Critics' Choice Awards: Jessica Chastain Named 2014's MVP of Film

Kevin Costner and Ron Howard, both actors-turned-directors, also will receive special honors at the nationally televised event on Jan. 15
Chastain in her four 2014 films (left to right): 'Miss Julie,' 'The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby,' 'Interstellar' and 'A Most Violent Year'

Jessica Chastain, Kevin Costner and Ron Howard will receive special awards at the 20th Critics' Choice Movie Awards, the Broadcast Film Critics' Association, which hosts the event, announced on Friday. The honors were determined by the BFCA's executive committee and will be presented during the Critics' Choice Awards ceremony on Jan. 15. A&E will broadcast the awards nationally.

Chastain, a two-time Oscar nominee, will receive the first-ever Critics' Choice MVP Award in recognition of the breadth of her accomplishments in 2014, which include outstanding leading performances in Ned Benson's The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them and Liv Ullmann's Miss Julie and supporting performances in Christopher Nolan's Interstellar and J.C. Chandor's A Most Violent Year. (The 37-year-old has been tapped for a best supporting actress NBR Award and Golden Globe nomination for Violent, and The Weinstein Co. is mounting a late push for her to receive a best actress Oscar nom for Rigby.) The honor will annually celebrate "one extraordinary actor for his/her standout work in several movies throughout a single year."

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Two-time Oscar-winner Costner, who is vying for a best actor Oscar nom this year for Mike Binder's Black or White, will be recognized with the group's Lifetime Achievement Award. The 59-year-old Costner will be one of the younger recipients of the honor — his predecessors include Clint Eastwood, Robert Wise and Lauren Bacall.

And Howard — who, like Costner, is an actor and Oscar-winning director — will receive the LOUIS XIII Critics' Choice Genius Award, which annually "honors icons who have demonstrated unprecedented excellence in the cinematic arts." It will also accord him an opportunity to stir up some buzz for his next directorial effort, In the Heart of the Sea, which will be released on March 13, 2015.

The nominees for the Critics' Choice Awards will be announced on Dec. 15.

Twitter: @ScottFeinberg

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