Critics Choice Awards give ‘Palm Springs’ a golden opportunity to pull off win over ‘Borat’

When the 2021 Critics Choice Awards winners are revealed Sunday, March 7, might “Palm Springs” avenge its Golden Globes loss to “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” last week? Don’t count out Neon’s beloved romantic comedy just yet. After all, this Andy SambergCristin Milioti starrer has a 94% score at Rotten Tomatoes based on more than 200 glowing reviews. Viewers didn’t just like it when they streamed it on Hulu — they loved it.

“Palm Springs” faces off against “Borat 2,” “The 40-Year-Old Version,” “The King of Staten Island,” “On the Rocks” and “The Prom” in the race for Best Comedy Film at the 26th annual edition of these kudos. According to Gold Derby’s Critics Choice odds, “Palm Springs” and “Borat 2” are the ones to beat in this close race. They’re the only nominees with individual support from our Experts, Editors, Top 24 Users and All-Star Users.

Samberg plays Nyles in “Palm Springs,” a man caught in a time loop on the day of his friends’ wedding. As the time loop progresses, he grows closer and closer to Milioti’s character Sarah, the sister of the bride. One of the best aspects of the rom-com is that it never gets bogged down by its absurd premise. Instead, “Palm Springs” actually uses the kooky sci-fi aspects as a way for the audience to get to know its characters more.

The Broadcast Film Critics Association has handed out trophies for Best Comedy Film since 2005. Popular winners through the years with similar styles to “Palm Springs” include “Juno” (2007), “Tropic Thunder” (2008), “The Hangover” (2009), “Bridesmaids” (2011) and “Crazy Rich Asians” (2018). Unlike the Golden Globes, there is no corresponding category for Best Drama Film, but instead an overall Best Picture race where everything is allowed to compete, including comedies.

However, “Palm Springs” fans need to remember that the original “Borat” claimed the Best Comedy Film prize in 2006. Will Critics Choice voters want to do a repeat here and give “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” a bookend trophy, or will they instead branch out and honor something new since they already coronated Sacha Baron Cohen‘s Borat character 14 years ago? Stay tuned.

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