Boyhood took home lots of hardware yet again at the BFCA Critics Choice Movie Awards. This group tends to reflect the consensus opinions as to how the Academy will vote at this point in the season, plus they're a large group, so their winner selections aren't without some significance. That said, there's still plenty of wiggle room for some underdog contender to make a move between now and February 22nd.
And then there are the specialty film categories. The BFCA honoured The LEGO Movie, Force Majeure, and Life Itself in the Best Animated, Foreign, and Documentary categories respectively, probably because all of them were the presumed frontrunners (or at least co-frontrunners) for the Oscar win... until all three of them got snubbed by the Academy! At least these races are still somewhat interesting at a stage of the season when most races start ossifying.
You can read some of my passing thoughts after the cut.
Okay, first passing thought: This show is terrible. Worse than usual. Whose idea was it to have Michael Strahan stripping on stage? And who "wrote" these "jokes"? Room does not seem to be feeling them.
Best Sci-Fi/Horror Film: Interstellar
Was pulling for Apes, but then I remembered: "Who the hell cares about the genre categories at the Critics Choice Awards?"
Best Original Screenplay: Birdman
I think the WGA and BAFTA might be more indicative of how Oscar will decide. Still have a gut feeling about Grand Budapest.
Best Adapted Screenplay: Gone Girl
Must be bittersweet for Flynn given this morning's unexpected Oscar snub.
Best Ensemble: Birdman
The most common choice amongst critic groups.
Best Young Actor/Actress: correction: Ellar Coltrane, Boyhood
Read at Variety that they had given it to Quvenzhane. Misinformed, apparently. Good for Ellar.
Best Actor, Action Movie: Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Not an action movie, but now how the BFCA love to anticipate the Oscars.
Best Actor, Action Movie: Emily Blunt, Edge of Tomorrow
Respectable choice in a non-respectable category. Blunt is bad-ass in this one.
Best Action Movie: Guardians of the Galaxy
I'll take it over American Sniper as far as action movies go.
Best Score: Birdman
They have Antonio Sanchez actually performing live drum music on the show. The one classy/inspired choice the BFCA has made.
Best Animated Feature: The LEGO Movie
Snubbed by AMPAS earlier today. This is a poor consolation prize.
Jessica Chastain accepts the innaugural MVP Award. The distinction itself feels like superfluous filler, but Chastain uses the opportunity to speak out on the need for diversity in the film industry. Is she subtly calling out the Academy for the uber-whiteness of this year's Oscar class? Even if not, it's a valuable message worth delivering on any occasion. She gets it.
Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Presenter Jared Leto rockin' the blue blazer. Arquette reads her speech again, but she thanked "the bloggers", so I'm obligated to give her a pass, right?
Best Original Song: "Glory", Selma
This one has to get the Oscar too, yes? It's fans won't allow it to go home empty-handed.
Time for an avalanche of craft categories, since they're not important enough to make the main telecast:
Best Cinematography: Birdman
Best Visual Effects: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Best Editing: Bridman
Best Production Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Costume Design: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Hair and Makeup: Guardians of the Galaxy
Best Documentary: Life Itself
Best Foreign Film: Force Majeure
Best Actor, Comedy: Michael Keaton, Birdman
Does this means the BFCA will give the main prize to Redmayne in Oscar anticipation? Keaton gets to give a droll acceptance speech all the same.
Best Actress, Comedy: Jenny Slate, Obvious Child
I'll have to take the word of those who've seen it that this movie is quite good and Slate is hilarious in it.
Best Comedy: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Just like at the Globes. Birdman picking up more hardware, but this movie is just more beloved overall.
Rene Russo and some auctioneer here who neither I nor anyone else in the room have ever heard of to present Kevin Costner's lifetime achievement award.
Best Director: Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Sweeper, unless Weinstein can pull off a huge coup at the DGA.
Best Actress: Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Lovely speech praising her fellow nominees, except she forgot Marion!
Best Actor: Michael Keaton, Birdman
On stage for the third time tonight, giving a very laid back speech. Singles out Ethan Hawke for some reason. Guess we know who he's voting for in supporting actor.
Best Picture: Boyhood
I gotta tell ya, what I've enjoyed most of all about the two televised wins for Boyhood is seeing Ethan Hawke getting up onstage with his cast mates, with a HUGE smile on his face. Doesn't seem to bother him at all that Richard and Patty are sweeping while he couldn't even buy a win in his category due to J.K., but these Best Picture victories are clearly making him excited. As someone with an enormous soft spot for Dead Poets Society, I am so happy for the dude.