Magazine article Variety

Great Storytelling Comes in All Sizes

Magazine article Variety

Great Storytelling Comes in All Sizes

Article excerpt

The critics' choice awards are turning 21 this year and appropriately enough they're planning a star-studded coming-of-age birthday party.

The annual kudocast will be broadcast on A&E, Lifetime and LMN on Jan. 17 from Santa Monica's Barker Hangar, with actor and comedian T.J. Miller serving as the show's host. And for the first time ever the show will combine honors for film and television.

"The big news this year is that we've combined the movie and television awards into one three-hour mega-show, where we'll honor the finest in Hollywood storytelling," reports BFCA president Joey Berlin. It's a move spurred by "emerging platforms and the evolving business. Now you can watch movies on your phone, and stream TV on your computer, so we felt it made a lot of sense to bring these yearend awards together."

The decision to combine the shows was made during the past year, he says. "We have a very strong television partner in A&E, who now reach over 96 million homes, and they wanted the show to continue to grow, and encouraged us to take this step. So it'll be tricast on A&E, Lifetime and LMN for the first time, and we're anticipating a much bigger audience."

Berlin admits that this year's new mega-show format amounts to a direct strike against close competitor the Golden Globes. "We certainly don't shy away from comparison with the Globes, who do a great show with both movies and TV, and we're in the same time-frame as we air a week later," he says. "But we think our voters - and we have 400 compared with the HFPA's 80 or so - are a little sawier and a little less starstruck, and I think we serve our audience a little better. It'll be a little different [from the Globes' show] and our nominees are a little different."

Leading the nominations from the BFCA, the largest film critics organization in the United States and Canada, is "Mad Max: Fury Road" with 13, including best picture and director. "Carol," "The Martian" and "The Revenant" scored nine nominations each, including best picture, director and cinematography.

"Spotlight" earned eight noms, followed by "The Big Short" with seven, and "The Hateful Eight" with six.

Jennifer Lawrence is up for three awards, for her work in both "Joy" and "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2," while Tom Hardy and Chariize Theron are both nominated for two acting awards. …

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