What Quentin Tarantino called “the first game of the season” was played Friday night when the Broadcast Film Critics presented their Critics’ Choice Movie Awards at the Hollywood Palladium.
Throughout the night, which included the two-hour VH1 telecast and the Katsuya after-party, there was a strong awareness of this being the award season launch.
“There’s the East Coast Hockey League, Double A Baseball and men’s amateur basketball,” said Sony Classics co-topper Tom Bernard. “You got to play them all on the way to the Big Show.”
One studio PR exec put the night in perspective by saying, “the Globes were smart enough to stay in the shadow of the Oscars; these guys were smart enough to stay in the shadow of the Globes. And the days just grow longer and longer.”
Another exec saw the night’s place in the kudo food chain as “more ‘Peoples Choice’ than guild, and more upstart than jaded.”
One sign of the event still being in its gestation phase is how seriously the guests took the black-tie dress code. It was somewhere between the Oscars and a major premiere. Most of the women dressed up and about half the men wore tuxedos, with the rest wearing whatever they wore to the office.
But there was no doubt that the Film Critics have cemented their place in the award season caste system. “It the birth of another Hollywood Foreign Press,” said one publicist. “You can see the egos inflating.”