Ben Affleck’s “Argo” won the Producers Guild Awards on Saturday night for Best Picture. If “Argo” wins the Screen Actors Guild tonight, it will be on track for the Oscar. If it doesn’t, then it will still be the prime contender for the Oscar vs. whichever other film wins. We’ll see. Meanwhile “Searching for Sugar Man” won Best Documentary and “Homeland” and “Modern Family” won for Best TV Series, respectively Drama and Comedy. “Wreck it Ralph” was Best Animated Film. Special awards went to Bob and Harvey Weinstein, and to J.J. Abrams. Other winners included HBO’s Game Change and Bryant Gumbel’s Real Sports; The Amazing Race; and PBS’s American Masters.
Our intrepid LEAH SYDNEY reports from the Beverly Hilton very late Saturday night that Mark Gordon, president of the PGA, started the night off with a music video of various VIP producers– including Mark, Paula Wagner, Mike DeLuca, Norman Lear, Larry Gordon, Shonda Rhimes, Russell Simmons and Academy president Hawk Koch, lamenting how hard it is to produce– to the music of “Do Re Me.” Lear, 90, and game for anything funny, was shown sitting on a toilet and snorting lines of cocaine.
Chris Tucker was one of the first presenters out of the gate. Chris said, “I thank all the Producers who made me rich. Harvey Weinstein, Mike De Luca, everyone. Everytime I’m in my Ferrari I think of you. ”
J.J. Abrams was then presented with the Normal Lear Achievement Award in Television by Jennifer Garner. J.J. Was humbled by the award, so much so he said, “What the hell has happened to our standards?” He went on to play homage to Norman, explaining that as a child his favorite show was”All In The Family,” and that he “realized the the mythic status I created for him as a kid, doesn’t hold a candle to the man himself.”
Bradley Cooper presented the Stanley Kramer Award to the talented “Bully” producers Lee Hirsch and Cynthia Lowen. Lee thanked Harvey Weinstein for, “Championing this film and being a mentor to me.”
Working Title partners Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan were given the David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures by Anne Hathaway. British Eric said, ” Thirty years ago, we were trolling the streets of Soho, which has served us in good stead in Hollywood.”
LL Cool J gave the Visionary Award to Russell Simmons. HBO’s and Playtone’s “Game Change” was once again a big winner, garnering The David L. Wolper Award for Outstanding Producer of Long-Form Television.
Robert De Niro introduced Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez who were giving the Milestone Award to Bob and Harvey Weinstein. De Niro said, “Bob and Harvey have been my neighbors for 20 years in Tribeca.” After lauding their charitable work, De Niro quipped, “They have enormous hearts, enormous personalities, well they’re just pretty enormous. They’re are always the toughest guys in the room. But I’m not afraid of them.” After a beat De Niro quipped: “Harvey said it was ok that I said that.”
De Niro added the best line of the night, referring to “Silver Linings Playbook”: “When they came to me about a movie about mental illness I thought, which brother do they want me to play?”
Rodriguez then gave his tribute. “When Bob believes in you as a filmmaker, he believes in you all the way. “ Quentin then added, ” The trajectory and my filmography would not be the same without the Weinstein brothers, particularly Harvey. But I bring Bob in whenever I need him at just the right time. As far as I’m concerned , they are the only game in town. It’s their studio, they’re paying for it and when you’re on the right side of that, it’s pretty fucking good.”
Bob Weinstein spoke first and was quite funny. “There isn’t a chance in hell that I would be accepting this award without my brother Harvey. I know that’s true because Harvey just told me that five minutes ago.” He went on to thank Rodriguez and said, “We’ve made 12 movies and if Ari Emanuel [head of WME talent agency] doesn’t get in the way, we’ll make 12 more.”
Bob then paid tribute to his brother by saying, ” You are the greatest partner and mentor I could ever have and you’re a genius at producing. And like all geniuses you can be murderous to live with. I have followed your lead and if I were a betting man, I’d bet we’ll have fight before the night is over, but we’ll make up before the morning comes.”
Harvey recounted when he and his brother went to Cannes for the first time and actually snuck in the Palais to see a movie. Harvey thanked Quentin and De Niro by saying, ” Bob has done more for the city of New York than any other person I know.” Harvey paid tribute to his parents, his daughters and his wife Georgina, “my love of my life.” Harvey ended his speech by saying, ‘I occasionally have taste, but for every movie we greenlight and it doesn’t work, well it’s the marketing departments fault.”
“Searching For Sugar Man,” won fhe Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures. “Homeland” then won The Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Drama. “Modern Family” then won The Danny Thomas Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television, Comedy.
“Argo” won the Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures. Ben Affleck told the VIP crowd that, “I’m humbled by this and not even in the PGA.” Someone yelled out, “you are now!”