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Posted at 12:20 AM ET, 01/15/2011

Critics Choice Awards 2011: A recap

By Jen Chaney

Natalie Portman at the Critics' Choice Awards. (AP)

Most people have better things to do on a Friday night than sit at home and watch the Critics' Choice Awards on VH1.

So for all of you who were out doing those better things, here's a minute-by-minute recap of what went down during the broadcast, followed by a list of all the winners.

You're welcome.

9 p.m.: The show’s about to start and I feel a sense of loss because the pre-show did not feature enough footage of Justin Bieber on the red carpet, interviewing movie stars while wearing silly glasses and a fake mustache. No, I am not making that up.

9:02: The show opens with the Jackass guys doing a satire of “Inception.”

9:03: I’ve already lost interest in the satire of "Inception" because I’m looking around online for video of Justin Bieber wearing silly glasses and a fake mustache. No dice so far.

9:06: Arnold Schwarzenegger walks onstage. He promises not to do a song and dance number. He then refers to the many years he spent in Sacramento as governor. Five people applaud.

9:07: Schwarzenegger makes a joke about being an unemployed actor. The camera cuts to Matt Damon, who is smiling charitably.

9:09: Schwarzenegger finally introduces a montage of the year’s best movies.

9:11: Ashton Kutcher arrives, with unkempt hair, to present best acting ensemble. He makes a bad joke about how he has to clean up the mess left by the previous presenter, the former governor. Almost no one laughs. I hate to say it, but this awards show kind of needs Queen Latifah.

9:12: Best acting ensemble goes to “The Fighter.” Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Melissa Leo and Jack McGee, who plays George Ward in the film, head to the podium. Jack gets to speak and is verklempt. "This is just bitchin'!" he decalres.

9:15: A blond, Gwen Stacy-esque Emma Stone and Jesse Eisenberg present nominees for best young actor/actress. Justin Bieber isn’t nominated for wearing that mustache is he?

9:16: Hailee Steinfeld wins. Matt Damon is at her table and looks elated for her.

9:18: Now house band Maroon 5 is playing us out to commercial. This is what’s become of Maroon 5. They are hired to play lower-tier awards shows on VH1. The Critics’ Choice Awards: kinda like a barmitzvah, but with hotter people and more trophies.

9:20: Eva Mendes and an exceptionally large over-the-shoulder, black lace bow are here to present best supporting actor.

9:21: And Christian Bale wins. Andrew Garfield and Mark Ruffalo are shown not looking surprised.

9:22: Bale thanks Dicky Eklund and the Ward-Eklund family. He says Alice Ward is ill, and in fact earlier this week, was declared dead for 30 minutes and came back to life. The camera cuts to Melissa Leo, who laughs seemingly due to the bluntness of Bale’s comments.

9:23: Bale continues, thanking director David O. Russell, his fellow actors and lastly, his wife and daughter. He chokes up when he looks at his wife. And yes, in case you were wondering why I didn’t mention this back at 9:21 p.m., he does indeed look smoking hot.

9:25: Ed Helms is onstage to present best action movie. In his intro, he calls “The Expendables” this generation’s “Ten Commandments.” It made sense in the larger context of the Cecil B. DeMille joke he made, but I don’t have time to write the whole thing down so just trust me on this one, okay?

9:26: The winner is "Inception." Christopher Nolan and produer Emma Thomas rise to accept and, possibly, invade the subconscious minds of everyone attending the ceremony … or at least the dudes from Maroon 5.

9:27: Nolan thanks Warner Bros. for believing "Inception" was an action film and Joseph Gordon-Levitt for hanging from his toes for three weeks during the zero-gravity scenes. Amen.

9:28: As we head to commercial, the voice-over guy promises the Kardashians will be dropping by. Is there a standing L.A. invitation that makes sure they are welcome at all public events?

9:32: Now it’s time for the Jackass parody of "The Social Network." Weeman is playing one of the Winklevoss twins ... who invented a social networking site called Weebook. Am I the only one not really amused?

9:34: Aaron Sorkin is actually laughing. Well, that was kind of him.

9:34: In an affront to documentarians the world over, Khloe and Kim Kardashian are here to present best documentary feature. You know, because they’re on “reality” television. Errol Morris is not dead but I think he just made an appointment to roll over in his grave at some point in the future.

9:36: “Waiting for Superman” wins. Davis Guggenheim and producer Lesley [sp?] head to the stage.

