List of Oscar categories

'Critics Choice' Winners List & Oscar-Calling Post-Mortem

The night doubled as a live tribute to Amy SchumerDespite the disdain many members of the media, including some within the BFCA, seem to hold for the HFPA, the organization that runs the Golden Globes, everyone seems to want to be them. The Critics Choice Awards, now in their 21st year, have had trouble emerging from that institution's shadow.

Though the CCMAs had seemed to be on a slight upswing around the turn of the decade (the Meryl Streep years of Doubt and Julie & Julia seemed to go well in terms of media interest, comparatively at least), things have been since trending downward and went truly haywire this year. In addition to the "never take us seriously!" self-sabotage to change a nominee lineup after nominations had been announced, there are the strange impulses that can only come from not trusting the voting body such as the need to give Amy Schumer a special prize in the year when she's already going to win a normal prize.

Meanwhile the continued expansion of categories over the past several years has created a clusterf*** that requires that very few of them be televised live. Which is a pity because if they were they might be worth discussing. Mad Max Fury Road won 9 prizes but it didn't even remotely emerge from the night feeling like a big winner since only one of the nine was televised!

That's more self-sabotage since surely mainstream prizes like "Best Action Flim!" were added to attract mainstream celebrities and viewers in the first place. Arguably yet more troubling from a legitimacy standpoint is that there appears to be no rhyme or reason to the expansions. Why, for example if you're going to have extra acting prizes for your movie categories, do you not have them for all. Action and comedy and default (drama) require actors, the awards seem to say, but sci-fi/horror films do not since they're the only "Picture" category without acting prizes. And why are technically all films eligible in all categories rather than corraled into one pen - Mad Max Fury Road was nominated in three separate best picture categories this year: the regular one (which is not labelled "drama" so we can assume "drama" is considered default?), the action category, and the sci-fi/horror category.

The only one it missed was comedy - which is really unfair to the flaming guitar guy you must admit.

Because of the low ratings and the haphazardness of the 52 (!) categories and even the misleading name since critical adulation is less important in the nominations than being perceived as Oscar-bound, you can't really call the CCMA's influential - the only way to be influential is to have your own voice and personality and opinions and have others value those very things... or at least pay attention to it (which is why the Globes continue to matter much to the chagrin of many haters).

Yes yes, many of the Critics Choice winners go on to win Oscars a month later... but honestly couldn't most people call a good percentage of the award winners in late January in the top categories if that's what they're trying to do? General frontrunners have always emerged by this point in the 'Big Eight' Categories.

THE WINNERS...
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THE BIG EIGHT CATEGORIES
PICTURE Spotlight
ACTOR Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
ACTRESS Brie Larson – Room
SUPPORTING ACTOR Sylvester Stallone – Creed
SUPPORTING ACTRESS Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
DIRECTOR George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY Charles Randolph and Adam McKay – The Big Short

We can safely assume that 75% or more of these players will take home the Oscar in their correlative category. The most vulnerable might be George Miller (in the end it is still a hallucinatory gonzo sci-fi action movie so the win would have no precedent... which is fun!) and if you want to throw the dice Alicia Vikander - though she is starting to feel lockish too. In fact the four acting frontrunners fit the template Oscar profiles perfectly; the Academy likes to reward beautiful female actors in their 20s or 30s for "promising" talent and male actors in their 40s on up for longevity and respect earned over the years.

Yes there are numerous exceptions to these impulses but these are the defaults.

THE EXTRA ACTING & CRAFT CATEGORIES - ONLY THE ACTING PRIZES WERE GIVEN OUT ONSCREEN

YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESSJacob Tremblay – Room
ACTING ENSEMBLESpotlight
CINEMATOGRAPHY The Revenant – Emmanuel Lubezki
PRODUCTION DESIGN Mad Max: Fury Road – Colin Gibson
EDITING Mad Max: Fury Road – Margaret Sixel
COSTUME DESIGN Mad Max: Fury Road – Jenny Beavan
HAIR & MAKEUP Mad Max: Fury Road
VISUAL EFFECTS Mad Max: Fury Road
SONG Furious 7 – See You Again
SCORE The Hateful Eight – Ennio Morricone

Here's where it gets MORE interesting if you're thinking of Oscars. It seems unlikely that Oscar voters will drool quite as much on Mad Max (which won 9 prizes at the CCMAs) so some of the craft categories are very much up for grabs. Mad Max's production design and costumes in particular, while brilliant, seem like tougher sells to the Academy voters beyond the honor of the nomination but we'll see.

Trivia Note 1: If you remove the three extra "action" categories Mad Max won 6 Oscar-correlative prizes. If you win that many Oscars at the Oscars you win Best Picture. There are only four exceptions. Cabaret is the all time record holder for 'most wins without Best Picture' as it took home 8 golden boys (before losing to The Godfather). Runner up is Gravity which won 7. Tied for third place of Most Winning Without Actually Winning, with 6 Oscars each are Star Wars (1977) and A Place in the Sun (1951). If you want to be nitpicky maybe Star Wars is tied with Gravity since it also won a special non-competitive Oscar.

Trivia Note 2: if Lubezki does repeat at the Oscars he'll be the only cinematographer in movie history to have won 3 consecutive Oscars.

OTHER FILM CATEGORIES SOME OF WHICH WERE INVENTED TO GET MORE CELEBRITIES ON STAGE ONLY TO HAVE TO HAND OUT MANY OF THEM OFF SCREEN

ACTION MOVIE Mad Max: Fury Road
ACTOR IN AN ACTION MOVIE Tom Hardy – Mad Max: Fury Road
ACTRESS IN AN ACTION MOVIE Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road

COMEDY The Big Short
ACTOR IN A COMEDY Christian Bale – The Big Short
ACTRESS IN A COMEDY Amy Schumer – Trainwreck

ANIMATED FEATUREInside Out
SCI-FI/HORROR MOVIE Ex Machina
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM Son of Saul
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE Amy

The CCMA's went with all the expected winners in these categories as if to remind us that 'these are the hot titles.'

TELEVISION

DRAMA SERIES Mr. Robot – USA
ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES Rami Malek – Mr. Robot – USA
ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES Carrie Coon – The Leftovers – HBO
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES Christian Slater – Mr. Robot – USA
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES Constance Zimmer – UnREAL – Lifetime
See also:

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