Sunday, May 26, 2024

George Clooney, Ben Affleck Steal the Show at Hollywood Film Awards


Our Leah Sydney is sending reports from the 15th Annual Hollywood Film Awards dinner in Los Angeles at the Beverly Hilton, where George Clooney has made a splash with girlfriend Stacey Keibler, and “everyone is thanking Harvey Weinstein,” Leah reports that Clooney — now the Hollywood vet– fixed the tie of “The Artist” director Michel Hazanavicius before he got on stage. Jean DuJardin, the movie’s star, joked, “Do I have to talk? It’s a silent movie, my English is  rusty.” It’s the coming out party for DuJardin, Hazanavicius, and Berenice Bejo–they’re meeting and greeting Hollywood establishment.

Starz Channel’s Chris Albrecht and’s Carlos Abreu have put together the night–with tons of stars. Clooney and Keibler, Glenn Close, Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen, Paul Haggis, Ewan McGregor, Anne Hathaway–a breath of fresh air, Ben Affleck, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emma Stone and the gang from “The Help,” and so on all over the room.

A big hit of the Hollywood Film Festival is “Beginners,” with Christopher Plummer getting a lot of buzz for Best Supporting Actor. McGregor, presenting Plummer with an award: “I wondered if we would gel as father and son, I wondered if he would like my version of ‘The hills are alive.’ But he had me in tears the whole time.” Plummer was erudite and charming – he cracked the audience up when he looked at the video screen and saw himself large and looming over the hall. He said, with a smirk, “God, that is cruel to the face. I don’t look like that do I?”  Plummer continued, about “Beginners”: “I’ve never been so relaxed in front of a camera. Surely that is prize enough.”

Quentin Tarantino presented to screenwriter Diablo Cody–“When you saw Juno you knew you were in the presence of a new voice. It’s hard being a great writer in Hollywood. She’s in the class of Paddy Chayevsky and Wiliam Goldman.”  Tarantino quoted A.O. Scott’s New York Times review of “Jennifer’s Body.” Well, if you think Quentin Tarantino is a great writer, then Diablo Cody is a great writer.” He agreed.

There were more awards, including a standing ovation for Glenn Close–is this her year, for “Albert Nobbs”? And Hollywood veteran Don Murray presented to Michelle Williams for her work in “My Week with Marilyn.” Murray said: “I’m the last of the onscreen lovers of Marilyn Monroe.” He joked: “I’m just happy to have a body that works.”  Williams, nervous but sweet, said: “All that Marilyn Monroe ever really wanted was to be taken seriously as an actress. She never got the recognition she craved.”

Meantime, a bearded Ben Affleck  got a lot of laughs before he presented cinematographer Emmanuel Llubezki with an award. He told the crowd that just outside the Hilton a guy came up to him and said “Right this way, Mr. Bruckheimer.”

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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