Here's What Went Down at the 2021 Critics Choice Awards
It's (a very anticlimactic) award season!
Nobody watched the Critics Choice Awards this year, it seems.
Instead, everyone was tuned into Meghan Markle's interview with Oprah, an exclusive tell-all that shamelessly exposed the Royal Family and their racism for the world to see.
And as the illusion of an empire was crumbling, actors were getting awards (lots for The Crown, ironically).
The Critics Choice Awards, which had been postponed from their earlier slate in January due to the pandemic, follow the Golden Globes in this year's virtual award show lineup. Typically, this is the award show where cast members sit around tables together getting drunk; and though this year lacked the same charm, we assume they were just drinking off camera and live-texting their cast group chats (that's what we'd be doing).
Hosted by Taye Diggs, the award show had fewer technical difficulties (Daniel Kaluuya got to give his speech unmuted this time) but also a few less viral moments (Jason Sudeikis's hoodie was less funny this time around).
The Critics Choice is usually a good litmus test for the Oscars, so it provided insight into how the rest of the season will go. The Crown and Nomadland continued to be the biggest winners, snatching up most of the night's biggest awards.
If you didn't watch it, here's what went down:
Uzo Aduba as Shirley Chisholm in Mrs America
Even More Diversity:
Less controversial than the Golden Globes, the Critics Choice awarded a more diverse set of winners.
Daniel Kaluuya won another Best Supporting Actor award for Judas and the Black Messiah, and other winners included Michael K. Williams for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for Lovecraft Country, John Boyega for Best Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie in Small Axe, and Uzo Aduba from Mrs. America for Best Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie.
Chloe Zhao continued her streak for Nomadland, winning Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. However, Andra Day, who surprisingly won Best Actress at the Globes, was beat out by previously expected winner, Carey Mulligan for Promising Young Woman.
Chadwick Boseman was again awarded posthumously for his role in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom with an emotional speech by his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward. She spoke about Chadwick's commitment to activism and representation saying, "Our society may be a far cry from great, but I know the seeds you planted will grow into forests and one day, we too will be tall enough to reach the heavens."
The diverse winners and the recognition of socially engaged films like Judas and the Black Messiah, The Trial of the Chicago 7, and Promising Young are small steps toward broader representation. Awards are not the end-all-be-all of culture, but they do go a long way in providing opportunities for underrepresented groups and less commercial storylines.
To Zendaya, with Love
Zendaya was awarded the SeeHer award. The award honors women who advocate for accurate representation of women in media, embodying the values of the SeeHer Movement. Only in its fifth year, previous winners of the award have been Kristen Bell, Viola Davis, Claire Foy, and Gal Gadot.
In her speech, Zendaya said: "I think as I was thinking of things to say, the only real thing I can think of is gratitude. This word kind of keeps coming to my mind, especially with the year everyone has had. To continue to be grateful for every single moment, big and small. To be grateful for the people in our world and in our life that make the work we do possible. To continue to make sure we hold onto our loved ones a little bit tighter, and make sure we call them, acknowledge them, tell them we love them. And take in moments like this."
Also nominated for Best Actress for Malcom & Marie, her award follows her first venture into producing. True to her values, Zendaya advocated for all crew members to get equity in the film and helped write the dialogue that shaped the complex and compelling character of Marie.
Almost as satisfying as the award were Zendaya's two different Valentino gowns. When the release of Dune was delayed in 2020, fans lamented the loss of Zendaya's legendary press tour outfits. However, the virtual Malcom & Marie press tour served some excellent waist-up looks and awards season is shaping up to be the gift that keeps on giving.
No Jason, not the newsies cap and unlit background...
Someone Stop Jason Sudeikis Before It's Too Late
Not serving looks: Jason Sudeikis. While his tie-dye hoodie and surprised, stoned speech for his new show, Ted Lasso, went viral after the Golden Globes, his lack of effort this time around was way less charming.
Inexplicably it was also paired with a hint of … bitterness? While before, it was almost sad (almost because my capacity to empathize with white male millionaires is low) to see him so unkempt in the wake of, you know, his fiancee leaving him for a 27 year old ex-boyband star.
However, this time Sudeikis donned a cursed newsies cap and "Rockets High School" hoodie, the fictional high school in Olivia Wilde's movie, Booksmart, and credited her for having the idea for his show in the first place. Wilde tweeted her congratulations in response, but the sincerity of it all was hard to parse.
Congrats to Jason and the entire Ted Lasso family on your @CriticsChoice wins! @jasonsudeikis @hanwaddingham… https://t.co/bDGEp8lE6G— olivia wilde (@olivia wilde) 1615177432
Despite the two never getting married, this interaction paired with the newsies cap just had big Divorced Man energy. If Sudeikis is doing to keep winning awards, someone needs to intervene.
Alan Kim Is the Highlight of this Year's Award Season
Every award season has its darling. Sometimes it's affable, relatable newcomers like Timothee Chalamet and Jennifer Lawrence in their heydays. But even better is when it's young stars like Quvenzhané Wallis, or this year's indisputable favorite: Alan Kim.
Kim has been ubiquitous on social media for his press appearances on Jimmy Kimmel Live, where he proudly showed off his purple Taekwondo belt and talked about losing some of his baby teeth, and for his WMag interview where he proudly claimed his love for Maroon 5 and Sonic the Hedgehog as his favorite actor.
Kim won the Best Young Actor award for his role in Minari and gave an endearing, tearful acceptance speech that was the highlight of the night. The 8-year old star thanked his family and castmates before crying, saying: "Is this a dream? Hope it's not a dream."
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