HOLLYWOOD—Last Sunday it was the Hollywood Foreign Press that spoke during the Golden Globes, and this week it’s the critics who had their say. The 24th annual Critics’ Choice Awards were handed out on Sunday, January 13. The ceremony was hosted by actor Taye Diggs, and the more that I think about it, it has become a major realization: none of these award shows need an actual host. Diggs’ song and dance number offered some laughs, but it was actually more cringe-worthy to me than anything.

I mean look at the Oscars, for the first time in nearly 30 plus years, there will NOT be a host for the 2019 ceremony after the fallout involving comedian Kevin Hart. The comedy “The Favourite” led all contenders going into the night with a total of 14 nominations including Best Picture, but it was “Roma” who was the star of the night taking home a total of four prizes including Best Picture and Best Director.

The night kicked off with Lady Gaga taking to the stage to accept the prize for Best Song for “Shallow” from “A Star is Born.” Give her the Oscar already people because I just don’t see any other song winning that prize if it were to happen, it would be a MAJOR upset. “Eighth Grade” star Elsie Fisher won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Young Actor/Actress, which makes me wonder if she has a chance for a major upset come Oscar nominations on January 22 in the Best Actress race? It’s possible, just saying.

It looks like Mahershala Ali might be on his way to his second Oscar, after winning Best Supporting Actor for “Green Book.” However, a hiccup could be in play if he loses at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, January 27. Regina King continues the victory train picking up the prize for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in “If Beale Street Could Talk.” It’s hard to believe the Critics’ Choice Award which once clocked in at 2 hours, is now just as long as the Golden Globes. “A Quiet Place” picked up a very deserving prize for Best Sci-Fi/Horror Film. Hands down it was the most original and spine-tingling thriller in years where you WANTED to be quiet in a theater for once.

The prize for Best Acting Ensemble was a victory for “The Favourite” and surprise, not anyone from the film was in attendance to claim the prize. Very interesting to say the least considering the comedy isn’t nominated for a SAG Award in that race. Best Director, who would come out on top for the prize that gives an inclination of a potential Best Picture winner? Well it was Alfonso Cuaron for “Roma.” The big awards of the night, Best Actor and Best Actress delivered some surprises to say the least with a TIE. The first winner was Glenn Close “The Wife” and the second winner was Lady Gaga for “A Star is Born.” Gaga was in near tears while on stage accepting the award; genuine emotion from the singer/actress, who seemed like a front-runner, might be dueling it out big time with veteran Close as awards season continues in the coming weeks.

On the TV side of things, “The Americans” won Best Drama series, while “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” won for Best Comedy series. “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” won Best Limited Series, while Patricia Clarkson and Amy Adams picked up prizes for their work on “Sharp Objects.” “If Beale Street Could Talk” picked up a Critics’ Choice Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, while Best Original Screenplay went to Paull Schrader for “First Reformed.”

When it came to Best Actor it was Christian Bale who triumphed over Bradley Cooper to win for his transformative work in “Vice.” The final award of the night for Best Picture went to “Roma.” Interesting pick to say the least, because you had “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Vice” win Golden Globes and “Roma” is not even nominated for a SAG Award, so whoever wins that prize could point to where the Oscar might land. Another interesting awards ceremony because no film dominated. Unlike previous years where there were clear front-runners when it came to Best Picture, for 2019 things are quite open and dare I say anyone could walk away with the top prize, anyone!