2023 Critics Choice Awards recap: Best and worst moments

The 2023 Critics Choice Awards ended with what many expected: A win for “Everything Everywhere All At Once” in the Best Picture category.

The A24 movie took home five awards from the Critics Choice Awards on Sunday night, including Best Picture, Best Director for the Daniels, Best Supporting Actor for Ke Huy Quan, Best Original Screenplay for the Daniels, and Best Editing.

While Quan was the only acting winner from “Everything Everywhere,” he wasn’t the film’s only performance nominee. Michelle Yeoh was nominated for Best Actress, but lost to Cate Blanchett for “TAR.” Stephanie Hsu and Jamie Lee Curtis were nominated for Best Supporting Actress, but both lost to Angela Bassett for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” The other acting winner was Brendan Fraser for “The Whale,” besting Best Actor contenders like Colin Farrell and Austin Butler.

Those results are good news for the Oscar campaigns of the winners. The Critics Choice Awards have presaged Oscar wins roughly 70 percent of the time. Last year, the more than 500 members in the group correctly anticipated Oscar wins in all four acting categories (Will Smith, Jessica Chastain, Troy Kotsur, and Ariana DeBose) and Best Director (Jane Campion). But the group missed Best Picture, which was awarded to “The Power of the Dog” at the Critics Choice Awards but eventually went to “CODA” at the Academy Awards. Over the group’s 27-year history until now, the Critics Choice Awards have previewed 15 Best Picture Oscar winners as well presaged 22 Best Director, 18 Best Actor, 15 Best Actress, 17 Supporting Actor, and 19 Supporting Actress wins.

Below, enjoy our 2023 Critics Choice Awards recap – and head here for the full winners’ list. All times noted below are Eastern.

9:57 p.m.Chelsea Handleris back to close out the show with the Critics Choice Award for Best Picture. “Everything Everywhere All At Once” is the winner, its fifth award of the night. The room explodes and makes us wonder: Is there anything that can stop this one on the way to the Oscars? We’ll find out!

9:53 p.m.: Best Actress seems like it’s down to Cate Blanchett vs. Michelle Yeoh and while both women won at the Golden Globe Awards this week, only one could win on Sunday. Normally, this might have been a spot for a Critics Choice Awards tie, but instead, a decision was made: Blanchett won for “TAR” and gave an acceptance speech that questioned the purpose of televised awards shows since so many actors produce so many wonderful performances.

“It’s extremely arbitrary considering how many extraordinary performances that have been by women not only in this room but, you know… the extraordinary creative conversation. I can’t believe I’m up here. This is ridiculous. I am so old,” Blanchett said with her customary self-depreciation. “Why don’t we just say there is a whole raft of female performances that are in concert and in dialogue with one another? And stop the televised horse race of it all. Can I tell you, every single woman… in television, film, advertising, tampon commercials, whatever. You are doing amazing work that is inspiring me continually. Thank you. I share this with you all.”

9:41 p.m.: The moment many have been waiting for finally happened. Brendan Fraser got to give a televised acceptance speech for his acclaimed performance in “The Whale.” This is Fraser’s first significant victory in awards season after Colin Farrell was a dominant force in the critics’ groups’ prizes and won at the Golden Globes. (Farrell won in the Globes comedy category, while Fraser lost to Austin Butler for “Elvis” in the drama category). Fraser opened his acceptance speech with a quote from Herman Melville, the “Moby Dick” author who factors heavily in “The Whale.” “There are only five critics in America. The rest are sleeping,” Fraser said, before clarifying. “I don’t know what it means either, but I’m sure glad you woke up for me.” He then joked, “Where were you for ‘Furry Vengeance’?” Fraser’s speech was a Great Moment — the kind of awards season speech that seemingly can make a difference in a close race. “I was in the wilderness and I probably should’ve left a trail of breadcrumbs,” Fraser said of director Darren Aronofsky. “But you found me… and you merely just showed me where to go to get to where I needed to be.” As he walked off, numerous attendees gave him a standing ovation.

9:34 p.m.: An upset? Maybe? The Daniels won Best Director(s) for “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” besting possible Oscar fave Steven Spielberg for “The Fabelmans” as well as fellow Directors Guild Award nominees like Todd Field (“TAR”) and Martin McDonagh (“Banshees of Inishirin”).

9:24 p.m.: “The Dropout” wins Best Limited Series, which allows creator Liz Meriwether to get off one of the best lines of the night: “Thank you, Mike White, for not being nominated in this category.”

9:14 p.m.: With the show seemingly running ahead of schedule, and so many awards quickly announced during the toss to commercial breaks, clips have returned to the Critics Choice Awards. Before the winner of Best Drama Series is announced, quick glimpses of the shows are shown — what a concept! Anyway, “Better Call Saul” wins Best Drama Series.

9:08 p.m.Zendaya wins Best Drama Actress for “Euphoria” but, as with the Golden Globes, she’s not in attendance to accept.

