Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jill Krementz covers the NY Film Critics Awards

Front row, seated from left to right: Elizabeth Weitzman (The Daily News), Dwight Brown (NNPA Syndication/Black Press), Richard Corliss (Time), Peter Travers (Rolling Stone), Joshua Rothkopf (Time Out NY), Lisa Schwarzbaum (Entertainment Weekly), Owen Gleiberman (Entertainment Weekly) Dana Stevens (Salon.com), and Armond White (New York Press), Chair of NYFCC.

Standing, from left to right: David Fear (Time Out NY); Rex Reed (New York Observer), Stephen Whitty (The Star-Ledger/Newhouse), Stephanie Zacharek (Movieline.com), Kyle Smith (New York Post), Thelma Adams (US Weekly), Joe Neumaier (The Daily News), J. Hoberman (The Village Voice), Karen Durbin (Elle), John Anderson (Variety), Melissa Anderson (The Village Voice), David Edelstein (New York Magazine), Marshall Fine (Star), and V.A. Musetto (New York Post).
The New York Film Critics Circle
76th Annual Awards Ceremony
Monday, January 10th, 2011


The Road to Oscar Gold starts in New York City on a day in December when the membership of the New York Film Critics Circle convenes in a room to vote on the years' best. This time they assembled at The Loews Regency Hotel.

Casting their votes are the top critics writing for the New York press who've sat, day in and day out, for a year in darkened screening rooms viewing the hundreds of movies that were released — features, documentaries, and animated films.

This year, 28 members voted, some by proxy because they could not make it for the showdown, but vote they did and at the end of four and a half hours the results were tallied. Pictorially speaking, I would have preferred small puffs of white smoke emanating from the Regency's Roof to announce the newly anointed, but a press release sufficed.

The winners, mostly predictable, (given the integrity and professionalism of this group) included The Social Network for best picture, Colin Firth, Best Actor (The King's Speech), Annette Bening, Best Actress (The Kids Are All Right), and David Fincher, Best Director (The Social Network).

Other awards went to Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg (Best Screenplay: The Kids Are All Right); Melissa Leo (Best Supporting Actress: The Fighter), Mark Ruffalo (Best supporting actor: The Kids Are All Right), Matthew Libatique (Best Cinematography: The Black Swan), Best Animated Film: The Illusionist; Best non-fiction film: Inside Job; Best Foreign Language Film: Carlos; and Best First Feature: Animal Kingdom.
Dwight Brown (NNPA Syndication/Black Press). Stephen Whitty (The Star-Ledger/Newhouse).
David Edelstein (New York Magazine) agonizing over vote.
David Edelstein feeling better.
Stephanie Zacharek (Movieline.com) and Melissa Anderson (The Village Voice).
John Anderson (Variety) and J. Hoberman (The Village Voice).
David Fear, Time Out New York.
Richard Corliss (Time), Rex Reed (The Observer), and Peter Travers (Rolling Stone).
Richard Corliss, Josh Rothkopf of Time Out NY, and Peter Travers.
Marshall Fine writes for Star magazine. He is holding his voter's tally. Elizabeth Weitzman (The Daily News) and Dana Stevens (Salon.com).
On the right: Armond White, President of the NY Film Critics Organization, is tallying the votes. Seated to the left is Stephen Whitty (The Star-Ledger/Newhouse).
The 76th Award Ceremony was held on Monday evening, January 10th at Crimson. It's always considered the best awards party of the season, an intimate evening where the movie world mingles with the journalists who write about it. Then it's on to The Golden Globes and The Independent Spirit Awards, and finally, on Sunday, February 27th, the road ends at The Academy Awards. I'm guessing many of the winners shown here will be seen once again — this time holding several of those little gold men high in the air.
Michelle Williams, whose most recent film is Blue Valentine. Ms. Williams later presented the NYFCC award to Actor Mark Ruffalo for his best supporting performance in The Kids Are All Right. Annette Bening arrives, flashing her radiant smile.
Rolling Stone's Peter Travers talks with producer Harvey Weinstein.
George Whipple from NY 1 covers red carpet arrivals. Scott Rudin, the producer of The Social Network, which won best film award. Mr. Rudin is also the producer of True Grit.
Playwright Tony Kushner, who presented the award for best film to The Social Network. His revival of Angels in America is currently playing to sold-out audiences. Writer Aaron Sorkin, who was honored for
The Social Network.
Linda Emond was introduced to me by Tony Kushner who described her as "the best actress in the world." She starred in his play, Homebody/Kabul, playing the role of Homebody, a middle-aged English woman. Ms. Emond will appear in Kushner's newest play, The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures, which debuted at the Guthrie Theater in Minnesota. It will open in New York at The Public Theater.

