybe even five if we are talking movie awards only. I mean it is not to be taken for granted that this has aired live on national television for years now and as I am a critic myself, I like it that this show is getting some decent coverage. Alrightey, I personally believe the first half of the show was okay. I even considered giving two more stars and this would have resulted in a positive recommendation. It felt pretty essential in the first 90 minutes (or 60 minutes if we don't count commercials). The focus was on the awards and not much else. That's basically how it should be.But things went south considerably in the second half. For example, I really don't like it when they rush in certain categories and just quickly say who won. I understand another hour would not have been a great choice either, but how about fewer commercial breaks perhaps? Stuff like cinematography and foreign language feature and many other categories honestly deserve more dignity in how they are treated. Come on, even the two screenplay categories were rushed in. At least, they also depicted all the nominees. The one thing I found okay was that this show did not become too political honestly. It could have been way worse from this perspective. The only truly cringeworthy moment, maybe the worst from the entire show, was when we got a Batman/Black man joke, a little play on words that went all kinds of wrong. The random scenes with Sterling K. Brown rambling about race really lowered my interest in This Is Us. I mean he's the most lauded one even. This show now seems to be on course to a pseudo-important soap opera for me. With or without Mandy. Anyway, Carey Mulligan's mention of Women's Day was alright. By the way, good for her she got rewarded for staying up all night long. I've always liked her and I'd be glad if she wins the Oscar too. Wide open category. With Davis you never know and McDormand would probably be a safe winner now if she hadn't just won one not too long ago. But Nomadland is now safer than ever on the road to Best Picture glory, so maybe her shares rise again too. Audra Day is also certainly still in the race with her Golden Globe win. Bakalove lost at the Golden Globes, but this was maybe just category confusion. Supporting Actress, especially after last night, she may still be the most likely choice.Another one who stayed up all night was Gillian Anderson and she got rewarded too for that. She is shooting in Prague now apparently. Big wins for The Crown as well as The Queen's Gambit. As well as Ted Lasso and Schitt's Creek on the comedy side, so very similar results to the Golden Globes. Never a good day though if Dan Levy wins an award. I find him so unauthentic, but maybe it's just me. Oh one very general thing I forgot is that a few weeks ago there was a show with the same name like this one here, but they added the word "super" in the title. Now that one was truly unwatchable. Basically a critics choice awards show aimed at younger audiences. Went all kinds of wrong and so bizarre that they come up with a new awards show (and one nobody really needed) during a pandemic. This one here, the original, was not as bad luckily. Back to the contents now: What else can I say? Oh yes, I think that with the key categories they really should have come up with better people announcing the winners. Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Orlando Bloom really? Bialik and Sedgwick and Metz and Bassett and Longoria and Handler and Gadot are also not exactly elite talent-wise gently speaking. And there were several others where I must say I had no clue who they were.At least, Morgan Freeman got a brief inclusion and I am glad he is not completely ousted because he is not 100% mainstream and not 100% in accordance with the media on crucial subjects. Haven't seen him in quite a while. Kevin Bacon is also always nice to see and even if I am not sure if his presentation was a bit of propaganda against the previous President of the United States, I liked it. The idea of people calling other their "best friends" constantly is as obnoxious as it gets. Oh and Zeta-Jones, she was the worst. I mean her random rambling about the amount of awards the nominees had been nominated for or won over their careers was a joke really. And not a good one. Basically the epitome of politically convenient fake news and she should not get away with that. Like not just inaccurate, but also incredibly unfunny. One thing I liked here was how the nominated songs found some nice inclusions during this show. I still wonder if Diane Warren can finally win an Oscar. She won at the Globes, but lost last night. Maybe her song is not political enough. We will see. The male acting categories are safe for African American actors it seems. Boseman and Kaluuya are on the road to oscar glory now. May the former rest in peace. As for Kaluuya, it is pretty remarkable because his first Oscar nomination (for Get Out) was one that was probably really close as he wasn't a safe bet at all, but now he will probably do even better this time around and, as of now, it would be a surprise if he loses.But back to the Critics' Choice Awards: I still don't like it when they keep mentioning that there are so many women nominated for director. Has a touch of genderism and goes away from the equality element they pretend to be promoting. I am still happy for Chloe Zhao. She seems to be really talented and I also liked an earlier work from her. Also nice to see and hear that, on one occasion, somebody even mentioned other groups than Blacks when it came to diversity during this broadcast. Asians were included in this mention. Still far from complete and very superficial, but at least slight improvement compared to other occasions where you could thing that thheer are only Black and White people out there. One thing I did not like here was that they had really many nominees. Just stay with five. Six max if there is a tie in nominations. The only winners tie came for standup comedy that night. I am glad Seinfeld won, the woman who won I found fairly unfunny honestly from the little bit I saw, but I guess the one other nominee would have been even worse, the one trying to tell us that Bridesmaids is an all-time comedy classic. Sigh. Another prime example of how the pursuit of equality turns into absurdity. It is not just a good film alone for the fact that it is female-centered. They also need to deliver quality. But enough of that. In any case, Richard Pryor over this mess of a movie anytime. I mean Maya Rudolph... Come on.What else? The little kid from Minari I like, even if the crying was a bit too much, but I hope it was authentic. Minari probably also would have easily won the Oscar in the foreign language category, but it's not in contention, so Denmark will probably triumph. Good for Mikkelsen. Him I like a lot and he was maybe the most talented presenter last night. Tony Hale and Jim Gaffigan were so-so. Samberg did nothing for me as usual. His joke on how he actually can't act felt cringeworthy because that is what I really feel is the truth. I mean he does play the same character in everything he's in, right? And he always delivers the exact same face expressions and mannerisms. How do the critics not see that? Zendaya received a non-competitive award. Could have been worse, she has grown on me a bit. And Mank won zero of its 12 (the leader there) nominations). Definitely a touch of True Grit there. I guess this is it then, a weak awards ceremony overall, one you'd probably want to skip. I give the outcome here a thumbs-down.
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