Gal Gadot's "Wonder Woman" bags best action movie award at Critics' Choice Award

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LONDON - It was a good night for women at the Critics’ Choice Awards, which honored women-centered stories like Big Little Lies, The Handmaid’s Tale and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Wonder Woman was named best action movie and star Gal Gadot accepted a special award for challenging gender stereotypes.

Yet the industry’s ongoing sexual misconduct crisis remained an element of the ceremony as James Franco won an acting award early in the evening, hours after a report detailed new misconduct allegations against The Disaster Artist star and director. Franco did not attend Thursday’s presentation at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California, and his award was presented during a pre-telecast section broadcast only online.

Franco won a similar award at the Golden Globes earlier in the week, where most women dressed in black to protest sexual harassment. More women dressed in colour on Thursday, but their determination to end gender discrimination remained just as fierce.

“I want to share this award with all the women and men who stand for what’s right, standing for those who can’t stand or speak for themselves,” Gadot said as she accepted the second annual #SeeHer award. “My promise to you is: I will never be silenced. We will continue to band together to make strides, uniting for equality.”

Guillermo del Toro’s fantasy romance, The Shape of Water, was the top film winner with four awards. Del Toro, who was also named best director, closed the show Thursday night by shouting that he’s always believed in the equality of women.

“Let me tell you one thing, if you don’t do that, you don’t know what you’re missing,” he said.

The Shape of Water, which led all nominees with 14 bids, also claimed the best picture prize, along with score and production design honours.

Olivia Munn hosted the dinner ceremony, which was broadcast live on the CW network. The actress, who has spoken publicly about her own experiences with sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry, led the audience in a toast. Joined by actress Niecey Nash, they raised a glass “to all the good guys in Hollywood ,” who held meetings in conference rooms rather than hotel rooms.

“Congratulations for doing what you’re supposed to do!” Nash said.

Big Little Lies received four awards: best limited series, as well as acting honours for Nicole Kidman, Alexander Skarsgard and Laura Dern.

Kidman thanked the entertainment community “who show up to make really fantastic films and TV and let us do what we love.” -Agencies

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