Yesterday I watched the Critics’ Choice Awards on Vh1 and I was pleasantly surprised. To me, it’s an ideal awards ceremony. Low-key (only 14 years running) yet many top stars attend. Not nearly as long or grating as the Oscars: no host as far as I can tell, and they spent about 15-20 seconds tops recapping each nominee (snapshot-style video graphics which I liked a lot). After announcing the winners they still gave award recipients time enough to say their acceptance speech and thank yous without drowning them out in wrap-it-up music (NSFW). I could hardly believe they spent 10 minutes on Richard Gere’s work with Tibet.
And the winners were? Slumdog Millionaire swept quite a few, including best picture, best writer and best director (Danny Boyle), Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married) and Meryl Streep (Doubt) tied for best actress, Sean Penn (Milk) for best actor, Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight) for best supporting actor and Kate Winslet (The Reader) for best supporting actress.
Awards shows aren’t everything, but they do help people decide which films might be worth watching. I can definitely say that the nominated films for the Critics’ Choice Awards are firmly at the top of my list. I suppose this gala counts less than the Golden Globes or Academy Awards–there are many fewer categories for example–but it was engrossing enough to keep me in on a Friday night and I look forward to it next year.