Whatever you'd call the equivalent of a "rags to riches" story in terms of a television program's critical appreciation, that's what 2012 has been for NBC's Community. On Monday night, the sitcom, which only a few months prior had been in the midst of a threatening hiatus due to low ratings, earned the title of Best Comedy at the second annual Critics Choice Awards for television.
But as if to drive home the fact that this world just refuses to give Community fanatics any true joy, the series' creator Dan Harmon, whom NBC fired as Community showrunner for the upcoming fourth season, was not present to accept the award. As Harmon Tweeted shortly after the ceremony, "Congrats, Community, and thank you, critics. Sorry I was unable to have been invited!" The brilliant mind behind NBC's greatest artistic testament to human relationships since Cheers was ousted from his showrunner position shortly after the network announced that Community would receive a Season 4; this event publicized Harmon's contentious relationship with the studio, akin perhaps to his relationship with series star Chevy Chase. The Critics Choice Award for Best Comedy was accepted Community cast members Joel McHale (leading man Jeff Winger), Gillian Jacobs (bad-at-everything Britta Perry), and Danny Pudi (best-character-in-the-history-of-television Abed Nadir), as well as executive producer Russ Krasnoff. Back when Community was first nominated for the honor, speculation about the program's Emmy chances arose. Now, they're even more feasible — the 2012 Emmy ballot is just aching for Greendale Community College. Below is a complete list of this year's Critics Choice Award winners: Best Drama Series Homeland (Showtime) Best Actor in a Drama Series Bryan Cranston - Breaking Bad (AMC) Best Actress in a Drama Series Claire Danes - Homeland (Showtime) Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Giancarlo Esposito - Breaking Bad (AMC) Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Christina Hendricks - Mad Men (AMC) Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series Lucy Liu - Southland (TNT) Best Reality Series Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations (Travel Channel) Best Reality Series - Competition The Voice (NBC) Best Reality Show Host (Tie) Tom Bergeron - Dancing with the Stars (ABC), Cat Deeley - So You Think You Can Dance (FOX) Best Talk Show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (NBC) Best Comedy Series Community (NBC) Best Actor in a Comedy Series Louis C.K.- Louie (FX) Best Actress in a Comedy Series (Tie) Zooey Deschanel - New Girl (FOX) and Amy Poehler - Parks and Recreation (NBC) Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Ty Burrell - Modern Family (ABC) Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Julie Bowen - Modern Family (ABC) Best Guest Performer in a Comedy Series Paul Rudd - Parks and Recreation (NBC) Best Animated Series Archer (FX) Best Movie/Miniseries Sherlock (PBS) Best Actor in a Movie/Miniseries Benedict Cumberbatch - Sherlock (PBS) Best Actress in a Movie/Miniseries Julianne Moore - Game Change (HBO) [Image Credit: NBC] More: 'Community' Season Finale: #SixSeasonsAndAMovie 'Community': Why It's Okay that Dan Harmon's Show Is Over John Oliver: The Internet is 'Killing' 'Community' Community
Melissa McCarthy, who won an Oscar nomination for her part in the movie, scooped Best Performance by an Actress during the Comedy Central prizegiving at the Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan on Saturday night (28Apr12).
The actress' co-star Kristen Wiig shared the Best Comedy Screenplay prize with her co-writer Annie Mumolo, and the pair drew laughs from the audience by pretending to wrestle for the trophy on stage.
Paul Feig won Best Comedy Director and the movie was also named Best Comedy Film.
The prizegiving also honoured Oscar-winning French actor Jean Dujardin, who won the Best Performance by an Actor - Film for his role in The Artist, while Modern Family star Ty Burrell and Parks and Recreation's Amy Poehler scored acting nods in the TV categories.
Funnyman Robin Williams was named Stand-Up Icon at the show and on accepting the prize, he called himself "one of the luckiest f**kers in showbusiness, with the possible exception of Ryan Seacrest," and comedy legend Don Rickles was feted for his career achievements with the Johnny Carson Award.
The beloved comic couldn't resist joking about the accolade, telling the crowd, "I see many people in the audience tonight, and I realise: I'm the biggest name here!"
The night also featured an appearance by Community co-stars Joel McHale and Chevy Chase, who put a public feud over the show behind them by presenting an award together. Chase, who blasted show creator Dan Harmon in an explosive leaked voicemail message earlier this month (Apr12), appeared to put the incident behind him by joking with McHale on stage.
