Celebrating a Mulligan!: The Critics Choice Awards 2021

Published March 8, 2021, 7:08 PM

by Philip Cu Unjieng


As the run-up to this year’s delayed Oscars continues, on the heels of the Golden Globes last week, we feted the best in movie and television with the Critics Choice Awards this week.

This year’s Critics Choice Awards, hosted by Taye Diggs, happened earlier this morning March 8, Manila time; and in this season of the delayed awards show season due to the pandemic, it became the second so-called ‘predictor’ of what may happen come Oscars-time. The Oscars this year is set for April 25th, with the nominations announced on March 15, next week.

It may come as a surprise to many, but the Critics Choice is traditionally seen as the more reliable prognosticator. In the last five years, for the six major categories – the four Acting awards, the Best Director and Best Picture – the Critics Choice Association has voted in line with the eventual results of the Film Academy, 73 percent of the time. In fact, in the Best Supporting Actress category, Critics Choice has mirrored the Oscars without a single error since 2010.

Of course, everything with a grain of salt, as when the CC gets it wrong, they can do so in a big way. In 2019, for Best Actress, the CC called it a tie, and honored both Glenn Close (The Wife), and Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born); completely ignoring Olivia Colman for The Favorite who snagged the Oscar that year. But 73 percent is nothing to scoff about, and so let’s see who from Movie and Television won it big at the Critics Choice this year.

In Film, the big winner here was Carey Mulligan taking Best Actress; and how the minor awards were distributed evenly. No surprises here.

For Actress – Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman takes the prize, and this should push her back as a favorite for the Oscars. Andra Day got the GG for Drama last week, bit it’s more that Mulligan beat out the likes of Frances McDormand, Vanessa Kirby and Viola Davis that augurs well for Carey. In golf, a Mulligan is a penalty-free 2nd ball, and on this second awards show, a Mulligan ruled supreme.

For Actor – Chadwick Boseman for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. And honestly, as this is a posthumous award, I don’t see anyone upsetting this Boseman trend.

Best Comedy – Palm Springs, and this was a surprise over Borat Subsequent Moviefilm; but as the Oscars don’t separate Comedy from Drama, don’t expect Palm Springs to even be in the running for the Academy’s Best Picture.

Best Picture – Nomadland wins; and is this really a trend being created that can be sustained up to the Oscars?

Supporting Actress – won by Maria Bakalova of Borat SM, and that she beat out the likes of Olivia Colman (The Father), Amanda Seyfried (Mank), and Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy, could have us thinking the smart money would be on Bakalova should she snag an Oscar nomination. Remember, CC has mirrored Oscars in this category since 2010.

Supporting Actor – Daniel Kaluuya in Judas and the Black Messiah. Like Boseman, this makes it 2 for 2 for Kaluuya, and there’s no sympathy element here, so watch out for British-born Daniel to sweep.

Best Director – Chloe Zhao for Nomadland. And that’s also 2 for 2 for Chloe. Just happy there are three women with nominations – Chloe joins Regina King (One Night in Miami), and Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman).

Editing – joint winners in Sound of Metal and The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Best Acting Ensemble – Trial of the Chicago 7.

Cinematography – Joshua James Richards for Nomadland.

Young Performer – Alma S. Kim for Minari.

Visual Effects – Tenet wins.

Costume Design – Ann Roth for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Screenplay – Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman.

Composer – No surprise here, as it’s Soul, for Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross & Jon Batiste.

Song – Speak Now from One Night in Miami, performed by Leslie Odom, Jr.

Adapted Screenplay – Chloe Zhao for Nomadland.

Foreign Language Film – Minari.

Make-Up – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Production Design – Mank

For Television: Here again, things went pretty much to form. It’s a consolidation of sorts for Anya Taylor-Joy and Queen’s Gambit, plus a belated outpouring of love for the now-cancelled Schitt’s Creek.

Best Drama TV Series – The Crown takes this.

Best Actor in a Drama Series – Fresh from the GG win, its Josh O’Connor from The Crown.

Best Actress in a Drama Series – Emma Corrin for The Crown, also repeating her GG win.

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – to Michael K. Williams in Lovecraft Country.

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Gillian Anderson for The Crown.

Best Comedy Series – Ted Lasso.

Best Actor in a Comedy Series – Jason Sudeikis for Ted Lasso.

Best Actress in a Comedy Series – Catherine O’ Hara of Schitt’s Creek.

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Daniel Levy for Schitt’s Creek.

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Hannah Waddingham for Ted Lasso.

Best Limited Series – The Queen’s Gambit.

Best Movie Made for Television – Hamilton.

Best Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – John Boyega in Small Axe.

Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Anya Taylor-Joy for Thr Queen’s Gambit.

Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Donald Sutherland for The Undoing.

Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Uzo Aduba in Mrs. America.

Best Talk Show – Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Best Comedy Special – was a tie between Jerry Seinfeld: 23 Hours to Kill and Michelle Buteau: Welcome to Buteaupia.

Best Short Form Series – went to Better Call Saul: Ethics Training with Kim Wexler.

If anything, while the Globes jumped the gun for the likes of Boseman, Kaluuya, Zhao and her Nomadland, the Critics Choice may well be looked back as the one who first saw the Carey Mulligan express coming our way.