Critics Choice Awards 2022: ‘The Power of the Dog’ wins Best Picture

March 13, 2022, 8:39 p.m. ET

Credit…Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Most of the Critics Choice ceremony was focused on the awards, but the war in Ukraine was approached in a number of ways.

Most notably, Oscar-nominated actress Maria Bakalova, known for her breakout role as Tutar Sagdiyev in ‘Borat Next Moviefilm’, took time out on Sunday night – before announcing the Best Supporting Actor award – to recognize the Ukrainian people.

“I come from Bulgaria and my hometown is a few hundred kilometers from Ukraine,” Bakalova said. “As we come together on this special night, I want to take a moment to recognize the bravery of the people of Ukraine in defending their right to independence and democracy.

“I really hope that we will come together and usher in a new era of cultural and artistic exchange between Eastern Europe and Hollywood, which has been a fundamental force for creativity in the 20th century,” she continued. . “So I hope my message goes to the Ukrainian people: we see you. We are with you. And our hearts are with you.

Bakalova hails from Burgas, the fourth largest city in Bulgaria, located less than 750 miles from Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. Earlier on Sunday, Russia launched airstrikes against a military base in western Ukraine, bringing the war 11 miles from the border with Poland.

Billy Crystal, recipient of a lifetime achievement award, also spoke about his roots in the region, explaining that his grandmothers were from Odessa and Kiev and had fled to the United States to escape the pogroms . When he was growing up on Long Island, “their laughs – the first laughs I ever had in my life – are the fuel my engine still burns today,” he said, and added, “I pray that somehow, somehow, there can be laughter and joy again in this part of the world.

“Ted Lasso” star Hannah Waddingham, accepting Best Comedy Series on behalf of the cast, spoke of the “babies in Ukraine who are being completely decimated right now by this putrid, putrid torrent of abuse. Please , think of them as much as you can and give as much as you can.

Before handing out the biggest prize of the night, best photo, Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay handed the microphone to his fiancee, a real estate agent, Veronika Khomyn, originally from Ukraine. . “I stand proudly alongside my fellow Ukrainians and admire their strength,” she told the crowd. “They faced unimaginable adversity with such profound grace and bravery. Their fight and the way they united the world is truly inspiring. There is no place in our world for this kind of violence, and our prayers go out to all the lives that were lost.

There were also a handful of entertainers – including “Succession”‘s Jeremy Strong and “White Lotus” actor Murray Bartlett – wearing blue and yellow pins, reflecting Ukraine’s national colors.