So I made the mistake of landing on the Critics' Choice Awards last night, after more than a week of non-blogging (and hence not giving much attention to the side of my brain that critiques stuff). Yet after landing on the frighteningly intimate show--like the Globes, it had some of the biggest stars sitting close together at cocktail tables--I couldn't quite change the channel. It was sort of fascinating to watch the stars take everything so nonchalantly. To be sure, it's exciting to be given an award from the people who critique your work all year. But let we forget, Anthony Lane, J. Hoberman, and Andrew Sarris aren't exactly the reviewers doling out the prizes. The Critics' Choice Awards, as one might have surmised by morning show lightweight Joel Siegel enjoying the honor of presenting the Best Picture award, is governed by the Broadcast Film Critics Association. Which means, essentially, that Joel Siegel was likely the most adept critical mind on the panel, as anyone who has ever watched a review of a movie on their local TV news will agree. It was pretty funny to watch, in fact: One could sense Mr. Siegel's awareness that everyone really knows he's a mental lightweight--with Spielberg, Clooney, Ang Lee, Paul Haggis, and Jim Mangold in the room, it was finally the star's chance to feel intellectually superior. And as each accepted his or her award, it was as if he or she was acting excited--if not terribly casual. Clooney's speech--he received some sort of Freedom Award for the important work he's contributed over the last year--was strikingly articulate, humble, and off-the-cuff (and he's the son of a newsman). Of course, as Mssr. Siegel reminded his audience, five of the past six winners of the Critics' Choice award for best picture have won the Best Picture Oscar. (Does that mean the Academy watches their local news reports too much?) Still, it was hard to escape sensations that the stars knew the broadcast critics only matter insofar as they promote ticket sales. "I love critics!" exclaimed Reese Witherspoon, who then went on to qualify her statement saying that that's at least how she felt this year--well, one half of this year. I just wish the camerapeople would have cut-away from the stage more. It would have been interesting to see Clooney and Spielberg chatting about an NYT Op-Ed one of them was reading on his smartphone. Next year, how about the real critics get together to dole out awards? Then we might get to see how Hollywood creatives feel about the critical voices that matter.