It was all smiles at the Warner Bros./In Style party Sunday night as team “Argo” had grabbed yet another one-two Best Picture/Best Director punch after the film’s director Ben Affleck was unceremoniously snubbed from the Oscars’ Best Director line-up late last week. The film is hitting rare air and hopes are high with the studio that they can still pull off some magic at the Academy Awards, despite the “stats.
For his part, Affleck felt vindicated. He confided that after Thursday morning he wondered how much people really liked the movie, if it was a sign of something. But after the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and the Golden Globes, he has an extra spring in his step. And as an observer, I love this moment for him. But I’ll get into that more in a column tomorrow.
There were some long faces at the Weinsteins’ Trader Vics soirée as “Silver Linings Playbook” walked away with just one prize (being stamped out by Universal’s “Les Misérables” for both Best Picture – Comedy or Musical and Best Actor – Comedy or Musical). But “Django Unchained” managed to bring in two wins, for Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (Christoph Waltz), so there was plenty of cause for celebration.
I happened upon Leonardo DiCaprio at the event, who lost out to his co-star in the supporting actor category. He says Martin Scorsese’s “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which he’s been filming in New York, will be his best work. It’s never too late to start building that buzz, I guess. Quentin Tarantino, meanwhile, was high on life and a pleasure to finally meet face-to-face.
Tina Fey held court at the NBC/Universal roof-top party and John Hawkes was seen bouncing from this to that. The LA Lakers’ Kobe Bryant was even poking around. But anyway, it was a night of parties, like any other, so I won’t bog down in those specifics.
I watched the show at the Fox Pavilion viewing party, which was mostly jumping due to TV wins for “Homeland” as the only prize “Life of Pi” landed was Best Original Score for Mychael Danna. It seemed to me Fey and Amy Poehler landed just right and a personal highlight was seeing Arnold Schwarzenegger hand fellow Austrian Michael Haneke the Best Foreign Language Film award. But the real show stopper was former President Bill Clinton, who was on hand to present Best Picture – Drama nominee “Lincoln.” The whole room was abuzz at how much of a coup that was for the DreamWorks Oscar campaign. It was truly a great moment.
And speaking of great moments: Jodie Foster’s Cecil B. DeMille Award acceptance speech. Brave, monumental in many respects. It seemed a bit ragged at first but I watched it again and I have to say, it’s one of the great speeches. Such honesty.
How will this affect the Oscar race, if at all? Anyone who dismissively calls it a non-issue doesn’t get it. With six weeks, every little nuance and acceptance speech will be grist for the mill. It matters. It’s about the image. But again, we’ll get to that soon. For now, this year’s winners:
Best Picture – Drama
Best Picture – Comedy or Musical
Ben Affleck, “Argo”
Best Actor – Drama
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”
Best Actor – Comedy or Musical
Hugh Jackman, “Les Misérables”
Best Actress – Drama
Jessica Chastain, “Zero Dark Thirty”
Best Actress – Comedy or Musical
Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Best Supporting Actor
Christoph Waltz, “Django Unchained”
Best Supporting Actress
Anne Hathaway, “Les Misérables”
Best Original Score
“Life of Pi”
Best Original Song
“Skyfall” from “Skyfall”
Best Animated Feature
Best Foreign Language Film