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Critics Choice Awards: ‘RRR’ Among Early Winners

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The 28th Annual Critics Choice Awards were handed out on Sunday night, with Chelsea Handler hosting the awards ceremony broadcast on The CW.

Kicking off the show, Handler said, “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, it’s been a lot. I’m just happy to be here tonight supporting the critics right to choose.”

She then made quips about the number of LGBTQ films nominated at the ceremony, including “Bros, Fire Island and Top Gun: Maverick.” She also added a reference to the end of Ellen DeGeneres’ long-running show when joking about Focus Features’ Tár: “In the movie, Cate [Blanchett] portrayed an iconic lesbian whose career is up ended by her toxic behavior — and she didn’t even have to host her own daytime talk show.”

RRR was the first surprise of the evening, taking home the award for best international film. The Indian blockbuster is ineligible for this category at the Oscars, as its home country submitted the film Last Film Show (which also made the Academy’s shortlist ahead of the Jan. 24 Oscar nominations). It is a contender in other categories, including best original song for the Golden Globe-winning “Naatu Naatu.” Director SS Rajamouli thanked “the women in my life” while accepting his award, starting with his mother. “She thought school education was overrated and she encouraged me to read comics and storybooks, and she encouraged my creativity,” said Rajamouli, who also thanked his wife, costume designer Rama Rajamouli. “More than that, she’s the designer of my life”

During the live red carpet pre-show coverage, KTLA reporters announced that Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery earned two wins: best comedy film and best acting ensemble. Writer-director Rian Johnson and stars Janelle Monáe, Kate Hudson and Madelyn Cline were present to accept the awards.

In the television categories, Niecy Nash-Betts won best supporting actress in a limited series for Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. In an emotional speech, Nash-Betts expressed her long desire to be recognized for her dramatic chops. “When I decided to become an actor, I saw myself doing drama. And the industry was kind, but they said, ‘Stay in your comedy lane,’” said Nash-Betts. “Sometimes people want to leave you when they meet you. I cried to my mother and I said, ‘Mama, don’t you think I’m a good dramatic actress?’ And she said, ‘Girl, I don’t. But you can be.’” Nash-Betts ended her speech with a line that caused the audience to erupt in cheers: “To everybody who doubted this Black woman and told me what I couldn’t do? I want to lovely and humbly say: In your face!”

Paul Walter Hauser won best supporting actor in a limited series for his role in Apple TV+’s Black Bird, for which he also won a Golden Globe on Tuesday. Henry Winkler and Sheryl Lee Ralph won supporting actor and actress in a comedy series, respectively, for HBO’s Barry and ABC’s Abbott Elementary.

Amanda Seyfried won best actress in a limited series for her portrayal of Elizabeth Holmes in Hulu’s The Dropouta performance for which she also won a Primetime Emmy in September 2022. She was notably absent at the Golden Globes on Tuesday, for which she also won for The Dropout, as she was in development of a new musical version of Thelma & Louise.

Jennifer Coolidge continued her winning streak, taking the award for best actress in a drama for HBO’s The White Lotus. “I know you’ve heard a lot from me in the last month or two, but I just want to say this is such an honor.” In the male companion category, Giancarlo Esposito won for his role in AMC’s Better Call Saul.

Read the full list of winners here.

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