British talent scored several big wins at the 27th Critics Choice Awards (CCA) following a disappointing lack of success back home at the Bafta awards.
Kenneth Branagh’s semi-autobiographical film Belfast scooped the awards for best acting ensemble, best original screenplay and best young actor/ actress for its 11-year-old star Jude Hill.
The youngster thanked his castmates and mum and dad for “always being there and… letting me go down this path in the first place” in an adorable acceptance speech.
Joining him onstage to accept the ensemble cast award, co star Jamie Dornan joked that the win was a surprise as “critics are not usually very nice to me”.
“I’m gonna copy and paste what he said before… truly unbelievable,” he said.
Richmond-based football comedy series Ted Lasso also continued a successful award season run, winning best comedy series as well as individual gongs for Brett Goldstein and Hannah Waddingham.
The in-person CCA ceremony was hosted by US actor Taye Diggs and comedian Nicole Byer at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel in Century City, Los Angeles, on Sunday.
Other British wins came from Oscar-winning designer Jenny Beavan who won best costume for her work on Disney’s Cruella, and the latest Bond theme No Time To Die.
The tune, written and performed by sibling duo Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell, won the award for best song.
It came just hours after the 2022 Bafta awards in London concluded with one of the lowest number of British wins in recent years, picking up only one of the main acting honours.
But several Bafta winners continued their evening’s success at the CCA, including The Power Of The Dog and actors Troy Kotsur and Ariana DeBose.
The dark western won best picture overall, its second major accolade of the evening having already won the Bafta for best picture.
Director Jane Campion was forced to take to the stage twice in a row, after also winning best director, an accolade she had also picked up at the Baftas.
She thanked the film’s stars, Benedict Cumberbatch, Kodi Smit McPhee and Kirsten Dunst as well as Netflix, as she received the accolade from fellow Kiwi director Taika Waititi.
Kotsur won best supporting actor for his part in Coda and joked the honours were “two birds with one stone” and said that though he could not be there in person his “spirit is there with you all”.
DeBose was named best actress for her turn as Anita in West Side Story.
Accepting the award she paid tribute to industry veteran Rita Moreno who played the same role in the original 1961 film, who, she said, “made space for me to thrive beside you”.
Smith fended off British rival Cumberbatch again by taking home the best actor at CCA, following his Bafta win for leading actor.
The actor attended the ceremony with tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, whose father he plays in the film, saying the pair “defined the American dream”.
The all-star sisters both served as executive producers of the film, but did not agree to put their name to the project until it had been completed.
But taking to the stage to present the award for best drama series they said seeing their stories told in the film was “one of the most special experiences of our lives.”
The Williams sisters received a standing ovation from CCA audience and joked that attendees were “much better dressed” than at tennis tournaments.
Another big winner at the CCA was HBO’s Succession, which won best drama series as well as best supporting actress and actor respectively for its stars Sarah Snook and Kieran Culkin.
Squid Game won best foreign language series and its star Lee Jung-Jae was given the gong for best actor in a drama series.