The title of Kushner's new play, according to the Guthrie, is inspired by two 19th-century thinkers and their works — George Bernard Shaw's The Intelligent Woman's Guide to Socialism and Capitalism and Mary Baker Eddie's Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures.
Actor Paul Michael Valley with Linda Emond. They appeared together in the play 1776. Mr. Valley is well known for his memorable and long-lasting role as Ryan Harrison on the soap opera "Another World," from 1990 to 1995. He left the show when executive producer Jill Farren Phelps fired him and had his character shot to death by his brother Grant (Mark Pinter). He presently teaches voice and acting for his own company called Vocal Solutions. Olivier Assayas, winner for best foreign film, Carlos, a five-and-a-half hour portrait of the charismatic "jet-set terrorist" Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, a.k.a Carlos the Jackal. The film is a spectacular, decades-spanning international thriller with scenes in at least 15 different countries and vividly acted in half a dozen languages.

Mr. Assayas won last year's NYFCC best foreign-language feature for his film, Summer Hours.
Thelma Adams, film critic for US Magazine, with Director Paul Schrader, who presented Mr. Assayas with his award.
Publicist Peggy Siegal and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. Producer Scott Rudin checking over his notes for his upcoming acceptance speech for best movie, The Social Network.
Harvey Weinstein, Tom Hopper, and Victoria Parker. Mr. Hopper directed The King's Speech, which was produced by The Weinstein Company. Ms. Parker is the Vice President, Production and Corporate Affairs at the Weinstein Company.
Mr. Hopper performs his own speech, this time for Rolling Stone critic, Peter Travers. Kyle Smith, a movie critic for the New York Post, with his wife, Sarah Austin. Ms. Austin is an editor at Self Magazine.
Marshall Fine with his wife, Kim Jacobs. Mr. Fine covers movies for Star magazine and Huffington Post and his reviews can be read on his blog, Hollywood & Fine. Ms. Jacobs is the executive director of Community Capital Resources, a not-for-profit organization. Actress Sylvia Miles who appears in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.
New York Post's Vincent Musetto with Sylvia Miles.
Entertainment Weekly's Lisa Schwarzbaum looks on as Tony Kushner, with the help of his husband Mark Harris, adds finishing touches to his presenter's speech on an iPad.
Lisa Schwarzbaum with Mark Harris and Tony Kushner. Mr. Harris and Mr. Kushner are married and were the first gay couple to be featured in The New York Times 'Vows' column. David D'Arcy and his wife, Elyse Topalian. Mr. D'Arcy is a film and art critic; Ms. Topalian is Chief Communications Officer for The Metropolitan Museum.
Film critics Graeme Fuller and Elizabeth Weitzman. Mr. Fuller has written film criticism "for just about everyone, including Sight and Sound and Vanity Fair." Ms. Weitzman reviews films for the New York Daily News. Writer Regina Weinreich, who blogs on Gossip Central. Ms. Weinreich is a beat historian who has written extensively about Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Paul Bowles. She teaches at The School of Visual Arts.
Julie Thiry, of the Love, Loss and What I Wore crew, with Jake Fine, of the Juilliard School's electrics crew. Actress Kerry Washington, who presented Annette Bening with her award. Ms. Washington and Ms. Bening both appeared in the film Mother and Child.
Marshall Fine and actor Stanley Tucci. Actor Colin Firth who won best actor award for The King's Speech.
Armond White, Chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle, at the podium welcoming guests and winners to the 76th Annual NYFCC Annual Awards dinner.
Melissa Leo accepting her best supporting actress award for her role in The Fighter. One of our country's most versatile actresses, Ms. Leo also appears in the recently released films Conviction and Frozen River. Standing beside her is David O. Russell who presented her with the award. Mr. Russell has just received a best director's nomination from The Screen Actor's Guild for The Fighter. Publicist Jeff Hill received a special award from the NYFCC which was kept a secret from him until the evening's awards. Mr. Hill will soon be leaving New York and moving to Palm Springs where he will continue to represent many films while basking in the warm weather.
Kerry Washington at the podium about to present best actress award to Annette Bening.
Annette Bening accepting the award for best actress.
Matthew Libatique won for best cinematography (Black Swan). Using mostly handheld cameras, Mr. Libatique has been the Director of Photography on four of Darren Aronofsky's five features. He flew to New York from Paraguay to accept his award. Mark Ruffalo was voted best supporting actor in The Kids Are All Right, playing the role of a motorcycle propelled, middle-aged neo-hippie entrepreneur (sperm donor). Mr. Ruffalo, in accepting the honor, described New York City as "The place where an artist measures his mettle."

