Octavia Spencer was given a huge Oscars boost at the Critic's Choice Awards in Los Angeles on Thursday (12Jan12) when she picked up the night's first award.
Spencer beat The Help co-star Jessica Chastain, Shailene Woodley, Carey Mulligan, Berenice Bejo and Melissa MCCarthy to pick up the Best Supporting Actress honour.
And Oscars favourite Christopher Plummer was also an early winner - he was named the Best Supporting Actor for his role in Beginners.
Accepting his trophy, he joked, "Being honoured by a critic is like being on a three-week binge with the enemy... but I'm cool about it."