The Academy Awards are voted on by filmmakers, but many other awards given out during awards season, like the Golden Globes, are given out by critics. And that can create some tension. Sure, the critics like this movie or this performance. But they might not like everything that actor did in the past. And they might have made that clear in their reviews. Like, really clear.

And so you get moments like the one at the Critics Choice Awards, where Robert Downey Jr. accepted his Best Supporting Actor prize for Oppenheimer by reading a few choice quotes from his critics. (“I love critics!” Downey hailed as he took the stage.)

Among the lines he read from prior reviews:

  • “Sloppy, messy, and lazy”
  • “Like Pee-wee Herman emerging from a coma”
  • “A puzzling waste of talent”
  • “Amusing as a bed-locked fart.”

That last one is particularly poetic, so I wanted to see who wrote it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it online. (It could be from a broadcast critic and was aired on TV?) Regardless, whoever called Robert Downey Jr. as amusing as a bed-locked fart should step forward and take a bow. That’s certainly a more evocative turn of phrase than anything in Oppenheimer. 

OPPENHEIMER
Universal
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I have seen variations of this poke-fun-at-critics-to-their-faces gambit before at awards shows and it almost always kills. I’m a member of the New York Film Critics Circle, and a few years ago, Adam Sandler attended our annual awards to present the Best Director prize to the Safdie brothers for their work on Uncut Gems. His hilarious presentation included a “confrontation” with his critics.

“All you critics,” he said in that signature affected Sandler voice, “I know what you have said about me over the years. It’s fine. I have two words to say to you: You’re mean! But this is about the boys. The Safdie brothers.”

You can watch Downey’s full acceptance speech for his Critics Choice Award below.

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