Friday, April 12, 2024

Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep, Robert DeNiro Rock New York Film Critics Dinner

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Brad Pitt was hilarious and touching last night accepting his Best Actor award from the New York Film Critics Circle. Joining other honorees Meryl Streep, Albert Brooks, Jessica Chastain and the folks from “The Artist,” Pitt was a little nervous and actually spoke softly from the podium at restaurant. Angelina Jolie was with him, looking more gorgeous than ever, accepting kudos for her underrated film “In the Land of Blood and Honey.” Viola Davis, herself a nominee for “The Help” from many different groups, presented Best Actress to Streep. Davis joked: “I popped a lot of Stress Tabs when we made ‘Doubt’.” Streep was philosophical, having won the same award two years ago: “We do this for love, and for as long as we can.”

Surprise presenters were Robert DeNiro –who had trouble with “Artist” director Michel Hazanavicius‘s name–and Francis Ford Coppola, who came for “Artist” producer Thomas Langmann. The Coppolas, it turns out, have been long time friends of the Langmann family. Famed late French film director Claude Berri (“Jean de Florette”) was Langmann’s father–his real name was Claude Berel Langmann. And Thomas told me something stunning: when Claude Berri won an Oscar in 1966 for a short film, “Le Poulet” but he didn’t have the money to go to Hollywood and claim it. The Academy mailed it to him instead! Sacre bleu!

Anyway, back to Brad Pitt, who’s on track to win the Oscar for his work in “Moneyball.” He said the award was a big deal considering “I’d never been on ap plane til I was 25.” He talked about coming to New York to audition for a soap opera in 1989. “I had to put myself up in an apartment on Christopher Street,” Brad recalled. “My first impression of the city was There are a lot of guys around here. But they’re so nice!” That got big laughs.

He continued: “On set the clock’s ricking, the camera’ rolling. A lot of what we do comes out of instinct and intuition. I am continually surprised about how much I learn about storytelling and filmmaking from your reviews. We are complex, we are industries to ourselves, we are difficult to each other…we live in continual flux, Christians and Muslims, Democrat and Republican, Denby and Rudin…” — a reference to a recent feud between producer Scott Rudin and film critic David Denby. Again more laughs.

He said: “It never crossed my mind that I’d be here.” And then, almost as an afterthought as he was leaving the stage, Pitt said: “I love films, I absolutely¬† love them. I consider it a great privilege,¬† I thank you for this, it means so much to me, and I’m glad this wasn’t televised.”

 

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
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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