by Andrea Mandell and Cindy Clark, USA TODAY
SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- Ben Affleck may have been snubbed by the
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Thursday morning when
Oscar nominations were announced, but things were looking up Thursday
night when he took home the Critics' Choice award for best director for
"I would like to thank the academy... I'm kidding, I'm
kidding. This is the one that counts," said a grinning Affleck upon
accepting the award.
Making his night even better: Argo -- which
did receive a best picture Oscar nomination -- took home the Critics'
Choice award for best picture.
The Critics' Choice Awards, always a
reliable predictor for the Academy Awards, collided right into them on
Thursday, with an especially early round of Oscar nominations taking
place at the crack of dawn.
The result? A host of extra-happy
stars walking the Critics' Choice red carpet with an Oscar glow, like
Jessica Chastain, Daniel Day-Lewis, Anne Hathaway, Sally Field, Tommy
Lee Jones and Jennifer Lawrence.
"Talk to me in a month, but right
now I'm raring to go," said Lawrence, who nabbed a best actress Oscar
nomination, in high spirits on the red carpet. Lawrence went on to win
the Critics' Choice award for both best actress in an action movie (The
Hunger Games) and later best comedic actress (Silver Linings Playbook).
"Seriously, I love critics," said Lawrence upon accepting her second
award of the evening. She was one of a few stars who had such a
successful year, they were double-teaming it.
New dad Matthew
McConaughey was nominated for best supporting actor for Magic Mike, but
was also there to support his indie comedy, Bernie.
says there's something to be learned from the critics. "A couple of
years ago I went through and had some help with my assistants. I said,
'Let's gather up every bad review that's ever been written about me.'
And it was a thick book!" said McConaughey. "But it turned out to be at
first hard to read, but then all of a sudden it became really funny. And
I started to find some very constructive criticism in there."
year, the 18th annual Critics' Choice Awards was hosted by Sam Rubin,
and found a new physical home, at the Barker Hangar in chilly Santa
Monica, as well as a new televised one, with a switch from VH1 to the
The awards, chosen by the Broadcast Film Critics Association,
did raise the question: Does this crop of stars cop to reading their own
"I wish I could say I didn't," said Les Miserables actor
Eddie Remayne. But when it comes to theater reviews, "they do tend to
affect how I keep performing...but on film you're more distanced from
it, it's out of your hands."
"I do read my reviews," said director
and Zero Dark Thirty actor Mark Duplass on the red carpet before the
show. "I would love to be a big man and not need the validation, but I
do. If it's good, I keep reading, and if it's bad, I stop." The reviews,
however, don't influence his choices. "People tell me to stop using my
shaky cameras, and I've been doing it for years."
nominee Marion Cotillard stays away from reading her reviews. "I'm much
harder with myself than any critic," she said. "Trust me."
Watts, who said she was "wearing lots of good makeup" to keep her from
looking tired after the early morning, tries to avoid reviews -- but
sometimes it's inevitable. "Your agent or manager or publicist usually
sends you some reviews, but they're usually the good ones," she said.
Avengers writer Joss Whedon said he's selective when it comes to
checking out what the critics have to say. "I don't read them all. Some
of my friends call and say, 'Don't read this review or that review,' but
I do think they're useful. Usually I can tell when they're just being
mean or they're just pissing on the genre."
A genre that might one
day include a movie based on the Black Widow, played in Avengers by
Scarlett Johansson. "I'm for it. I want her to get a movie. I pitch it
(all the time)." He said it's timely, especially after female
protagonists have begun to dominate the box office, a la Hunger Games.
"I think conversations are very different than they were last April.
Prior to that the only references were Elektra and Catwoman."
of strong females, Hathaway took home one of the night's first awards:
best supporting actress for her turn as Fantine in Les Miserables -- but
did the people behind the statuettes make a mistake? "Thank you," said
Hathaway upon accepting her award. "This is a bittersweet moment for me.
I have this award but you spelled my name wrong. It is with an "e." ...
Sorry. Don't mean to be gauche." A name spelling or not, it was the
perfect cap to a day that began with an Oscar nomination for the
30-year-old actress. Co-star Redmayne said he had been in touch with his
Les Mis co-stars Hathaway and Hugh Jackman, who snagged an Oscar nom
for best actor. "I've been e-mailing with Annie and Hugh (Jackman) all
day. We're on cloud nine. Their nominations were well-deserved. Hugh was
such a great leader."
Judd Apatow, whose latest film, This is 40,
was up for three awards, including best comedy. He took home the humbly
named Louis XIII Genius Award, presented by Rebel Wilson. During his
acceptance speech, Apatow thanked his wife, Leslie Mann, and said he's
"a genius only if for figuring out how to get such a beautiful,
brilliant woman to marry me."
Chastain won the Critics Choice for
best actress for her role in Zero Dark Thirty. "Wow," said Chastain.
"This is the first time I've ever talked to one of these things, and
it's awesome." Chastain, who also received an Oscar nomination for the
role, said on the red carpet that she was "really disappointed" that her
Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow didn't receive a nomination
for best director. "It's bittersweet for me, because I'm so excited to
be nominated," said Chastain, who found out about her nomination on a
flight from New York with Bigelow. "But this actually goes to show what
an amazing person she is, because she's the one who came over and told
me (I'd been nominated) and congratulated me. And when I found out, I
said, 'Oh my gosh, you didn't get nominated.' I was shocked. And she
kept bringing it back to me, 'No, no, no...let's celebrate you.' She's
Daniel Day-Lewis won best actor for his starring role in
Lincoln, which received 12 Oscar nominations on Thursday. "It means a
lot to me," said Day-Lewis. "This has been one of the greatest
unforeseen privileges of my life, doing this work."
tone of his acceptance speech switched gears when he commented on all of
the tuxedos in the porta-potties. "Maybe you could do the final
category, if there is one, in there," joked Day-Lewis. "Because it
really would be wonderful television."
Lawrence's Silver Linings
Playbook co-star Bradley Cooper took home the award for best actor in a
comedy. It was a role in which he also received an Oscar nomination. "It
feels very fresh," Cooper told reporters on the red carpet. He was
watching when the nominations were announced. "I thought I was going to
get up and take my dog to the beach and go for a run and come back. And
whatever happens, happens. And leave my phone in the truck. But that's
not how it went down," he said, chuckling. "I got up, and waited and
then watched the television. Woke my mom up, and my dog, and waited to
Capping off the evening for Cooper and Lawrence
was Silver Linings Playbook taking home the award for best comedy movie.
But even earlier in the night, before the movie had even won, Lawrence
was grateful: "Having the entire movie, just having everyone recognized,
and everyone here, it makes it so much better."