Whilst I was never planning to make predictions for the Critics Choice Awards, I have wanted to do a reaction piece on what they did decide to nominate. I am glad that I am doing it, because it seems like there is a lot to talk about here. This will certainly not cover everything, but I hope it does give a few points of discussion related to these awards.
Too Many Nominees Per Category
I just wish the Critics Choice had some shape to their category numbers. To have eight nominees in a single category outside of Best Picture, as well as the random amount between numerous categories, makes it hard to keep track and also makes each nomination feel less valuable. I understand pushing it to six with potential ties, but the current number is a bit too much and inconsistent.
Shaping Up the Best Picture Line-Up
The Critics Choice Awards have always been a great predictor for what will make the Best Picture line-up, usually only missing one film from the final list. Some of what we assumed were the big contenders, including The Father, Soul, and Judas and the Black Messiah ended up missing here, putting them in danger of potentially missing out on Oscar nomination morning. Instead, Da 5 Bloods and News of the World become contenders again as they make the list alongside the big favourites. It will be interesting to see what happens when the other Guild Awards and the BAFTAs announce their nominations.
Actors That Are Back in the Race
Several actors and actresses have made their first appearances in the major awards season race now, particularly one from each acting race. We have Delroy Lindo for Da 5 Bloods, Zendaya for Malcolm & Marie, Paul Raci for Sound of Metal, and Ellen Burstyn for Pieces of a Woman. These four performances are some of my favourites of the year, so I hope this pattern continues from now on.
The Two “Frontrunners”
Whilst it is hard to consider anything a frontrunner yet, only two films have now had nominations for the Best Picture-equivalent races in the Golden Globes, SAG Awards, and Critics Choice: Minari and The Trial of the Chicago 7. Whilst Chicago 7 is not much of a surprise, it is nice to see Minari share that spot and slowly become a major contender.
The Power of Women
Following suit from the Golden Globes, the Critics Choice nominated the same three women in the Best Director line-up. This is huge, as it could become a major possibility that more than one woman will be nominated for the Best Director spots at the Oscars. It is certainly earned, but long overdue.