The Critics Choice Awards went almost exactly as you could have predicted. The interesting stuff:
Basterds nabs the Ensemble award, which seems very major to me in the face of the other films nominated.
Avatar wins six Critics Choice Awards, five of them tech categories, but does not win Director or Picture. This reinforces my other major point on Avatar - respected, not loved.
Major love for Kathryn Bigelow and The Hurt Locker. If it wins the Globe, it will be moving into Brokeback Mountain territory (in terms of momentum and build).
The Actress tie for Streep and Bullock. The BFCA seems to want to get behind Bullock, but it still seems like Streep's year.
Jeff Bridges gets Actor from Clooney. But I also have to question - is this a replay of last year? Bridges as Rourke and Clooney as Penn? Although I'm still betting Jeremy Renner surprises us all and steals the Oscar.
Even though there were some very predictable wins (Waltz and Mo'Nique have the stretch wide open for the Oscar), what I'm struck with is how wide open the year still feels. With Avatar yanking tech awards left and right, Bigelow being the consistent choice for director, Basterds taking its fair share of the spotlight, and Up in the Air getting palpable love - who will really pull ahead? And where does this leave us with the nominees?
More to come with Globes preview on Sunday.