‘Slumdog Millionaire’ is Critics’ Choice

Katie Fitzgerald

Ben Stiller’s comedic brain-child “Tropic Thunder” won Best Comedy and the critically acclaimed political film “Milk” was awarded Best Acting Ensemble at the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association Awards live broadcast on Jan. 8.

The 14th annual film ceremony, also known as the Critics’ Choice Awards, is a popular event for movie buffs nationwide, since the results of this ceremony tend to coincide with the awards given at the Academy Awards.

The Critics’ Choice Awards ceremony is a high-profile event for those who are interested in pop culture – not only do the nominated films tend to be the most talked about films of the year, this ceremony offers prime viewing of celebrities.

The Santa Monica Auditorium was dotted with well-known celebrities like Salma Hayek, power couple “Brangelina” and Amy Adams.

Master of Ceremonies Jason Alexander (Seinfield) played into this audience by poking fun at some of these big-name stars, including Kevin Bacon and Clint Eastwood.

After Alexander’s opening bit, other celebrities came onstage to announce the winners of the various awards.

These announcers ranged from esteemed actors such as Kate Beckinsale, Josh Brolin and Sally Hawkins, to a younger crowd of celebrities, including Amanda Bynes, Corbin Bleu from “High School Musical,” Katy Perry and Christopher Mintz-Plasse from”Superbad.”

These celebrities played their parts as expected, with the exception of an awkward bit between Perry and Mintz-Plasse, and a minor mix-up by Kristen Bell.

The event combined the perfect amount of entertainment with the degree of seriousness that the nominated films deserve.

This year’s Critics’ Choice Awards offered 17 awards for the dozens of critically acclaimed films nominated.

Sean Penn snagged the highly coveted Best Actor award for his brilliant performance in “Milk.”

The more obscure awards went to the more obscure films.

Best Documentary went to the film “Man on Wire,” the story of the World Trade Center cable-walker, and the best foreign film went to the animated Hebrew film “Waltz with Bashir.”

The award for the best animated film went to Disney/Pixar’s robotic romance “Wall-E,” and the historical movie “John Adams” took the award for the Best Picture for Television.

Bruce Springsteen’s song “The Wrestler,” written for the film of the same title, was awarded Best Film Song, and the new Best Action Film award was predictably bestowed upon “The Dark Knight.”

The most prestigious awards went to the Hollywood A-listers.

Kate Winslet snagged Best Supporting Actress for the drama “The Reader.”

Best Actress went to both Anne Hathaway (“Rachel Getting Married”) and Meryl Streep (“Doubt”) and Best Supporting Actor went to the late Heath Ledger, which came as no surprise to anyone watching the ceremony.

The biggest surprise of the evening, however, was the success of the film “Slumdog Millionaire.”

In what was originally expected to be a ceremony dominated by blockbuster hit “The Dark Knight,” this “little movie that could” carried off most of the awards.

“Slumdog” boasted the Best Young Actor (Dev Patel), Best Writer (Simon Beaufoy), Best Music (A.R. Rahman), Best Director (Danny Boyle) and Best Picture, garnering five awards in total.

This two-hour star-studded film award ceremony seemed to drag (in spots that included Anne Hathaway’s too-modest diatribe, Katy Perry’s awkward announcing and Richard Gere’s service tribute), but it was nevertheless a pleasant ceremony to watch.

The broadcast not only served as a movie buff’s temporary fix for movie award shows, but was also a great show to watch with Netflix list in hand.

Needless to say, “Slumdog Millionaire” may be temporarily out of stock in your local Blockbuster.

Finally, now that the Critics’ Choice Awards are “in the can,” film followers must hold their collective breath in anticipation to see just how much this ceremony serves as a forecast for the results of the Academy Awards.