Live blogging the 2014 Gotham Awards: Follow along with ‘Birdman’s’ big night

12.01.14 3 years ago

Yes, it's true! The first real awards show is here!  It's time for the 2014 Gotham Awards live from New York City. The 24th installment of the annual indie awards fete should feature salutes to Tilda Swinton and Bennett Miller as well as an intriguing best feature film showdown between “Birdman” and “Boyhood.”

You can watch the show streamed live yourself here.

For all of this year's nominees and winners click here.

5:08 PM – And we're off, with Uma Thurman as your host. She's having a few issues looking back and forth between the teleprompters too much. Eke. “And. Then. We. Have… 'Boyhood.'” (aka “the movie my ex-husband made for 12 years”). Just sayin'!

5:09 PM – Uma is already on her way to full Faye Dunaway camp mode and we're just one minute in!

5:11 PM – The IFP has been there since the birth of Independent Film? That might be stretching it, Uma.

5:13 PM – IFP big wig (sorry, missed her name) breaks news that Julianne Moore and Steve Carell are making another indie movie with an IFP alum. That's news, right? In other news, IFP is important and without them you never would have gotten “Obvious Child.”

5:15 PM – It's a Heather Graham sighting. She's here to present the Breakthrough Actor Award. And the winner is… Tessa Thompson for “Dear White People!” Yay!

(Love that they listed the jury members, by the way).

Thompson was really surprised she won. She kindly thanks Justin Simien and we're just happy “Dear White People” is getting the end-of-year love it deserves. For a movie that got “mixed” reaction at Sundance, boy has it come around (correctly, I might add).

5:23 PM – Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette of “Boyhood” fame are here to present the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award. Oh, more long movie clips.

5:26 PM – And three minutes later the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award goes to… Ana Lily Amirpour for “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.” Amirpour seems stunned (a trend). She says “If I get to say hi to Tilda Swinton and take a picture with her that would be really cool.”

5:28 PM – WOW, Meryl Streep is here at the Gotham Awards. “I don't know how to read the plastic thing so I told Steve I was going to wing it. Now he's swallowing hard. When we worked together with Steve Carell on 'Hope Springs,' I noticed his restraint. He keeps a tight hold on anything that's not absolutely necessary.”

Streep is here to present a special jury award for Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo for “Foxcatcher.” “I was totally unprepared for what he gave us in 'Foxcatcher,'” Streep says. “Together with the monosyllabic grace that is Channing Tatum…” (Don't faint, Channing. Streep really did say that about you.) Streep notes that while all three actors are given the award, “weirdly” only one is here.

5:35 PM – “They got Meryl Streep to present this award. Suck on that,” Carell says. “A higher compliment could not be paid to an actor unless he was singled out for his own extraordinary work.” (Big laugh.) Carell jokes about how Tatum can't be here because of his daughter and Ruffalo is the Hulk.

5:36 PM – “Netflix's Arrested Development” star Will Arnett (cause that is what you think of when you think of Will Arnett). He's here to salute Ted Sarandos, the Chief Content Officer of Netflix. A reel plays with quotes from Ron Howard, Harvey Weinstein, Bob Berney, David Fincher, the cast of “Orange is the New Black,” Chelsea Handler, Ricky Gervais and more. It just feels a tad early, doesn't it?

5:43 PM – Sarandos tries to make a joke about “Boyhood.” His remarks are a little all over the place, but talks about how glad he is to be “part of a machine that serves 53 million people worldwide.” Feels a little like a trade association speech, but yeah, good on Netflix?

5:45 PM – Dinner is being served! Yes, it's the only awards show with a 15 minute dinner break.  How civilized (but eat fast!)


6:01 – Psst! Greg has a flight to catch so this is Kris. Now we can really tear this joint apart…

…kidding. Kind of.

They're telling everyone to take their seats. So sit down, Patches.

6:02 – Uma wants to make it clear what a great showing for actresses we have, noting breakthrough performers and directors. No diggity, Uma.

Oscar Isaac and Miles Teller take the stage to present the next award: the Gotham Independent Film Audience Award. I already want these guys in a movie together. Is Miles rocking a sweet 'stache? Oscar's has transitioned into a beard, I see.

6:05 – And the winner is… “Boyhood.” There were a ton of nominees there. Did I miss this category being announced in the nominations phase or was it tacked on later or…?

Anyway, the whole crew is here. Linklater takes the lead, thanking “audiences, who voted for this, apparently.” He thanks Jonathan Sehring, who has been with the project for 13 years. “Start giving me money now and you might see some again 13 years from now,” that was Linklater's pitch. “This was a way he could lose money very slowly and not notice,” he jokes.

