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2019 Critics’ Choice Awards makes history with two ties

January 18, 2019

The 24th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards, one the best predictors of the Academy Awards nominations, took place this past weekend in the star-studded late afternoon at the Banker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif.

As a new member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, not only do I have a vote in each and every film category, I have the privilege of attending this stellar event.

Awaiting the stars’ arrival in the lounge, the room quickly filled with recognizable faces such as Emily Blunt, Jake Johnson, Willem Dafoe, Spike Lee, Adam Driver, Amy Adams and more. The room’s din grew with sounds of laughter and excitement of what was to come.

Slowly filing into the huge venue, round white-cloaked tables with dinner already placed, awaited the audience members. Taye Diggs, the host of the gala, entertained the packed-to-capacity venue with his style, humor and even a little singing and dancing.

On a more serious note, Diggs reminded the audience of the ever-growing inclusivity of the film industry, exemplified by the film nominations this year of “Blackkklansman,” “Crazy Rich Asians” and “If Beale Street Could Talk.”

The awards were presented, but it was the commercial breaks that allowed everyone to freely flow and chat with one another. Celebrities embraced their friends, and many took the time out to talk with the critics who were responsible for their attendance at the ceremony. There were only a few stars with bodyguards, but most were happy to snap a photo or receive verbal accolades for their current and past work.

And if you think the stars can’t be starstruck, think again. Glenn Close nearly shouted and jumped up and down in her seat with joy when Paul Schrader (“First Reformed”) came over to say congratulations to her.

Close has had an impressive year with her Golden Globe Award and now her Critics’ Choice Award for her performance in “The Wife,” tying in the category of Best Actress with Lady Gaga.

Never before had there been a tie, and this year, the Critics’ Choice Awards had two — Patricia Arquette (“Escape at Dennamora”) and Amy Adams (“Sharp Objects”) tied for Best Actress in a Limited TV Series.

Both women received standing ovations, not only for their respective wins, but for their eloquence in their acceptance speeches as they reiterated the importance of lifting one another, as women, to help create a better environment and more opportunities in this industry.

The big winner, not surprisingly, was Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma,” and I had a chance to talk with the rather meek and humble writer-director-cinematographer before the show, wishing him luck but quickly adding that I was sure he didn’t need it. He sweetly countered, saying he always needs some luck.

His gentle and casual demeanor certainly was unexpected and very welcoming, allowing me to understand how he must enable his actors to feel. Cuaron took home four Critics’ Choice Awards: Best Picture, Best Foreign Picture, Best Cinematographer and Best Director, perhaps propelling him to soon collect many Academy Award nominations. “Vice” and “Black Panther” also did well with three wins apiece.

As the official ceremony drew to a close, the party continued with critics and stars alike casually hanging out in the lounge. After all the hard work, it seemed that no one wanted to see the evening end.

For more photos from the event, check out reelhonestreviews.com.

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