"Ralph Breaks the Internet" is a clever and winning sequel for Disney                Alfonso Cuarón tells a deeply personal story with absolute precision in "Roma"                "Creed II" is an outstanding sequel and one of the year's best films                Strong showings for "Eighth Grade" and "You Were Never Really Here" highlight the Independent Spirit Award nominations                Review: Round-Up: "At Eternity's Gate", "The Clovehitch Killer", "Jonathan", and "The Last Race"                "Green Book" is a crowd pleaser of the highest order and a definite Oscar contender                Steve McQueen and a phenomenal ensemble cast help make "Widows" look effortless                "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" offers something for every type of Coen Brothers fan                Updated Academy Award predictions for early November                Review Round-Up: "Dr. Seuss' The Grinch", "El Angel" "The Long Dumb Road", and "Outlaw King"                Taking a look at potential Best Documentary Feature contenders                "The Front Runner" is a terrific and timely film for right around Election Day                Hollywood Film Awards Marked the Launch of Awards Season                Taking a first crack at Golden Globe predictions                “The Favourite” and “The Front Runner”: Films to see in November        

Are Critics’ Choice Awards an Oscars preview?

By Paul Sheehan

On Friday evening, the 16th annual edition of the Critics’ Choice Awards took place in Hollywood. Were the winners practicing their Academy Awards acceptance speeches when they took to the stage at the Palladium?

Certainly Best Actor champ Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”) will need to find new way to say “thank you” as he is expected to win most of the other precursor awards on his way to the podium at the Kodak Theater. However, Best Actress winner Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”) remains locked in a close race with Annette Bening (“The Kids Are All Right”). Both are expected to prevail in their respective categories at the Golden Globes Sunday so we will have to wait for the SAG Awards for a rematch.

The HFPA kudos could crown “The King’s Speech” as Best Drama Picture. Will that be a mere bump in the road for “The Social Network” which has swept the critics prizes this year” “The Hurt Locker” did the same last year — it lost to “Avatar” at the Globes — before prevailing at the Oscars as Best Picture.

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