Mr. Ruffalo recalled writing in his journal the night he opened in This is Our Youth: "If you bomb here you can always go back to Los Angeles."

He won't be going anywhere except up for years to come.
Paul Schrader greets Aaron Sorkin.
Rajendra Roy, Chief Curator of film at MoMA. The historical documents, photographs, recordings and correspondence pertaining to the NYFCC has been archived with the museum's great film department. Jesse Eisenberg who stars in The Social Network, winner of Best Picture. Colin Firth. "What do I love the most about New York? The critics of New York. It's why I come here."
John Anderson, film critic for Variety and Newsday. Mr. Anderson is the incoming
president of NYFCC.
Melissa Leo.
Tony Kushner chats with Melissa Leo.
Jesse Eisenberg with Elizabeth Weitzman (New York Daily News) and Ms. Weitzman's husband, Eric Stangel. Mr. Stangel is the head writer for David Letterman. Ms. Weitzman told me: "Jesse and his sister are friends with my sister."
Stanley Tucci and Colin Firth. Mr. Tucci presented the award to Mr. Firth saying "Whenever I mention him to women they all swoon ... and it's very sweet ... but it's also very irritating." On a personal note, it was a special pleasure to spend some time with Stanley Tucci, who performed the superb audio version of Breakfast of Champions, my husband Kurt Vonnegut's novel.
Sunrise Ruffalo with her husband, Mark Ruffalo. Mrs. Ruffalo is a jewelry designer.
Stephen Whitty, who reviews films for The Star-Ledger, with his daughter Anna Whitty. Ms. Whitty is in high school and wants to be an actress. The evening's host Armond White, who will be stepping down after two terms as Chairman of the NYFCC.
Short prayer meeting conducted by the Rev. Beatty with supplicants Armond White and Roger Friedman.
David Edelstein, film critic for CBS Sunday Morning and New York Magazine, with his wife, Rachel Klayman. Film Director James Toback and his wife, Stephanie Kempf. Mr. Toback wrote Bugsy starring Warren Beatty and Annette Bening. The 1991 American crime-drama film tells the story of mobster Bugsy Siegel. It was directed by Barry Levinson.
Megan Pryor, who worked security. Annette Bening with Armond White.
Warren Beatty looking good. Annette Bening at the end of a great evening. She stayed on after the ceremonies concluded, gracious to everyone and one of the last to leave.
Warren Beatty and Annette Bening. When I asked Ms. Bening if I could take a photograph of her with her husband she said "I can ask but he doesn't necessarily do what I tell him."

And he replied, "What do you mean, I do everything she tells me to do. She's the boss."
Programs for the evening's award ceremony.
Text and photographs © by Jill Krementz
all rights reserved.