9:01 p.m.: Better call Bob… up to the stage? (I don’t know either.) Bob Odenkirk wins Best Drama Actor for critical favorite “Better Call Saul.” Odenkirk, who has never won an Emmy for the acclaimed role, is up to his third Critics Choice Award. “When you see me acting, you’re not watching talent; you’re watching elbow grease,” Odenkirk says in a great speech.

8:54 p.m.: Seth Rogen blasted the Critics Choice Awards for giving out two awards at once and mocked The CW as a viable network. “That was weird,” he said. “Why do they do that? Are we crunched for time? Get another hour! It can’t be that expensive. You know how I know that? This show airs at 4 p.m. on the CW. That cannot be pricey… timeslot, from my understanding of how this all works.”

“I’m not saying the CW is bad. What I will say, it is the one network to receive zero Critics Choice nominations — you are saying it’s bad,” he added. “We’re on your least favorite network. How did that happen? Nominate yourselves next time, you’d have won. No one will think it’s weird, they’ll think it’s fine.”

The comedy star then gave out Best Comedy to “Abbott Elementary.” Huzzah.

8:49 p.m.: The Critics Choice Awards didn’t love the actors of “Abbott Elementary” as much as the Golden Globes. After Henry Winkler topped Tyler James Williams in the Comedy Supporting Actor category, Jean Smart bested Quinta Brunson in the Comedy Actress category. Smart, who won for “Hacks,” was not present to accept her award. Jeremy Allen White, however, was — and good thing, too, since he won for “The Bear” in the Comedy Actor category.

8:31 p.m.: Filling in for Michelle Pfeiffer in giving Jeff Bridges his lifetime achievement award is John Goodman. The “Big Lebowski” star seems genuinely happy to be there to honor his longtime buddy. “Jeff Bridges is a legend,” Goodman says. Who could argue with that?

8:22 p.m.: Remember Jude Hill? The young star of “Belfast” is back at the Critics Choice Awards, where he won Best Young Actor last year, to present Best Animated Feature to “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.

8:15 p.m.: Only the Critics Choice Awards would give out screenplay honors heading into a commercial break? I’m actually asking. In lieu of speeches and presentations, the film screenplay awards, as well as winners for Song, Score, and Costume Design, were revealed in quick succession before a commercial block. The Daniels won for Original Screenplay for “Everything Everywhere” (an upset over “Banshees of Inishirin” and Martin McDonagh), while Sarah Polley won for Adapted Screenplay for “Women Talking.” Costume Design went to Ruth E. Carter for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” Score was given to Hildur Guðnadóttir for “TAR,” an honor she can’t win at the Oscars since the score isn’t eligible (Guðnadóttir can get nominated for “Women Talking,” however).

8:11 p.m.: In her latest step to what would be a historic Oscar win, Angela Bassett wins the Critics Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” In her speech, Bassett paid tribute to Black actresses “with extraordinary talent” like Ruby Dee and Cecily Tyson and fought back against the play-off music to recognize the late Chadwick Boseman.

8:03 p.m.: In what has become as fundamental to 2023 awards ceremonies as formal wear, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” star Ke Huy Quan wins Best Supporting Actor for his comeback work in the film. The former “Indiana Jones” star gives yet another heartfelt speech about his return to the industry. Last year, the Critics Choice Awards correctly anticipated that Troy Kotsur would win this award at the Oscars. The odds are good Quan follows suit.

7:52 p.m.: With Oscar voting happening right now, any public visibility can help boost an underdog contender. But when that public visibility is as moving and exceptional as Janelle Monae‘s speech in accepting the Critics Choice Awards SeeHer honor? It’s arguably that could have an impact on a close Best Supporting Actress race. “To anyone out there, like me, watching right now, I just want you to know that I see you. But I challenge you to see you,” Monae said after discussing how her success in life was anything but assured. It is a big night for Netflix so far, with Monae getting honored here and “Glass Onion” winning two awards that seemed earmarked for “Everything Everywhere All At Once” — Best Ensemble and Best Comedy.

7:39 p.m.: Now we’re cooking with gas. The supporting actor and actress winners in the TV comedy category are Henry Winkler (“Barry”) and Sheryl Lee Ralph (“Abbott Elementary”).

7:33 p.m.: Another two awards for TV excellence are given out at once. In Best Limited Series/TV Movie Supporting Actor and Actress, the winners are Paul Walter Hauser for “Black Bird” and Niecy Nash-Betts for “Dahmer — Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story.” In her acceptance speech, Nash-Betts said she wanted to humbly tell those who doubted her prowess as a dramatic actress to stick this win in their face. Respect.

7:23 p.m.: Here’s a fun twist to the usual winner announcements: Rather than hand out Best Drama Supporting Actor and Best Drama Supporting Actress separately, presenters Quinta Brunson and Sarah Hyland were told to do both at once. “Not my idea,” Brunson quipped. The winners were Giancarlo Esposito for “Better Call Saul” and Jennifer Coolidge for “The White Lotus.” Unlike at the Golden Globes, where Coolidge gave a lengthy speech that went immediately viral, the “White Lotus” actress and Emmy Award winner kept things relatively brief and urged people to not give up on their dreams.

