Journalism drama "Spotlight" picked up the Best Acting Ensemble prize at the Critics' Choice Awards on Sunday night, winning out over films like "Straight Outta Compton," ''The Big Short" and "The Hateful Eight."
It was the only award that N.W.A biopic "Straight Outta Compton" was up for at the show, but the film was on everyone's minds on the blue carpet and in the early moments of the evening after it received only one Academy Award nomination for screenwriting.
"They got snubbed, but there are lots of other great films that got snubbed as well," said Neil Brown Jr. before the show began. Brown Jr. played DJ Yella in the film which has picked up its share Guild nominations this season.
"Just everybody talking about it is enough of an Oscar for us," he added.
O'Shea Jackson Jr., who played his father Ice Cube in the film, echoed his sentiments, saying that he's "enjoying the ride, enjoying the party."
The lack of diversity this awards season came into full focus on Thursday when there were once again no acting nominees of color among the Academy Awards nominees. On Saturday, Jada Pinkett Smith even posited on Twitter that perhaps people of color should refrain from participating in the Oscars altogether.
"We are rarely recognized for our artistic accomplishments," Smith wrote.
"Black-ish" star Anthony Anderson joked early on about the lack of diversity at the Oscars.
"A lot of actors who win the Critics' Choice go on to win the Academy Award," said Anderson when presenting an early award with co-star Tracee Ellis Ross. "For you, Tracy, that means only half of you gets to go to the awards."
While Anderson was making a joke, the Critics' Choice Awards winners do often reflect who will go on to win the Oscar, making the ceremony an interesting barometer for the season as everyone gears up for the Guild Awards and, eventually, the Oscars on Feb. 28.
"Mad Max: Fury Road" has a leading 13 nominations. The film will be competing for best picture with awards heavyweights like "The Revenant" and "The Martian," as well as with box office behemoth "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" — which was shut out of the Oscar best picture race.
Nominees and winners are voted on by the Broadcast Film Critics' Association. "Star Wars" was added after initial nominees were revealed.
Early winners from the evening include "Fargo" for best limited series, Jeffrey Tambor for "Transparent," Alicia Vikander for "The Danish Girl" and "Ex Machina" for best sci-fi film.
Sylvester Stallone also won best supporting actor for his reprising his role as Rocky Balboa in "Creed."
"Before I get into any more trouble I want to say thank you to my director Ryan Coogler. He is a genius. He really made it all happen," Stallone said. "Michael B. Jordan, you're a great, great talent and you're here for a long time."
At the Golden Globe Awards, Stallone forgot to thank his co-star and director during the televised portion of the evening and was harshly criticized for the oversight.
This is the first year the Critics' Choice Awards has combined movies and television nominees into one ceremony, similar to the Golden Globes.
Host T.J. Miller, who stars on the HBO show "Silicon Valley" hosted the show.
"Celebrities, don't worry. I'm not going to Ricky Gervais this thing," he said at the beginning of the show. "How awkward and abrasive do you have to be to make all of us in this room feel bad for Mel Gibson?"