McHale told the crowd, "When I see Chevy and (me) together, I can only think of one thing - teamwork... What an absolute joy it is to work alongside a comic legend... and I know all those pratfalls are because of an inoperable tumour" as Chase leaned his head on his co-star's shoulder and shot back, calling McHale "a brilliant actor, who has a horrible eating disorder".
The ceremony will be broadcast in the U.S. on the Comedy Central channel on 6 May (12).
It's easy to hate on the Twilight movies. They're the epitome of indulgent fan-servicing filmmaking alienating anyone on the outside of their cultish fanbase. With consistent navel-gazing screenplays by series screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg (adapted from the equally shallow source material from author Stephanie Meyers) there's little reason to think future installments could ever transcend their predecessors.
But whereas Twilight New Moon and Eclipse contently burrowed themselves under the forlorn faces and over-dramatic moping of stars Kristen Stewart Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner director Bill Condon (Dreamgirls Kinsey Candyman 2: Farewell to the Flesh) unearths a saving grace in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1: pure insanity from which blossoms color comedy and scares. The movie is one giant wink to the camera—and it serves the melodrama of Twilight tremendously.
The first half of the not-quite-epic Twilight conclusion kicks off with the wedding of Bella (Stewart) and Edward (Pattinson) a long-awaited event Condon manages to spin into an authentically nerve-wracking and touching sequence. Finally a Twilight movie with an obvious purpose—Bella and Edward have been waiting since Movie One to consummate their relationship (waiting until marriage) but lingering at the end of every daydream every loving gaze every sweet nothing is the gut-wrenching fact that Bella will give up her humanity. Breaking Dawn - Part 1 confronts this dead on with an overtness absent from the previous movies.
While the script is still committed to visualizing Bella Edward and Jacob's uncinematic inner monologues Condon peppers every scene with the zest of ridiculousness saving Breaking Dawn from ever dragging. Edward cracking a bed in half during his first sexual experience is just the beginning—the movie features everything from demon-fearing Brazilian housekeepers to body horror straight out of a Cronenberg film to corny CSI-esque shots of vampire venom jetting through bloodstreams. In one scene Jacob (Lautner) morphs into canine form to telepathically declare (in Lautner's brooding "tough guy" voice) that he is the true Alpha Male of the pack. The moment's hammy and trite but Condon shoots it with all the over-the-top machismo exuding from the wolfpack. Subtle no. Fun yes.
Breaking Dawn - Part 1 is far and away the best of the Twilight series. Sexy silly scary and stupid the movie's tonal balancing act amounts to an Evil Dead for tween romantics. There's gravity to the events we're witnessing on screen (Pattinson and Stewart even have a tense argument that results in an explosion of their previously-presumed non-existent emotions) but a self-reflexive lens keeps the normally-idiotic confessions of love and hushed prophetic warnings of the Cullen family in check. The operatic tale crescendos with buckets of blood and "tragedy" straight out of a high school Shakespeare production—completely in tune with the outlandish plot and a satisfying cliffhanger for Part 2. The movie is weighed down by the baggage that comes with a Twilight movie but the formula is shaken up just enough to inject the undead franchise with a little life.
From the moment Hailee Steinfeld enters the frame in Joel and Ethan Coen’s magnificent western True Grit an adaptation of Charles Portis’ 1968 novel (or re-adaptation — John Wayne's 1969 version got to it first) the film belongs to her. This is no easy feat especially for a 13-year-old actress making her feature-film debut but Steinfeld not only holds her own alongside such heavyweights as Jeff Bridges Matt Damon and Josh Brolin she often upstages them.
The film which is set in the 1870s stars Steinfeld as Mattie Ross a pigtailed 14-year-old sent to the frontier town of Fort Smith Arkansas to settle the affairs of her deceased father an honorable man murdered for two gold pieces by a monstrous simpleton named Tom Chaney (Brolin). Mattie also comes seeking justice: Chaney is still at large having escaped to the dangerous foreboding expanse of the Indian Territory and she intends to see to it that he is captured and brought to trial.
Frustrated by the local authorities’ ambivalence toward tracking down her father's killer Mattie turns to Rooster Cogburn (Bridges) a slovenly alcoholic U.S. Marshal renowned for his cruelty and itchy trigger finger. Were there a Miranda warning in 1870s Cogburn would have little use for it; chances are few of his perps would understand it through his grouchy guttural slur anyway.
