Sean Penn gave Julia Roberts a very odd, rambling toast last night at the Hollywood Awards. Penn said: “We’re all humbled to recognize that film is an integrative exercise. Great writing will catch each and every stumble. Julia is poetic. In the words of William Saroyan, ‘She is that who shines and is beyond corruption.’ I could watch her eat for hours on end. Even if the food gets stuck in her teeth. I want her to make a movie in 3D with a virtual toothpick. I’d like to use that to get the pieces out.”
Roberts is never one to shy away from a good retort: “Jesus,” she said, “how can I say anything after that? Fortunately I am a hearty eater. I told my husband on our first date 13 years ago, I just don’t eat salads.”
Carlos de Abreu, The Hollywood Film Festival’s Founder, made sure the event was star studded and quirky. Other stars such as Sandra Bullock, Jared Leto, Matthew McConaughey, Harrison Ford, Geoffrey Rush, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Robert Downey and Bruce Willis were just some of the celebrities making an appearance. The event of course was very industry heavy, each of the studios had tables on the floor of the ballroom. The studios have suddenly seized on the Hollywood Awards and festival as a new marketing tool. Viva Carlos!
Director Steve McQueen and actor Jared Leto got their respective Breakthrough awards, both joked how they have been knocking around for awhile. Matthew McConaughey gave a casual, but detailed explanation od how he let his agents know that he wanted a more serious career change and that, “it’s gonna be dry for awhile. And it was!”
A highlight for the jaded crowd was Coldplay’s Chris Martin performing ‘Atlas,’ from the upcoming ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.’ Harvey Weinstein was referred to through much of the night, thanked by many and even being pressed to employ Sandra Bullock who said, “Harvey why don’t you hire me? I even wore your wife’s dress!”
Jerry Weintraub told a funny story about how his award-receiving career started. “Frank Sinatra got it all started. He arranged for me to receive a B’nai Brith and an NAACP award in one night.” He went on to explain that, “I got all these awards in my house. They are all going on eBay when I die. In my 30s I already had awards and in my 40s they called me an icon. Now in my 70s, they want to call me a legend.” The next stop is Hillside Cemetery’.”
Brian Hegeland, ’42’s’ writer/director, presented the final award to a subdued and probably tired at this point, but grateful Harrison Ford. Since this is the kick off to awards season, Carlos pulled it off with great aplomb.