Dark western The Power Of The Dog adds Critics Choice wins, Latest Movies News - The New Paper

Dark western The Power Of The Dog adds Critics Choice wins

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - New Zealand film-maker Jane Campion rounded off a perfect weekend in Hollywood's award season by winning the top prizes at the Critics Choice Awards on Sunday (March 13), setting her dark Western The Power Of The Dog as the film to beat at the upcoming Oscars.

Campion - who has already won prestigious gongs from Hollywood's directors guild and Britain's Bafta in a packed weekend - took best picture and best director at the high-profile awards gala in Los Angeles.

The film's award charge comes just days before Oscars voting begins on Thursday (March 17), with the grand Academy Awards ceremony itself to be held in Hollywood on March 27.

"We are so proud and so grateful to the Critics Choice Awards for choosing us. I've still got some PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) from critics going back to early in my career," said Campion. "I'm like the grandmother in the women's movement in film now. But I'm still here," added the lone female nominee in the director category.

Addressing Venus and Serena Williams in the star-studded audience, Campion joked: "Serena and Venus you are such marvels - however you do not play against the guys as I have to."

The tennis greats cheered as Oscars front runner Will Smith added to his Bafta best actor win earlier in the day for his performance as their father, coach and manager in King Richard.

Jessica Chastain won best actress for The Eyes Of Tammy Faye, in which she disappeared beneath layers of the American televangelist's trademark heavy make-up.

The supporting acting winners, Troy Kotsur of Coda and Ariana DeBose of West Side Story, added to growing award hauls as they too pull ahead as Oscar favourites.

The Critics Choice Awards - chosen by almost 500 members of North America's largest critics organisation - laid out a lavish red carpet and gala in Los Angeles for Hollywood A-listers, at a ceremony hosted by Taye Diggs and Nicole Byer.

Comedy legend Billy Crystal, renowned for acting in films such as When Harry Met Sally... (1989) accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award from television host Jimmy Kimmel.

Crystal dedicated the win to his family: "To me, it's a creative achievement award. My lifetime award is my family."

On the TV side, Succession won best drama, Ted Lasso continued its relentless award sweep of the comedy prizes, and Mare Of Easttown starring Kate Winslet was named best limited series.