Pleading to join their makeshift posse is LaBoeuf (Damon) a pompous upright and overly chatty Texas Ranger — the Good Cop to Cogburn’s Bad Cop — who covets Chaney’s Texas bounty which holds more value than his Arkansas bounty. Cogburn agrees reluctantly to take him on recognizing that Chaney now likely holed up with his criminal gang a vicious bunch headed by a spittle-spewing snaggletooth named Lucky Ned (Barry Pepper) is too formidable to approach alone. Cogburn and LaBoeuf are natural rivals and long rides on the trail of Chaney afford them ample time for dick-measuring contests which invariably necessitate the intervention of their teenage mother hen Mattie.
Mattie may be the most mature member of the posse but she is nonetheless still a child — eventually the job of exacting final vengeance must fall upon the men with guns. Here Mattie’s stout heart has an ennobling effect on Cogburn who after briefly giving up during a booze-fueled bout with self-doubt stiffens his resolve to see things through.
Compared to its predecessor the Coen Brothers’ version of True Grit is both funnier and less sentimental. There is little room for tenderness or romance on the Coens’ frontier but opportunities abound for the kind of black humor for which the writer-directors have become so famous. As in Fargo they have a great deal of fun with language; characters speak in a laughably rigid formalized manner almost Shakespearian in its tongue-twisting complexity. The film's ironic conceit that such codes thrive in a land ruled by violence and chaos is best illustrated in Mattie’s constant almost charmingly naive threats of legal action against her adversaries. They react to her threats with a kind of befuddled amusement; the phrase "I'll see you in court" is still several decades away from joining the popular lexicon.
Critics often bemoan the abundance of remakes in modern risk-averse Hollywood. A more productive strategy at least for the cause of quality filmmaking might be to properly exalt the better ones. This True Grit may be the best of them combining the look and feel of a classic western with a distinctly Coens brothers tone. And Ms. Steinfeld is nothing short of a revelation.
Both movies will compete for the coveted Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture prize, alongside Black Swan, The Kids Are All Right and Facebook-inspired film The Social Network.
The King's Speech star Colin Firth is among nominees in the best actor category, which also saw nods to Jeff Bridges (True Grit),
Robert Duvall (Get Low), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network) and James Franco (127 Hours), while The Fighter star Mark Wahlberg missed out on a mention.
Trailing with three nominations each are The Kids Are All Right and Black Swan, which earned respective stars Annette Bening and Natalie Portman mentions in the best actress category, next to Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole), Jennifer Lawrence (Winter's Bone) and Hilary Swank (Conviction).
The nominations were announced on Thursday morning (16Dec10) by guest presenters Rosario Dawson and Angie Harmon and the prizegiving ceremony will take place on 30 January (11).
The main list of nominees for the 17th Annual SAG Awards is as follows:
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture:
The Kids Are All Right
The King's Speech
The Social Network
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role:
Jeff Bridges - True Grit
Robert Duvall - Get Low
Jesse Eisenberg - The Social Network
Colin Firth - The King's Speech
James Franco - 127 Hours
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role:
Annette Bening - The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman - Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence - Winter's Bone
Natalie Portman - Black Swan
Hilary Swank - Conviction
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role:
Christian Bale - The Fighter
John Hawkes - Winter's Bone
Jeremy Renner - The Town
Mark Ruffalo - The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush - The King's Speech
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role:
Amy Adams - The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carer - The King's Speech
Mila Kunis - Black Swan
Melissa Leo - The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld - True Grit
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries:
John Goodman - You Don't Know Jack
Al Pacino - You Don't Know Jack
Dennis Quaid - The Special Relationship
Edgar Ramirez - Carlos
Patrick Stewart - Macbeth (Great Performances)
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries:
Claire Danes - Temple Grandin
Catherine O'Hara - Temple Grandin
Julia Ormond - Temple Grandin
Winona Ryder - When Love is Not Enough: The Lois Wilson Story
Susan Sarandon - You Don't Know Jack
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series:
Steve Buscemi - Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston - Breaking Bad
Michael C. Hall - Dexter
Jon Hamm - Mad Men
Hugh Laurie - House
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series:
Glenn Close - Damages
Mariska Hargitay - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Julianna Margulies - The Good Wife
Elizabeth Moss - Mad Men
Kyra Sedgwick - The Closer
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series:
Alec Baldwin - 30 Rock
Chris Colfer - Glee
Ed O'Neill - Modern Family
Ty Burrell - Modern Family
Steve Carell - The Office
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series:
Edie Falco - Nurse Jackie
Tina Fey - 30 Rock
Jane Lynch - Glee
Sofia Vergara - Modern Family
Betty White - Hot In Cleveland
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series:
The Good Wife
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series:
Hot In Cleveland