The 26th Annual Critics Choice Awards

Taye Diggs ended the 26th Annual Critics Choice Awards with the words, “It’s been an unusual show and a weird year!”


It was also a year of some incredibly good movies.

(Taye Diggs, host of the 26th annual Critics Choice Awards)

26th Annual Critics Choice Awards


Just a few quick thoughts on the 26th Annual Critics Choice Awards from a member of the Critics Choice Association.


Let me begin by saying how proud I am to be a member of an organization consisting of 400 voting members representing both the film and television industries.


I’m on the movie side of the organization and it is a joy to be involved in the screenings of the year’s best movies. That is particularly the case with regard to the movies of 2020.


When it came time to cast the final votes last week, I really struggled with some of the choices. While I thought I had already made up my mind, I found myself in a dilemma as I stared at the final list.


I was reminded what a great year 2020 was. Each awards category represented a tight pack of competition.

While I did not predict all the winners, I can’t say that I was disappointed with the final voting and tabulation.


Unlike previous years, I really couldn’t argue with the selections, even when they didn’t agree with mine.


All the nominees had earned their place on the various lists. They were all deserving of attention and recognition.

(Best Actor nominees. Photo courtesy Critics Choice Association)


As for the show itself, it is yet another victim of the pandemic and the collateral damage of social distancing and safety protocols that have plagued us for a year.


The technical challenges are the same ones faced with the Golden Globe Awards recently. It’s tough to pull off one of these shows in the absence of a live audience and the crowd reaction that underscores the announcements.


While streaming allows you to do a show live, in real time, it comes with its own technical problems and limitations.

(Best Director nominees. Photo courtesy Critics Choice Association)


At best, the image and sound quality from all the remote locations is marginal at best, suffering from focus issues, lighting issues, video freezing, smearing and blurring. The audio is typically a little hard to hear.

(Best song nominees. Photo courtesy Critics Choice Association)


In the age of the coronavirus, we find ourselves recalibrating our expectations and accepting the fact that this is the best we can apparently do until things eventually get back to normal. Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen until after the upcoming Academy Awards Show.


In fairness, all the awards shows are struggling with these issues, and it’s a shame because part of what we tune in to see is the glitziness and glamour associated with all things Hollywood.

(Carey Mulligan, Best Actress. Photo Courtesy Critics Choice Association)


Despite that, the show was a testament to a year of remarkable movies with Nomadland being at the top of the heap.


It won for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Cinematography and Best Adapted Screenplay.


Surprisingly, Frances McDormand did not win Best Actress in a Leading Role for Nomadland. In my estimation, she deserved it.


Just for the record, I always find it interesting when movie awards are bestowed each year and the movie that wins Best Picture doesn’t also win for Best Director, Best Actor or Actress, Best Cinematography, etc.


I love engaging in fun conversations with friends and colleagues about how a movie could be the Best Picture and not win the other categories. Of course it happens occasionally, but only rarely.


I was a big fan of Nomadland this year. For me, it was the stand-apart movie that transcended the more mainstream films.


There was a simplicity and honesty that I rarely see in movies. The raw, unfiltered performances and the decision to cast non-professional performers was noteworthy.


Frances McDormand showed once again what an immense talent she is. And she made it look effortless.


It was a movie with a unique vision that reflected a masterful control of each and every frame of film. It was an astonishing effort on the part of Chloe Zhao who won the Golden Globe Best Director Award.

(Chloe Zhao, Best Director. Photo courtesy Critics Choice Association)

I think it’s fair to say that the momentum is building for Chloe Zhao and Nomadland and their chances of winning big in the upcoming Academy Awards.


But it’s going to be a tight race.


As mentioned, the nominees in each of the categories of the Critics Choice Awards competition tonight were all deserving of recognition.


I sincerely mean that. There were all outstanding movies.


If you love movies, I would recommend seeing each and every one of them. In my mind, they were all winners.

(Andy Samberg, Star of Best Comedy 'Palm Springs.' Photo courtesy Critics Choice Association)

26th ANNUAL CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS--FILM CATEGORIES


BEST PICTURE

Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)


BEST ACTOR

Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)


BEST ACTRESS

Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros.)


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Amazon Studios)


BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS

Alan Kim – Minari (A24)


BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)


BEST DIRECTOR

Chloé Zhao – Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)


BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Chloé Zhao – Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Joshua James Richards – Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)


BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Donald Graham Burt, Jan Pascale – Mank (Netflix)


BEST EDITING – TIE

Alan Baumgarten – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)

Mikkel E. G. Nielsen – Sound of Metal (Amazon Studios)


BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Ann Roth – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)


BEST HAIR AND MAKEUP

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)


BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Tenet (Warner Bros.)


BEST COMEDY

Palm Springs (Hulu and NEON)


BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Minari (A24)


BEST SONG

Speak Now – One Night in Miami (Amazon Studios)


BEST SCORE

Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and Jon Batiste – Soul (Disney)

About the Critics Choice Association (CCA)

The Critics Choice Association is the largest critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 400 television, radio and online critics and entertainment reporters. It was established in 2019 with the formal merger of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, recognizing the blurring of the distinctions between film, television, and streaming content. For more information, visit: www.CriticsChoice.com.




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