7:15 p.m.: “RRR” wins Best Foreign Language Film to the delight of Film Twitter and those in attendance at the Critics Choice Awards. Director S.S. Rajamouli accepted the award and dedicated it to all the women in his life

7:13 p.m.Amanda Seyfried wins Best Limited Series/TV Movie Actress for “The Dropout.” Unlike last week at the Golden Globes, when Seyfried was “deep in the process of creating a new musical” and couldn’t attend the ceremony, Seyfried was present. In her acceptance speech, she thanked “The Dropout” creator Liz Meriwether and director Michael Showalter.

7:00 p.m.: At the Golden Globes, host Jerrod Carmichael opened the ceremony with a monologue that had many attendees and home viewers uncomfortably laughing. For the Critics Choice Awards, host Chelsea Handler stuck with more obvious jokes. Here was one: “It is an honor to be here hosting tonight after everything that we’ve all been through together over the past few years, between COVID, Monkeypox, the ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ press tour,” Handler joked. “It’s been a lot.”

Then this one: “I don’t wanna say that studios treat male and female directors differently, but James Cameron was given a budget of $350 million dollars [for ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’] and Sarah Polley had to film ‘Women Talking’ in a barn.”

Another zinger, directed at Cate Blanchett: “Cate, as far I am concerned you should win an Oscar for being alive.”

As Gold Derby news and features editor Ray Richmond wrote in our group Slack channel: “That’s an old-fashioned, kick-ass awards show monologue. Best I’ve seen in a long time.”

6:44 p.m.: Let’s talk about the show! Who is presenting at the Critics Choice Awards? Well, Bridges and Janelle Monae will receive special tributes from the Critics Choice Awards. Presenters scheduled to appear include Kate Hudson (who will give Monae the Critics Choice Association’s SheHer Award), Benjamin Bratt, Quinta Brunson, Cedric the Entertainer, Misha Collins, Claire Danes, Phoebe Dynevor, Ayo Edebiri, Eve Hewson, Jude Hill, Tyler Hoechlin, Sharon Horgan, Sarah Hyland, Troy Kotsur, Diego Luna, Natasha Lyonne, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Aubrey Plaza, Jean Smart, Anya Taylor-Joy, Miles Teller, Elizabeth Tulloch, Kerry Washington, Jeremy Allen White, and more.

6:36 p.m.: Another star down with the coronavirus is Michelle Pfeiffer, who was scheduled to present Jeff Bridges with the Critics Choice Awards lifetime achievement award. “I’m so sorry to be missing the Critics Choice Awards today. Yep, Covid,” Pfeiffer wrote on Instagram. “Especially disappointed not to witness [Bridges] receive his Lifetime Achievement Award. Pauline [Kael] said it best – “He (Jeff) may be the most natural and least self-conscious actor that has ever lived.” EVER LIVED. It is what all actors strive for, and Jeff hits it every time…with every role that he slips into. Congratulations Jeff and to all the nominees!” Shortly after Pfeiffer bowed out, it was revealed by Deadline that all Critics Choice Awards attendees would have to submit a negative COVID test taken within the last 72 hours to attend. The requirement change came within hours of the red carpet opening.

6:34 p.m.: The first awards of the night have been handed out — prior to the ceremony and unacknowledged via the official Critics Choice Awards Twitter account. But! The winner of Best Comedy Film and Best Ensemble is “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.” Congrats to the winners!

6:32 p.m.: While the stars walk the red carpet in the rain outside the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles, some notable people are absent due to coronavirus diagnoses. In the last few days, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” star and Best Supporting Actress nominee Jamie Lee Curtis, and “Banshees of Inishirin” stars and nominees Brendan Gleeson (Best Supporting Actor) and Colin Farrell (Best Actor) received positive COVID-19 test results. “F–k COVID!” Curtis wrote on Instagram. “Sadly, this head cheerleader is not going to be at all the weekend festivities cheering on her friends and colleagues. Life on life’s terms. I’m glad that there are all these home tests available so that I didn’t go to the [AFI] lunch and spread my germs. I was SO looking forward to going to the [BAFTA] tea and the [Critics Choice] awards as a nominee and member of a motley crew! I’m so proud of these people, and I look forward to cheering them on through my TV set. Stay safe out there people.”

6:30 p.m.: Welcome to the show! This year’s ceremony is hosted by Chelsea Handler, who told The Hollywood Reporter that she would treat her audience with a modicum of respect. “I’m not going to make fun of anyone’s children or make fun of people for having children. I think that’s off-limits,” she said. “It’s not going to be taking the piss out of people and embarrassing them. That’s what stand-up is for, that’s what your personal Instagram is for, if you’re into that. It’s not about making anyone feel uncomfortable, especially for me, since everybody’s expecting me to make people feel uncomfortable.”

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