'The Help' and 'The Artist' Lead Winners at Critics' Choice Awards

It was a big night for The Help and The Artist at the 17th annual Critics' Choice Awards Thursday night, with both Oscar-hopeful films picking up winning multiple awards.

The French tribute to Hollywood's silent era took home best picture, best director and best score. The ensemble Southern comedy swept the actress categories, with Octavia Spencer winning best supporting actress and Viola Davis beating out Meryl Streep for the best actress honor. The ladies also won the award for best acting ensemble.

"They say the two most important days in a person's life were the day you were born and the day you discover why you were born," Davis said. "And you know, five hours on the bus going to acting classes when I was 14 years old and coming from very challenging circumstances, I absolutely knew I wanted to be an actor because I wanted to be a somebody...I consider it my honor to pay homage to these woman who in this time period were not allowed to dream, not allowed to find their purpose."

Academy Award shoo-in George Clooney picked up yet another best actor trophy for his starring role in The Descendants. In his speech, Clooney thanked his father Nick Clooney for offering sage advice before he landed his career-changing role in E.R.

"He just said to me, 'If you're not proud of what you're doing, then do it better, or do something else. You didn't have to be a sharecropper or make your own leisure suit, and we would hope that you are happy about that. We hope the work that you do, you would be proud of,'" he said. "I have to say, I am very proud to be in this film."

After losing to Christopher Plummer, who won best supporting actor for his performance in Beginners, fellow nominee Patton Oswalt (Young Adult) was one of the night's funniest presenters, joking that he gave New Yorker critic David Denby "a kidney for nothing."

"Oh, chase away the pain," Oswalt said to his flask (of what he said was Scotch). "Plummer still has to do interviews. He has to stay sober. Not me. I'm going to go get in a fight with a cop," he joked.

Bridesmaids producer Judd Apatow may have topped Oswalt when he finished his acceptance speech for best comedy with some choice words for a legendary comedian.

"Jerry Lewis once said that women weren't funny. With all due respect, I say 'F--k you!," he said.

Martin Scorsese, who won a special Film + Music Awarded was feted for merging his "twin passions of film and music" by his friend and frequent star, Leonardo DiCaprio, George Harrison's widow Olivia Harrison, and a performance by one of his favorite subjects, Bob Dylan.

But in our opinion, it was The Office writer and star Mindy Kaling who stole the show with her mini tribute to Michael Fassbender, who was unfortunately absent.

"I'm sorry, can we just talk about Michael Fassbender for a second? ...Who is this guy? He's sexy for every type of woman," she said while presenting with Community actor Donald Glover. "If you are old fashioned, he was in Jane Eyre, if you are a huge nerd, he was in X-Men, and if you're kind of a weirdo pervert he was in Shame as a sex addict. Where is he? This is why I came here tonight, to meet him!"

Now that the people and the critics have had their say, it's time for the Foreign Press, who'll have their big night Sunday with the Golden Globes!

Major category winners:

Best Picture: The Artist

Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

Best Actor: George Clooney, The Descendants

Best Actress: Viola Davis, The Help

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, The Help

Best Acting Ensemble: The Help

Best Young Actor/Actress: Thomas Horn, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Best Adapted Screenplay: Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin and Stan Chervin, Moneyball

Best Original Screenplay: Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

Best Animation Feature: Rango

Best Action Movie: Drive

Best Comedy: Bridesmaids

Best Foreign Language: A Separation

Check out the complete winners' list

 

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