9:37: Guggenheim asks room if they believes that all kids can learn. Everyone seems to agree except for the people seated behind Davis Guggenheim, who apparently never learned it’s rude to talk when someone else is talking.

9:38: Here comes Jennifer Lawrence and Jon Hamm to present the award for best picture made for television. Thinking this is a “Temple Grandin” moment.

9:40: Ooh, I was wrong. “The Pacific” wins. To the stage, Mr. Spielberg!

9:47: Sarah Silverman is onstage with Joan Rivers, who she just praised for her documentary, “Joan Rivers: A PIece of [Expletive].” They’re presenting best comedy, by the way.

9:49: The winner is … "Easy A." Director Will Gluck notes that everyone can relate to pretending to have sex in high school, especially film critics and the people at “The Social Network” table. Wow.

9:50: Wait, it gets better. He also notes that Emma Stone was home schooled and turns to her and says she probably didn’t pretend to have sex at home, except maybe with her brother, who is kind of hot. Dang, it’s too bad this guy doesn’t get to speak at the Oscars.

9:50: Sofia Vergera and Hank Azaria are here to present the award for best animated feature, aka the "Toy Story 3" Award.

9:51: What do you know? "Toy Story 3" won.

9:53: Now the announcer is running through a bunch of awards we didn’t get to see. Best score: "Social Network." Best foreign language film: "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." Best song: “If I Rise” from “127 Hours.” Before we cut to commerical, we see Spidey co-stars Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield having a chat. Aw, how cute.

9:57: Ice Cube just told everyone to sit their [expletives] down. Classy. Now he launches into a tribute to Quentin Tarantino who is receiving the Music + Film Award. Tarantino is shown at this table, kicking back with a glass of champagne. And now … bring the montage.

10: Here comes Adam Levine from Maroon 5 to play "Stuck in the Middle With You" while footage of the "Reservoir Dogs" ear removal scene plays behind him. This is being very creatively edited for television. They keep cutting to Tarantino and Harvey Weinstein, who appears to be in a state of bliss.

10:03: Keri Hilson is doing "Son of a Preacher Man." She goes over to Tarantino’s table and starts caressing him. This is more awkward than the joke about Emma Stone and her brother.

10:05: Now here comes Pumpkin from "Pulp Fiction," or Tim Roth, to talk about how Tarantino so brilliantly uses music in his movies. Hence his receipt of the Music + Film Award.

10:06: Tarantino is onstage. His tie is askew and he’s babbling. He’s talking about the Monkees’ “Head.” They keep cutting to people in the audience -- Colin Firth, Jeff Bridges, Julianne Moore -- who look bored. Weinstein, however? Still in a state of bliss.

10:09: Okay, Quentin, I love your work. But now it’s time, in the words of Ice Cube, to sit your [expletive] down.

10:14: Josh Brolin is onstage to present best supporting actress. For some reason, he emphasizes the pronunciation of Mee-la in Mila Kunis. And the winner is ... Melissa Leo.

10:15: Leo is wearing a black tuxedo and she is glowing. She talka about her career has blossomed in the last 10 years, looks for a second like she might get choked up but recovers.

10:18: Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel of "Human Giant" fame are horsing around and presenting best adapted screenplay, otherwise known as the Aaron Sorkin Award.

10:19: What do you know, Aaron Sorkin won for “The Social Network.”

10:20: Sorkin calls Mark Zuckerberg an extraordinary leader and altruist. Nice gesture, but it doesn’t change the facy that Rooney Mara totally dumped him.

10:21: Paul Scheer is over with Mila Kunis claiming he’s got a part in "Black Swan 2: Bigger and Blacker." And now it’s on to best original screenplay.

10:22: The winner is David Seidler for “The King’s Speech,” that film’s first win of the night.

10:29: We’re back from commercial wit the Jackass parody of Black Swan. Which seems unnecessary since "Jackass 3D" was a ballet of sorts.

10:30: Yikes. That ended with Rip Taylor in Black Swan make-up. Didn’t see that coming.

10:30: Greg Kinnear makes a History Channel joke (don't ask), then presents award for best director. Which goes to David Fincher for "The Social Network." He was not there to accept; presumably busy with "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo."

10:32: Jimmy Kimmel and Emily Blunt arrive to present the Joel Siegel Award to Matt Damon. Kimmel keeps interrupting with inane comments. For example, he is disputing the number of children who lack access to clean water, per Damon's organization, ”Have another Evian water dot org,” Kimmel just said to Damon.

