“Nomadland” topped the 2021 Critics Choice Awards.
The Searchlight film won four awards, including best picture and best director for helmer Chloé Zhao. With the awards coming shortly after the death of the film’s production sound mixer, Michael Wolf Snyder, Zhao paid tribute to him during her best director acceptance speech.
“The best moments of our day [were the] whole crew watching Wolf and he would say, ‘Get ready to go to your zen place.’ And we did. Thank you, Wolf, we honor you and we will see you down the road,” Zhao said.
Best actress and actor awards were given to Promising Young Woman‘s Carey Mulligan and the late Chadwick Boseman, respectively, with Boseman’s widow, Simone Ledward Boseman, accepting the award on his behalf.
“He may something about this story and the importance of black voices telling black stories,” Ledward Boseman, said via video about her late husband and what he might’ve said as he collected his latest win for his role in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom was the second-most-awarded film of the night, with three awards, followed by double winners Minari, Trial of the Chicago 7 and Promising Young Woman.
One of the show’s more memorable moments occurred when Minari actor Alan Kim broke down into tears as he appeared remotely, wearing a tiny tuxedo, to accept the award for best young actor/actress.
In the virtual press room, Kim said he wasn’t sure why he cried, but that the prize meant a lot because it was one of his first awards. The best part of making the Arkansas-set film, he said was “everything,” adding that the whole experience was “fun” but “hot.”
Minari also won best foreign-language film.
Sacha Baron Cohen accepted the best acting ensemble award for The Trial of the Chicago 7, thanking the real-life people that he and his co-stars play in the film and noting that history has a tendency to repeat itself unless people learn from it.
“I think an integral part of democracy is the need for peaceful protest, so as long as there will be democracies there’s always gonna be the need for the populace to go out and disagree in a peaceful way,” Baron Cohen said backstage.
Daniel Kaluuya won the first award of the night for his supporting role in Judas and the Black Messiah, thanking director Shaka King and co-stars LaKeith Stanfield and Dominique Fishback. He also thanked the Critics Choice Awards for championing Black Panther party chairman Fred Hampton’s legacy and messages.
An emotional Maria Bakalova accepted best supporting actress for her role in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm saying she couldn’t believe someone who grew up in Bulgaria was accepting that award and dedicated her win to little kids, telling them that the award shows the value of following your dreams.
In the virtual press room, Bakalova continued to express her amazement at where the Borat role had taken her.
“It’s a wild road and you never know where life may take you,” she said. “I can’t believe this is happening, it’s the perfect example of dream big and things might happen. Just being in the conversation of being nominated has been amazing for me.”
She also reflected on her headline-making scene with Rudy Giuliani, recalling how her heart was racing as they filmed it and she thought it showed, “we are all human and if we treated each other better with love and respect, the world would be a better place.“
Palm Springs star Andy Samberg seemed a bit surprised to accept the film’s award for best comedy, praising the other nominees in the category, which he said was particularly strong.
Though Mank went into the night up for a leading 12 awards, the film only won one category: best production design.
On the TV side, The Crown dominated the drama categories, winning best drama series, with Gillian Anderson, Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin all winning early awards for their performances in the Netflix series about the British royal family. In the comedy categories, Ted Lasso emerged victorious, winning three awards, including best comedy series. Star Jason Sudeikis, who also won best actor in a comedy series, appeared via video wearing another hoodie, after going viral for his hoodie ensemble during the Golden Globes last week.
(Excerpt) Read more in: The Hollywood Reporter