After the speech by Oprah Winfrey that nearly set off a presidential campaign and the many sharp comments about sexual harassment and pay inequality spoken by movie and TV stars at Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards, many observers watched the usually low-key Critics’ Choice Awards on Thursday for clues about whether the Time’s Up movement would continue to shape Hollywood’s self-celebratory season.
In a word: yes.
And yet the week’s second major award show, hosted by the Broadcast Critics Assn. in Santa Monica Airport’s Barker Hangar, struggled to find the right tone in the wake of the blatantly political Globes.
Host Olivia Munn, one of several women to accuse Brett Ratner of sexual impropriety, kicked off the night with a cringe-inducing “I can’t rap” rap featuring former “Saturday Night Live” cast member and "White Famous" star Jay Pharaoh.
Later, though, Munn was joined onstage by “Claws” star Niecy Nash to raise a glass to "all the good guys in Hollywood," including "the male casting directors who didn't ever say anything derogatory" in an audition and "that famous actor who didn't treat me like crap after I said I didn't want to get drinks with him after the show."
“Thank you to all of the men for speaking up at the Golden Globes and joining us —” began Nash before Munn cut her off to remind her that there hadn't been any.
The joke that hit hardest was one about Mark Wahlberg: “Thank you to the producers for paying Niecy and I the same amount of money and Mark Wahlberg a million dollars,” Munn said, a nod to his pay controversy for “All the Money in the World” reshoots. “He took a pay cut so it's really nice of him.” The joke received a combination laugh-groan from the crowd, which had reverted from the Globes’ all-black dress code to the usual colorful array of stylist-chosen gowns and tuxes.
James Franco, recently accused of sexual misconduct by five women, won the award for best actor in a comedy, to muted applause. Presenter Walton Goggins accepted the award on behalf of the noticeably absent star.
“The Big Sick” took home the award for best comedy, beating out films like “Girl's Trip” and “I, Tonya.” Star Kumail Nanjiani, who wore a Time’s Up pin, thanked “all the white men who allowed us to stand here today.”
“Men have been talking too much for centuries,” he said. “We need to shut up, listen and amplify.”
Amazon Prime’s “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” a surprise double winner at Sunday’s Golden Globes, continued to show its strength by taking the award for best comedy series. Star Rachel Brosnahan won the award for best actress in a comedy series and thanked the critics for “fast and furious support of our new show.”
Gal Gadot won the second annual #SeeHer award, an honor awarded to actresses for accurately portraying women onscreen.
She was presented the award by “Wonder Woman” director Patty Jenkins and received a standing ovation as she made her way to the stage.
“Throughout my career, I was always asked to describe my dream role,” said Gadot. “It was clear to me that I wanted to portray a strong and independent woman, a real one. The irony of this is that later I was cast as Wonder Woman and all of these qualities I looked for, I found in her.”
“In the past weeks and months we’ve been witnessing a movement in our industry and society,” she continued. “And I want to share this award with all the women and men who stand to support what’s right."
“Wonder Woman” also won best action movie later in the night.
“Big Little Lies” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” were big winners in television during the pre-telecast, setting the tone for the rest of the show. “Big Little Lies” took home four awards, including best limited series.
Alexander Skarsgard, who won best supporting actor in a movie made for TV or limited series during the pre-telecast, was the first “Big Little Lies” cast member of the night to win.
The 6-foot-4 actor had to squat to speak into the mic, which elicited huge laughs from the room. Costar Laura Dern won immediately after, taking home the award for best supporting actress in the same category. The 5-foot-10 actress also had to bend to deliver her acceptance speech.
“This is so interesting,” she said, adjusting her squat.
Dern thanked her fellow nominees and was one of few stars to speak on behalf of Time’s Up and the Legal Defense Fund.
“I feel so privileged to join your company,” she said. “To be a fellow worker, and at a time, particularly recently, in support of the Legal Defense Fund working with so many actors and actresses to support people from all industries, it's been a great privilege to be in unity.”
Nicole Kidman won the best actress in a movie made for TV or limited series award, beating out co-star Reese Witherspoon.
“I humbly accept this on behalf of all of the women in this cast,” said Kidman. “This is about the ensemble. Any actor in this room knows you're only as good as the actors you work with. So this is to all of you.”
“The Handmaid’s Tale” won three awards: best drama series, best actress in a drama series for Elisabeth Moss and best supporting actress in a drama series for Ann Dowd.
“I used to be afraid of critics,” she said. “Not so much anymore. Thank you.… When I started my career, I couldn't get to the reviews fast enough. Until I got my first bad one, and then I hated you all.”
Dowd adorably shouted out her husband, saying, “I love my husband, his name is Larry” and later admitted that she calls Moss “my favorite slut” (“I mean, in the show, you know,” she clarified).
Margot Robbie and Allison Janney won best actress and best supporting actress in a comedy awards, respectively, for their performances in “I, Tonya.” Janney, who was nominated alongside Mary J. Blige (“Mudbound”), offered to gift her award to Blige, whose birthday it was that day.
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” won three awards: best actress for Frances McDormand, best supporting actor for Sam Rockwell and best ensemble.
“Get Out” won awards for best original screenplay and best sci-fi/horror movie during the hourlong pre-telecast, beating out nominees like “Blade Runner 2049,” “It” and “The Shape of Water.” Of the three nominations for Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project” — best picture, Willem Dafoe for supporting actor and Brooklynn Prince for young performer — only 7-year-old Prince came away with an award, charming the audience with a tearful speech and telling her fellow nominees, “We should go and get ice cream after this!”
“The Shape of Water,” which received the most nominations of any film, took home only four of 14 nominations: best production design, best score, best picture and best director for Guillermo del Toro.