10:35: Damon just snatched the trophy from Kimmel without a word. I think that was a joke, but the camera cut to Ben Affleck and he looked appalled. Damon says kind words about Blunt, followed by “Jimmy, I literally have no idea why you’re here.” Kimmel feigns offense.

10:41: Julianne Moore, her hair looking a particularly fiery red, presents the award for best actor. And .. Colin Firth wins. Cut to Jesse Eisenberg who looks ecstatic -- relieved, perhaps, that he doesn’t have to give a speech?

10:43: Firth says he plans to wear his statuette around his neck as a talisman to give himself magical powers. Something about this feels very much like a practice run for an Oscar speech.

10:44: I’m struck in this moment by the vast switch in classiness that has taken place in the past 10 minutes. We went from Jackasses in tutus to Colin Firth speaking articulately about stammering.

10:45: Another announcement of awards we didn’t see presented: best make-up and costume for “Alice in Wonderland.” Best cinematography, visual effects, art direction, editing and sound all went to “Inception.”

10:49: Just showed a “Social Network” commercial in which it is proclaimed the year’s best picture by virtually every publication on the planet. If it loses the Critics’ Choice Award in that category, that will certainly seem strange, won’t it?

10:51: Kevin Spacey is here to present Best Actress and is doing an impersonation of Jon Lovitz. “Acting … thank you.” Followed that up with a Bill Clinton impersonation.

10:52: Natalie Portman wins. She heads to the stage looking elegantly pregnant. She thanks Darren Aronofsky for getting her skinny, then indirectly getting her fat by introducing her to her babby-daddy, co-star and choreographer Benjamin Millepied. Well-played, Ms. Portman. She also thanks her parents who are seated at her table: “If I am an echo of what you are as parents, I will be the best in the world.”

10:54: And now four minutes of commercials until best picture.

10:59: Jane Fonda is onstage to present best picture and claiming someone backstage called her a cougar. The woman does look good, I’ll say that.

11:00: And the winner is “The Social Network.” Cut to "Black Swan" table, where Mila Kunis looks bummed.

11:01: One of the producers makes a speech and then the show very abruptly ends. And with that, it’s time to start counting the minutes until Sunday’s Golden Globes.

The Complete List of Critics' Choice Winners:

The Social Network

Colin Firth, The King's Speech

Natalie Portman, Black Swan

Christian Bale, The Fighter

Melissa Leo, The Fighter

The Fighter

David Fincher, The Social Network

David Seidler, The King's Speech

Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network

Toy Story 3

Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit


Easy A

The Pacific

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Waiting For Superman

"If I Rise" (Dido and AR Rahman), 127 Hours

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, The Social Network



Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland




By Jen Chaney  | January 15, 2011; 12:20 AM ET
Categories:  Awards Season, Celebrities, Movies, Pop Culture  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Golden Globes: A list of ridiculous red carpet moments
Next: Golden Globe winners 2011: Katey Sagal, Paul Giamatti and the night's big surprises


Ugh, I thought The Social Network was severely overrated and got most of it's attention due to the subject matter rather than the movie as a whole. I'm a big David Fincher fan and he's never let me down. Good movie but it didn't make my Top Ten. I thought Howl was by far the best movie of the year with it's combination of animation, acting, and cinematography. You can check out my list on my artist's blog at

Posted by: dregstudios | January 15, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Ugh, I thought The Social Network was severely overrated and got most of it's attention due to the subject matter rather than the movie as a whole. I'm a big David Fincher fan and he's never let me down. Good movie but it didn't make my Top Ten. I thought Howl was by far the best movie of the year with it's combination of animation, acting, and cinematography. You can check out my list on my artist's blog at

Posted by: dregstudios | January 15, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

1) Melissa Leo's hair looked amazing. Absolutely loved it and hope there's a picture of it so when my hair grows out I can show it to stylists.

2) The Jimmy Kimmel/Matt Damon joke goes back to when Jimmy and Sarah Silverman were dating and she did the "I'm F*($ing Matt Damon" video, and then Jimmy countered with the "I'm F*&$ing Ben Affleck" video (featuring Josh Groban and a ton of other people). Now, Jimmy announces at the end of every show "Sorry Matt Damon, we ran out of time."

Posted by: Aloe9678 | January 15, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Btw, I saw a picture of The Moustache:

Posted by: Aloe9678 | January 16, 2011 1:07 AM | Report abuse

Did Schwarzenegger use air quotes when describing himself as an "actor"? Much like how people in California used them when referring to him as the "governor".

Posted by: MStreet1 | January 17, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

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