The Artist and The Help clean up at the Critics’ Choice Awards

“Being honored by a critic is like being on a three-week binge with the enemy.” — The wise words of iconic Canadian actor Christopher Plummer. “It’s rather like going back to school and the headmaster calls you in and gives you a good report.” It’s a feeling likely shared by many others in the industry. When it comes to moviemakers and critics, you’re either cringing at the mercy of a harsh review or relishing in the glory of a good one. Last night it was all about celebrating the best of the bunch as the 17th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, held at the Hollywood Palladium, paid homeage to the most talked about movies of 2011.

So who were the big winners? While the People’s Choice Awards held earlier in the week seemed to honor the younger stars of today, last night’s awards recognized the industry’s more established names, like George Clooney (Best Actor), Christopher Plummer (Best Supporting Actor), and Woody Allen (Best Original Screenplay). The night’s top prize for Best Picture went to — not surprisingly — Michel Hazanavicius’s black and white silent ode to 1920s cinema, The Artist. It also won the trophy for best score, costume design, and director.

The Help wasn’t too far behind with three big wins: Best Actress for Viola Davis, Best Supporting Actress for Octavia Spencer, and Best Acting Ensemble for the rest of the femme-powered cast. Davis left the audience cheering after giving an inspiring speech reminiscent of her film’s powerful story. “They say the two most important days in a person’s life were the day you were born and the day you discover why you were born. And you know, five hours on the bus going to acting classes when I was 14 years old and coming from very challenging circumstances, I absolutely knew I wanted to be an actor because I wanted to be a somebody,” said the actress. “I consider it my honor to pay homage to these woman who in this time period were not allowed to dream, not allowed to find their purpose.” Then there was Judd Apatow, executive producer of Bridesmaids, who was so happy about his film’s award he cursed on live TV. “Jerry Lewis once said he didn’t think women were funny. So I’d just like to say, with all respect, F–k you!”

The awards are a precursor of sorts to the prestigious Golden Globe Awards to be held this coming Sunday. In the meantime, here’s a full run-down of all of last night’s winners:

Best Picture
The Artist

Best Actor
George Clooney, The Descendants

Best Actress
Viola Davis, The Help

Best Supporting Actor
Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Best Supporting Actress
Octavia Spencer, The Help

Best Young Actor/Actress
Thomas Horn, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Best Acting Ensemble
The Help

Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

Best Original Screenplay
Midnight in Paris
, Woody Allen

Best Adapted Screenplay
Moneyball, Aaron Sorkin, Steve Zaillian and Stan Chervin (based on the book by Michael Lewis)

Best Cinematography
(tie) The Tree of Life and War Horse

Best Art Direction
Hugo

Best Editing
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Best Costume Design
The Artist

Best Makeup
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Best Visual Effects
Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Best Sound
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

Best Animated Feature
Rango

Best Action Movie
Drive

Best Comedy
Bridesmaids

Best Foreign Language Film
A Separation

Best Documentary Feature
George Harrison: Living in the Material World

Best Song
“Life’s a Happy Song” by Brett McKenzie, The Muppets

Best Score
The Artist

Joel Siegel Award
Sean Penn

Music + Film Award
Martin Scorsese

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Comments & Discussion

  1. Olive • January 14, 2012 @ 1:02 AM

    Yay! The top 5 awards (Best picture, actor, actress, supporting actress, and supporting actor,) are all the ones I want to win on Sunday at the Golden Globes. Although, I wouldnt care if the guy from The Artist or Brad Pitt wins best actor, or if Meryl Streep wins best actress. I just dont feel like trolling this year on the movies. The past 2 years there are the front runners for best picture that I REALLY did not want to win (Slumdog Millionaire, Avatar, Social Network.) I dont care now about Slumdog since it was awesome, I hated Avatar, and I havent seem Social Network. At least I hope it isnt as boring as Kings Speech. But this year, I want to see or have seen (In the Helps case) ALL of the movies in the best picture running so Ill be fine with who ever

  2. Olive • January 14, 2012 @ 1:03 AM

    ^Scratch that I meant 3 years, not 2. Oops

  3. Jo-Anne • January 15, 2012 @ 2:56 PM

    haha Olive, must say I hated Avatar too. However loved King’s Speech, Social Network. So far loved The Help, Ides of March, Beginners, Moneyball, Rise of The Planet of the Apes. Enjoyed Rango and Drive too. Hated Bridesmaids. Really hated Bridesmaids…

    hope to see The Descendants, The Artist, Girl with Dragon Tattoo, Hugo, Midnight in Paris soon….

    most anxious to see Gervais’ performance…

  4. Olive • January 16, 2012 @ 12:22 AM

    Yeah I have seen The Help, Rango, and Rise of the Plane of the Apes. I really dont want to see Drive it just seems to scary, same with Dragon tattoo since the rape scene is apprently super scary. I want to see Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, Begineers, Bridesmaids, Descendants, Artist, and Ides of March. I cant wait 4 Billy Crystal at the Oscars. If he does that montage where hes in the movies I will die happy.

  5. Jo-Anne • January 16, 2012 @ 2:12 PM

    ah The Montage – YES!!!!! Immense satisfaction !

    Dragon Tattoo I saw the original Trilogy and was extremely impressed. I am anxious to compare the U.S. version.

    Drive was not scary, very intense/gory in parts. I watched not so much for the film but for Gosling’s performance which was tops. Many times I don’t necessary like the movie, but the particualr performance is noteworthy.

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