HOLLYWOOD—Some might be asking how much weight the Critic’s Choice Awards which were held on Sunday, January 15, have on awards season. In all honesty, not much as there is no overlap with the critics and members of the Academy Awards. I mean when the CCA ceremony is as long as the Golden Globes that is already a question mark for me. Why? In recent years, the ceremony has expanded to include TV and the awards show hands out those trophies also now. I mean The Screen Actors Guild Awards is 2 hours, and that ceremony is probably the biggest predictor of where Oscar may head, so that tells you all you need to know.

With that said, the big winner of the night was “Everything Everywhere All at Once” which collected three major awards including Best Picture. The flick also took home prizes for Best Director for Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, while actor Key Huy Quan won for Best Supporting Actor. The movie had a total of 14 nominations heading into the ceremony. It also won for Best Original Screenplay and Best Editing.

For Best Supporting Actress it was Angela Bassett who won for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” It is absolutely starting to look like, Bassett and Quan are locks for Oscar when the nominations are announced on January 24. Cate Blanchett won the Critic’s Choice Award for Best Actress for her riveting performance in “Tàr” that is just a masterclass of acting people. The movie is a slow burn, but Blanchett’s performance is unlike anything I’ve seen on the screen in years.

For Best Actor, it was Brendan Fraser who won for his performance in “The Whale.” Fraser was visibly emotional as he took the stage to accept the prize and it is starting to look like a battle between Butler and Fraser in the Best Actor race. Gabriel LaBelle won the prize for Best Young Actor/Actress for his performance in “The Fabelmans,” while “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” was victorious for Best Acting Ensemble. Sarah Polley won for Best Adapted Screenplay for “Women Talking.” “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Avatar: The Way of Water” only walked away with 1 award each, Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects respectively.

I will admit Chelsea Handler was quite hilarious during the ceremony, delivering the laughs and actually making the ceremony entertaining for once. Sorry, Taye Diggs is just not funny people. I could see Handler as a repeat host for 2024. Janelle Monae was praised with the SeeHer Award and Jeff Bridges received the Critic’s Choice Lifetime Achievement Award from John Goodman. On the TV side, “Better Call Saul” was a big winner taking home awards for Best Drama Series, Best Actor for Bob Odenkirk and Best Supporting Actor for Giancarlo Esposito.

Overall an entertaining ceremony, that didn’t drag or have awkward moments like the Golden Globes last week. The next big awards announcement comes January 24 when the Academy Awards are announced and be advised people surprises are likely to be headed our way.