'12 Years a Slave,' 'American Hustle' win big at Critics Choice awards
Cate Blanchett accepts the award for best actress at the 19th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards in Santa Monica
By Chris Michaud
(Reuters) - "12 Years a Slave," Cate Blanchett and Matthew McConaughey were among big winners at the Critics Choice Movie Awards on Thursday, taking honors for best picture, actress and actor.
The all-star "American Hustle," about 1970s corruption which earlier Thursday received 10 Oscar nominations, was named best comedy film, with Amy Adams winning best comedy actress.
The 281-member Broadcast Film Critics Association, the largest film critics' organization in the United States and Canada, also gave the film its best acting ensemble prize at the event in Santa Monica, California.
Leonardo DiCaprio won best comedy actor for "The Wolf of Wall Street," setting the pattern early for the awards which virtually mirrored the top winners at Sunday's Golden Globes.
Blanchett, who also won the Globe and is favored for the Oscar, was honored for Woody Allen's "Blue Jasmine," in which she plays the unbalanced wife of a disgraced Bernard Madoff-like swindler.
Many stars who were nominated - or snubbed - just hours earlier for the Oscars, Hollywood's top honors, were on hand, including Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks.
Steve McQueen holds up the award for best picture at the 19th annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards in Santa Monica
Jared Leto won best supporting actor for his turn as a transsexual fighting AIDS in "Dallas Buyers Club." He dedicated his award to "all the people around the world who are living with HIV (and) all the people who have lost their lives to this horrific disease."
Both McConaughey, who plays the real-life, heterosexual Ron Woodroof who became an AIDS activist after being diagnosed in the 1980s and given weeks to live, and Leto won Golden Globes on Sunday, and both were nominated for Oscars on Thursday.
"Thank you, this is fun," exclaimed a clearly elated McConaughey, who thanked Woodruff "for living a life that was damned well worth putting to the big screen."
Lupita Nyong'o, who plays slave Patsey in "12 Years a Slave," won best supporting actress, prevailing over such A-list contenders in the category as Roberts and Oprah Winfrey.
Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón was named best director for the outer-space hit "Gravity," which also took prizes for visual effects, film editing and cinematography. Star Sandra Bullock also won best actress in an action film, calling "Gravity" "a movie that should not have worked - but it did."