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Critics' Choice Awards: The ladies host, win and smooch

Streep and Bullock
Bigelow Girls rocked at the 15th annual Critics' Choice Awards on Friday night. As Kristin Chenoweth pointed out with much perkiness, she was the event's first woman host, and Kathryn Bigelow was the first woman to nab best director, for the much-buzzed-about "The Hurt Locker," which also picked up best picture. You go, girls.

Then of course there was the shocking-but-not-really married-woman-on-married-woman smack-on-the-mouth kiss that Sandra Bullock bestowed on Meryl Streep when they tied for best actress. Alright, ladies, we get it. You're wacky.

Bullock, who was honored for "The Blind Side," was one of the evening's surprises. Clearly, even she didn't expect to be onstage with Streep. "To the critics, I bet you never saw this coming," she said.

Another much loved but rarely honored star was best actor Jeff Bridges, who has racked up multiple noms for Oscars, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards but never won. ... 

Jeff Bridges For the 60-year-old actor, who's looking good this awards season for his grizzly performance in "Crazy Heart," that meant making up for a lot of lost thank-yous. "It's a damn long list I have for this movie," he told the crowd. "You guys don't have one of those canes to pull me off?"

Well, no. And yes. After his zillionth thank-you, "Please wrap it up" started flashing in we-mean-business green letters on the teleprompter.

In contrast was the chastened James Cameron, whose cringe-worthy "I'm the king of the world" speech for his "Titanic" best director Oscar win in 1998 is still ricocheting through cyberspace. The writer-director-producer of the wildly successful "Avatar" came onstage with fellow producer Jon Landau to pick up the award for best action movie, but this time Landau gave the acceptance speech. Cameron didn't utter a peep.

By the end of the show, everyone was ravenous after a dinner of three dots of crab- and beef-flavored food and a plate of mini-desserts. (That's so you guys don't see stars eating with their mouths open when the cameras pan the room.)

So the masses left the Hollywood Palladium and headed over to Katsuya for the Grey Goose sponsored after-party to hoover up platters of sushi. The restaurant was quickly filled with wall-to-wall producers, agents, publicists and critics. (Here's the formula: Hollywood + free sushi = human gridlock.) Celebs, not so much.

Silverman and Lambert The first stars to arrive were party hosts Susan Sarandon and her daughter, Eva Amurri, who whizzed down the red carpet without talking to reporters before disappearing into the restaurant. The media had been alerted that "they will not be available for interviews," presumably to avoid questions about Sarandon's recently announced surprising split from longtime partner Tim Robbins.

Right behind came Kyra Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon, who won the Joel Siegel Award for his charitable social networking site, sixdegrees.org. They zoomed down the red carpet, and after Sedgwick picked at her stir-fried vegetables in the virtually celeb-free zone, the couple beat a hasty retreat.

Ditto Sarah Silverman, who with Adam Lambert had presented the best comedy award after brutally awkward intro patter that in theory played off Adam's sexuality. They were working, we assume, from the same script that provided best actress presenter Bradley Cooper with a joke that had a Jessica Rabbit reference as the nominal punch line.

For a while, "The Office's" Craig Robinson had the whole red carpet to himself. As for the rest of the glitterati, most headed off to celebrate privately in places only rarely populated by mere mortals.

-- Irene Lacher

Photos, from top: Meryl Streep goofs on Sandra Bullock after the two tied for best actress (Meryl's speech came first) at the Critics' Choice Awards; best director Kathryn Bigelow; best actor Jeff Bridges; Sarah Silverman and Adam Lambert presented the award for best comedy to "The Hangover." Credits: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press, top two photos; Kevin Winter / Getty Images, bottom two.

Related Critics' Choice dispatches approved by the Ministry of Gossip:

Winners: Broadcast critics name 'Hurt Locker' best picture

The night's best and worst moments, in pictures

Photo gallery: CCA red carpet arrivals

We're live blogging and live tweeting the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, so follow us on Twitter (we're @LATcelebs) and Facebook for reports from behind the scenes, in the ballroom and at the after-parties.

 
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