Congrats to Winter's Bone director Debra Granik and distributor Roadside Attractions for nabbing two Gotham Awards last night. The grimly realistic Ozarkian drama that launched Jennifer Lawrence took the Best Feature award and Best Ensemble Performance. And cheers to the three big honorary award recipients -- Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky (looking very dapper with his Preston Sturges moustache), Get Low star Robert Duvall and Conviction star Hilary Swank.
Taken from balcony behind the stage as honorary award-winner Robert Duvall was delivering remarks. Notice Black Swan star Natalie Portman (excellent evening dress!) and her director Darren Aronofsky sitting ringside. I can't tell if the other guy is Portman's ballet choreographer b.f. Benjamin Millepied or someone else.
It's good for an ornery little film like Winter's Bone to get some hugs and positive attention. Does this mean it's a "better" film than competitors Black Swan, Blue Valentine and The Kids Are All Right? No -- it means that the Gotham award-deciders said "let's politely blow off the highly respected and admired Blue Valentine, a John Cassavetes-like indie with killer performances, and go with an even smaller little rural film...this way we won't look like Black Swan or Kids Are All Right star-f**kers or obsequious ass-kissers in any way shape or form....it'll re-enforce our indie cred."
I showed up around 9:30 pm after seeing True Grit uptown. And no, I'm not saying anything until the embargo goes up tomorrow at 1 pm eastern.
I had half-expected that Lena Dunham would win the Breakthrough Director Award for Tiny Furniture, but nope -- they gave it to Kevin Asch for Holy Rollers. Ronald Bronstein won the Breakthrough Performance award for his work in Daddy Longlegs. Don't give that Gotham love to the small marginal guys whom people know and like somewhat -- give to the really small and marginal guys who've barely penetrated public consciousness.
The show, as usual, happened at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. Awards presenters included Natalie Portman, Bill Murray, Melissa Leo, Steve Buscemi, Sam Rockwell, Winona Ryder, Anthony Mackie and Paul "I thought I was going to get some awards attention for my performance in How Do You Know" Rudd.
No offense, but co-hosts Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci should give it a rest after this. Every time I turn around they're always saying smart and gracious things at a lectern in front of a big well-dressed crowd.
Just-announced Oscar co-host Anne Hathaway presented a special tribute to Focus Features CEO James Schamus.
Kids Are All Right star Annette Bening attended, but I didn't see her anywhere.
I mentioned to Duvall in the press room that I'd just received my Warner Home Video archives DVD of John Flynn's The Outfit, and that it's one of my favorite '70s noirs. He liked hearing that and walked over for a quick chat. He said that it didn't play on very many screens because "the mafia didn't like it for some reason" and made some moves to block it.
Winter's Bone director Debra Granik.