The 17th Annual Critics Choice Movie Awards on Thursday (January 12, 2012) was an intriguing precursor to the highly anticipated Golden Globes, now just three days away. It was silent-film The Artist which scooped the evening's biggest award for Best Picture, though George Clooney continued his dominance over his fellow actors by winning the top gong for Alexander Payne's The Descendants.
Despite industry veterans such as Spielberg and Scorsese tipped for possible directing awards at next month's Oscars, the category now looks to be a two horse race, between Payne and Michel Hazanavicius, the man behind The Artist. It was the Frenchman who won the battle at last night's Critics Choice Movie Awards, later telling reporters, "Nobody expected that kind of response. And, the fact is we didn't calculate nothing.I mean, I think it was really a stupid idea. Because the trick, it was not an idea, it was a desire. And I really wanted to make that movie", according to the UK's Daily Telegraph. As mentioned, it was Clooney who took home the Best Acting honor, beating out his close friend Brad Pitt, who has received quiet praise for his role in baseball flick Moneyball. Speaking on the red-carpet at Thursday's bash, Clooney licked his lips at another battle with his old pal at the Globes, telling MTV News, "I'm sure there's a death match.Look, he's my buddy, so everything that happens that's good for him makes me very happy". In an interesting twist before the two biggest nights in Hollywood, the female-centric drama The Help landed three awards, including Best Actress for Viola Davis (beating Meryl Streep) and Best Supporting Actress for Octavia Spencer. 82-year-old screen legend Christopher Plummer won Best Supporting Actor for his role as a gay widower in Beginners - a win he is now almost certain to replicate at the Globes and Academy Awards. Graciously accepting his award, the Brit said, "Being honored by a critic is like being on a three-week binge with the enemy.It's pretty heady stuff, but I'm cool about it".
This year's awards season now rolls into Hollywood for the Golden Globes on Sunday, where British comedian Ricky Gervais is hosting the show for a third time - despite causing controversy in 2011.