Critics' Choice Awards: Mark Wahlberg gets called out, James Franco is a no-show

 
By Emily Yahr
Washington Post
Updated 1/12/2018 10:46 AM
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  • Host Olivia Munn, left, and Niecy Nash speak out at the 23rd annual Critics' Choice Awards Thursday, Jan. 11, in Santa Monica, Calif.

    Host Olivia Munn, left, and Niecy Nash speak out at the 23rd annual Critics' Choice Awards Thursday, Jan. 11, in Santa Monica, Calif. Associated Press

  • Jay Pharoah joins host Olivia Munn at the 23rd annual Critics' Choice Awards Thursday, Jan. 11, in Santa Monica, Calif.

    Jay Pharoah joins host Olivia Munn at the 23rd annual Critics' Choice Awards Thursday, Jan. 11, in Santa Monica, Calif. Associated Press

A few days after the Golden Globe Awards, a very similar crowd of movie and television stars gathered in Santa Monica, California, for the 23rd annual Critics' Choice Awards.

But one familiar face was missing: James Franco, who sat for some extremely uncomfortable TV interviews this week after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced on social media. (He has called the accusations "not accurate.") The AP reported that Franco won the best comedy actor trophy for his role in "The Disaster Artist," which was presented in a pre-telecast ceremony, and he was nowhere to be found.

The main portion of the two-hour event was broadcast on The CW on Thursday night -- here are eight other things to know from the telecast.

1. Olivia Munn and Niecy Nash called out men of Hollywood -- including Mark Wahlberg.

Wahlberg garnered plenty of criticism this week after USA Today reported that the actor earned $1.5 million for reshooting his role in "All the Money in the World" after Christopher Plummer replaced Kevin Spacey; meanwhile, his co-star Michelle Williams earned $1,000.

Critics' Choice host Munn called him out during a bit with Nash, in which the two actresses toasted the "good guys" in Hollywood in the post-Harvey Weinstein era.

"I'd like to raise that glass to the studio executive who had me meet him in the hotel conference room instead of his actual hotel room," Munn said.

"Yes! Congratulations for doing what you supposed to do," Nash said. "And here's to the male casting directors who didn't ever say anything derogatory to me in an audition."

"Way to be regular human beings, guys. Good job," Munn said sarcastically. "Oh, and I'd also like to thank that famous actor who didn't treat me like crap after I said I didn't want to get drinks with him after the show."

"Thank you to all of the men for speaking up at the Golden Globes and joining our sisters," Nash started, a jab at how many male actors wore Time's Up pins at the Globes, but didn't actually say what they meant.

"Actually, they didn't say much there," Munn interjected.

Then, Munn added: "Thank you to the producers for paying Niecy and I the same amount of money, and Mark Wahlberg $1 million." (The crowd: "Ooohh.") "I know, he took a pay cut. It's really nice and generous of him."

2. There's still no clear front-runner for Oscar best picture.

Not that the Critics' Choice is the most reliable indicator of what Oscar voters are thinking, but it helps narrow the field. "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" won best drama at the Golden Globes, while "Lady Bird" won best comedy. The National Board of Review presented best picture to "The Post." At the Critics' Choice, best picture went to ... "The Shape of Water." So that clears up nothing.

Allison Janney poses after winning the award for best supporting actress -- film for "I, Tonya" at the 23rd annual Critics' Choice Awards Thursday.
Allison Janney poses after winning the award for best supporting actress -- film for "I, Tonya" at the 23rd annual Critics' Choice Awards Thursday. - Associated Press
3. The Oscar acting categories, however, seem set.

The Critics' Choice acting winners were similar to the Globes, and basically what we should expect from the Oscars: Allison Janney ("I, Tonya") for supporting actress; Sam Rockwell ("Three Billboards") for supporting actor; Frances McDormand ("Three Billboards") for drama actress; and Gary Oldman ("Darkest Hour") for drama actor.

The comedy categories were a bit different: Although Franco repeated his Golden Globes win for best comedy actor, Margot Robbie ("I, Tonya") won the trophy over Saoirse Ronan ("Lady Bird") for best comedy actress. And "The Big Sick" won best comedy instead of "Lady Bird."

4. Celebrities alluded to the "#MeToo" era.

There was a lot of talk at the Golden Globes about the recent wave of sexual harassment allegations out of Hollywood. While it didn't come up as often at the Critics' Choice Awards, there were plenty of references to the current climate.

"We're very happy that our movie is coming out in a year where Hollywood is having a lot of difficult conversations with itself, and we're amplifying voices that have been silenced for too long," Kumail Nanjiani said as he accepted the best comedy award for "The Big Sick." "And I think as men, we have been talking for centuries. It's time for us to shut up, listen and amplify."

"In the past weeks and months, we've been witnessing a movement in our industry and society," said "Wonder Woman" star Gal Gadot, who was honored with the #SeeHer Award, for accurate representation of women in entertainment. "And I want to share this award with all the women and men who stand for what's right. Standing for those who can't stand or speak for themselves."

Gal Gadot, center, Patty Jenkins and the crew of "Wonder Woman" accept the award for best action movie at the 23rd annual Critics' Choice Awards Thursday, Jan. 11, in Santa Monica, Calif.
Gal Gadot, center, Patty Jenkins and the crew of "Wonder Woman" accept the award for best action movie at the 23rd annual Critics' Choice Awards Thursday, Jan. 11, in Santa Monica, Calif. - Associated Press

Highland Park native Rachel Brosnahan, who won best TV comedy actress for Amazon's "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" reminded everyone not to "lose focus" on the Time's Up initiative, a recently-created legal fund to fight sexual harassment.

5. There was one T.J. Miller joke.

Remember when the former "Silicon Valley" star hosted the Critics' Choice Awards? No? Then you may have been a bit lost when Rachel Bloom (CW's "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend") and Anthony Anderson (ABC's "Blackish") presented an award and talked about stilted onstage banter, and Bloom cracked, "It's no more awkward than when T.J. Miller used to host this thing."

Some people in the crowd audibly reacted to that one. "He can take it!" Bloom said. "He can take it."

6. HBO's "Big Little Lies" and Hulu's "The Handmaid's Tale" proved once again they're unbeatable.

Just like the Emmy Awards and the Golden Globes, "THT" and "BLL" won best drama and best limited series, respectively. And as long as these two shows are on TV, we can't imagine anything else ever winning again.

7. Nicole Kidman thanked "all" her children.

Also at the Emmys and Golden Globes, social media users notably reacted during Kidman's acceptance speeches when she mentioned her two daughters she has with Keith Urban, and didn't say anything about her two older children that she adopted with her ex-husband, Tom Cruise.

So one line in particular from Kidman's speech was notable this time around, after she won for best actress in a limited series for her searing role in "Big Little Lies" as a lawyer-turned-housewife in an abusive relationship: "I want to thank all of my children, who show me so much love."

8. "The Shape of Water" producer defended Fox Searchlight from the Disney merger.

Disney recently acquired the majority of assets from 21st Century Fox, including Fox Searchlight, the studio behind many acclaimed movies -- including "The Shape of Water." The film, a fairy tale love story between a mute woman and an otherworldly beast, won best picture, and its producer defended the studio in the wake of the merger.

"Thank you to Fox Searchlight ... they're making the kind of movies that we need to make, we want to make, and people need to see," said J. Miles Dale. "So I don't know if (Walt Disney Company chief executive) Bob Iger's out there or not, I don't know what will happen with this Disney thing, but I urge you not to mess this up. They've got a good thing going and they rock."

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