SANTA MONICA─Awards season has just started and I am already exhausted. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Not sure yet, but maybe because the level of films for 2019 didn’t just blow me away I think. There were some good films, but they are so small in scope compared to previous years.

This week it’s time to pay focus to the Critic’s Choice Awards, which used to be two hours, but is now three hours. Look, we don’t need three hours for an awards show, especially the Critic’s Choice Awards. I mean if the Screen Actors Guild Awards can be 2 hours, and that ceremony is a major predictor of Oscar, why the hell can’t all the other ceremonies follow suit?

It is indeed hard to believe the Critic’s Choice Awards has been around for over 25 years, I mean that is just as long as the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Taye Diggs returned to play MC to the event for the second consecutive year. This is strange they are delivering one of the biggest awards of the night, Best Actor within the first 10 minutes of the ceremony.

Ok, that is indeed a way to get the audience interested, and Joaquin Phoenix walked away with the crown and rightfully so. What he does with that character is beyond mesmerizing, it’s epic on the acting front. Phoenix is so cringe-worthy when it comes to giving a speech it is very hard to watch people. Right after Best Actor, we have Best Supporting Actress victor Laura Dern taking the prize for “Marriage Story.”

Double winners were announced at the same time for Best Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series as Alex Borstein “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and Andrew Scott “Fleabag” walked away with the prizes. Hmm, double speeches this will be awkward. We’re only 30 minutes into the ceremony and I hate to admit I’m bored to death already.

Diggs just doesn’t have the charisma to host an awards show even though I got a chuckle with a Q/A involving Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman. It was nice to see Jean Smart get some love for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her work on “Watchmen.” “Toy Story 4” walked away with the Best Animated Film award. One highlight of the event was seeing Eddie Murphy earn the Lifetime Achievement Award, which I didn’t even realize that the Critic’s Choice Awards handed out. “Parasite” picked up the prize for Best Foreign Film, while “Dolemite is My Name” won for Best Comedy.

Interesting seeing “The Irishman” take home the prize for Best Acting Ensemble, and with powerhouse names like Robert De Niro and Al Pacino taking the stage, it could be a sign of things to come. In the screenplay races, Quentin Tarantino won for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” while Greta Gerwig won Best Adapted Screenplay for “Little Women.” Lupita Nyong’o presented the award for Best Supporting Actor to Brad Pitt who was unable to attend the ceremony.

“Fleabag” won for Best Comedy Series, while “Succession” took the prize for Best Drama Series. Renee Zellweger continued to clean house in the Best Actress race for her performance as Judy Garland in “Judy.” Some interesting developments as there was a tie in the Best Director race. The first winner of the night was Sam Mendes for “1917,” while Bong Joon Ho won for “Parasite.” Hmm, I have a feeling Oscar is going to really be angling in “Parasite’s” direction for the top prize.

The night closed out with a win that I didn’t expect with “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” taking the prize for Best Picture besting “1917,” “The Irishman” and “Marriage Story.” What does that mean for Oscar? We shall see in a few weeks.