Do the Critics' Choice Awards Predict The Oscars? Don't Let The Differing Categories Fool You

As we barrel our way through awards season (the 73rd annual Golden Globe Awards are freshly in the rearview mirror), there are still a few major ceremonies on the horizon: The 21st annual Critics' Choice Awards will air on Jan. 23, the 22nd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will air on Jan. 30, and last but not least? The 88th annual Academy Awards will air on Feb. 28. It's quite a lot of tearful speeches and sparkly red carpet gowns to look forward to, but here's the real question: Are any of the awards related? Do the Critics' Choice Awards predict the Oscars?

I'd have to answer both questions with a qualified yes. If you look back at the winners of the respective awards shows over the past several years, you'll definitely find a good amount of overlap — but, of course, there are major deviations as well. There's also a good deal of variation from year to year. 2014, for example, had an almost identical set of winners between the Oscars and Critics' Choice movie categories (of the categories they share, they only differed in Best Foreign Film and Best Documentary), but 2013 was all over the place, diverging in about half of the major categories.

There's also the fact that they don't always share the same nominees. Take for example, the Critics' Choice Awards controversial, late-in-the-game nomination for The Force Awakens in the Best Picture category. Fans hoped and prayed for it, but alas — Star Wars didn't score the analogous nomination for the Academy Awards (though it did nab some nods in technical categories).

Differing categories blur the lines further — the CCAs have awards for Best Actor/Actress in a Comedy, Best Sci-Fi/Horror, and more. So, in 2014, Jessica Chastain took home the CCA for Best Actress, while Jennifer Lawrence took home the Oscar — but if you look closer, you'll notice that Lawrence also managed to snag the CCA for Best Actress in a Comedy (much how the Emmys played out that year), as well as another trophy for Best Actress in an Action Movie. In other words, if you're trying to use the Critics' Choice Awards as an Oscars predictor, make sure you check the multiple acting categories (they also have a special category specifically for young actors).

Even with all that in mind, though, take a quick look at the past decade of winners for each awards show, and you'll definitely find more similarities than differences. Perhaps you can apply eyebrow-tweezing logic to the two ceremonies: Sisters, not twins — so, while it's definitely worth taking a look at the Critics' Choice Awards winners in preparation for your office Oscar pool, it's by no means a sure thing.

Since the Critics' Choice Awards are a good deal newer than the Academy Awards, though, they seem to evolve with more frequency over the years. Case in point: this year's 21st annual CCAs will add the first-ever "Most Bingeworthy" Award. So whether their winners continue to closely match the Oscars' remains to be seen.

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