Our own LEAH SYDNEY reports from Hollywood: Thomas Langmann, the son of late famed French film director Claude Berri, won the Producers Guild of America award last night for bringing “The Artist” to the screen. It was presented to him by Annette Bening. “The Artist,” from the Weinstein Company, is now set to garner many Oscar nominations on Tuesday. At a pre-panel for the PGA yesterday, even Steven Spielberg praised Michel Hazanavicius‘s extraordinary silent black and white film for its genius. It was quite an evening for the PGA: Alicia Keys performed, and other awards went to the The Colbert Report, Modern Family, Boardwalk Empire, CBS chief Les Moonves (who’s kept CBS a consistent winner), and to Steven Spielberg‘s “The Adventures of Tintin.”
Some notes from Leah: The PGA is growing. JJ Abrams became member 4,999. Brad Pitt is now #5,000. Congrats!
Morgan Freeman gave the Stanley Kramer Award to Angelina Jolie for her debut film “In The Land of Blood and Honey.” Freeman said Jolie, the director made “a powerful visceral film made by brave and bold artist…Here is the writer, producer, director and woman of my dreams.” Angelina then came on and gave a truly a beautiful , earnest speech that had the crowd mesmerized.
“To be in any way associated with Stanley Kramer is such an honor. It’s extraordinary and we are humbled.” She then went on and said “to my family because without them nothing is possible and I have nothing. ‘Schindler’s List’ was honored here,” she said, looking at Spielberg. “It was an extraordinary film and we meant it when we said never again. But at that exact time in Bosnia in 1994 the war was happening there, 40 minutes away from Italy the world turned a blind eye. It took great bravery and personal hardship for them to tell their story. But they did so so that in years to come someone will not be accepting an award for a war that is happening now. Sadly that will probably be the case. By honoring this film you are honoring them as well for that and we are grateful.”
Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee also won an award, presented to him by Tobey Maguire, his last “Spider Man.” Awards were also won by Masterpiece Theater, and “The Amazing Race.”
Leah reports that right before the show Moonves –kidding that he had no acceptance speech– asked writer director Judd Apatow to help him. Apatow quipped, “Does that mean you’re going to hire me now?” Stan Lee told Leah his biggest problem these days is being mistaken for Brad Pitt. (Long hair, scruffy beards.)
On a personal note, I know how much winning the PGA means to Langmann for “The Artist.” As a child in occupied France, his father was given to a Christian family rather than be killed in the Holocaust. Years later, his mother, a beloved woman, killed herself. The Holocaust story has hung over his family like a dark shadow. His father, who directed “Jean de Florette,” died two years ago. The surprise success of “The Artist” has been a miracle. Many congratulations.