Saturday, January 16, 2010

Precious Avatar win Critics' Choice awards

Updated on : Saturday, January 16, 2010

LOS ANGELES: "Precious," "Avatar" and "Inglourious Basterds" won early prizes on Friday at the Critics' Choice Awards, a ceremony that has an uncanny knack of foretelling Oscar success.

Quentin Tarantino's Nazi revenge fantasy "Inglourious Basterds" picked up the first award, for best ensemble. The film led the field with 10 nominations, tied with the all-star musical "Nine."

Comedian Mo'Nique was named best supporting actress for her turn as an abusive mother in the harrowing urban drama "Precious."

She described the film's director, Lee Daniels, as "one of the most brilliant directors and visionaries of our time," and said she was "awe-struck" by the film's star, Gabourey Sidibe.

"Avatar," which scored nine nomination, was named best action movie.

All three movies will compete for the best picture award, an honor that usually leads to the top Oscar.

"Avatar" producer Jon Landau declined to be drawn on the film's Oscar chances, or how much money writer/director James Cameron's blockbuster would make at the box office. It is quickly catching up to the pair's all-time champ "Titanic."

"I'm very excited about the whole season," Landau said. "I think it's a very competitive year this year. To be included with the group of movies that we are it's very exciting."

Other early winners included "Up" for best animated film, and Saoirse Ronan for best young actor/actress. She played a teen who was raped and murdered in Peter Jackson's "The Lovely Bones."

The Critics' Choice Awards, organized by the 235 members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, have established a reputation as the leading barometer of Oscar success. In the last 10 years, 80 percent of its best-picture winners went onto take Oscar gold. The success rate for director, best actor and actress is 70 percent.

The Golden Globes, by contrast, have a 60 percent rate for best picture in the same period, even after dividing its category into drama and comedy. Its hit rate with best director is 50 percent. "Up in the Air" is the leading contender at the Globes, which will take place in Beverly Hills on Sunday.

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