6:08 – “Indie film icon Catherine Keener” takes the stage. She says her speech presenting “Foxcatcher” director Bennett Miller his award is really long. Deep breath…

So, Bennett Miller used to live with Keener. Interesting. “I learned how to fight through fear and risk big,” she says of the Oscar nominee. “The characters who would traipse through my office who were just the who's who of the so-and-sos…” I can only imagine. Obviously, they made “Capote” together. And she picked up an Oscar nomination for her work in the film, lest you forget.

6:12 – F-bomb! #PulitzerPrizeMaterialHere

6:16 – Yeah, that was longish, but kind of interesting. Did she just compare Bennett Miller to chess pieces? “He makes films about the human brain,” Keener says, before stating: “Bennett Miller is 4-0, and it's fitting that we're celebrating you right now.” (The fourth film, if you're wondering, is the documentary “The Cruise,” featuring Tomothy “Speed” Levitch. You might remember him from “Waking Life,” otherwise, directed by…wait for it…Richard Linklater.)

6:18 – That package really does remind you how potent Miller's career is. It also reminds of Philip Seymour Hoffman's masterful work in “Capote.” RIP.

6:21 – Miller takes the stage as Keener, I think, got choked up. “Harvey Weinstein has never had anything to do with any film I've ever made, and he just gave me a lot of grief in the interim. We're going to work together, I think. Tom [Bernard] and Michael [Barker, of Sony Classics], it's going to hurt you, but…” Lots of inside baseball flying around here!

Miller says he feels lucky to work in independent film and to do it in New York. He shouts out Tom and Michael again, as well as “Foxcatcher” star Steve Carell. Short and sweet otherwise.

6:23 – Gugu Mbatha-Raw is here, and that's apparently pronounced “Mbata.” Good to know! She's here to give out the Spotlight on Women Filmmakers 'Live the Dream' Grant, which goes to… Chloé Zhao for “Songs My Brothers Taught Me.” She's winning this award while they're still editing. So that will be a nice confidence boost as she heads toward picture lock!

6:25 – Here to present the award for Best Documentary is Scarlett Johansson, nominated tonight for “Under the Skin.” I'm liking the hair.

6:30 – And the winner is… “CITIZENFOUR.” Boy, I guess it looks like this one is going to steamroll right on through the season. I have feelings…

6:33 – Laura Poitros knew there would be a massive investigation as soon as this story took off and became real. She brings her team on stage and says she gave them the option to step aside knowing that, and none did. She thanks RADiUS-TWC and The Weinstein Company, HBO and others, noting that many involved in the film did not even know what the film's big reveal was until very late in the game in the days leading up to the New York Film Festival premiere.

It's an important movie. I'm not sure it deserves too many awards for artistic merit, but this is that territory where awards sort of transcend and the spotlight is the thing. I get it.

6:34 – The lovely Marisa Tomei is here to present a biggie, Best Actor. Nice pops of applause for various nominees, including “Boyhood's” Ethan Hawke. I'm just stoked that Miles Teller at least has this moment. Let's see who takes the prize…

6:36 – All I can think about when I see an Ethan Hawke clip from “Boyhood” is the evolution of his hair. I'm pretty sure he would admit that's all he can think about, too.

6:39 – And the winner is… Michael Keaton! Hell yeah!!! Here's hoping there are a few more to come. “Well this is alright,” he says. “It's been a long night and I'm only going to be up here for 40 or 45 minutes.” He then jokes how much he loves Ted Sarandos, who he doesn't even know. I guess that was a really big butt-smooching session earlier in the night, huh?

I want to say something about Steve Carell, first of all, he makes me laugh. But the courage Steve showed to redo all that plastic surgery and go back to his original nose, it really says a lot about commitment.” He's going to keep this light all season and that's the way to go here. Case in point: “I want to thank the fine folks at Gotham. It feels good to be back home.”

6:44 – Jake Gyllenhaal is here and complaining about the mess on the podium. Our industry makes it difficult for us to see actresses on screen as they really are, he says, before quipping, “My sister told me to say that…I'm not fucking joking.”

6:48 – And the Gotham Award for Best Actress goes to… Julianne Moore for “Still Alice.” Did we see both of this year's actresses win awards today, Moore and Patricia Arquette (taking the NYFCC supporting actress prize)? We just might have. (Also, I still need to see “Beyond the Lights.”)

6:50 – Moore says it's too bad a single actress in this extraordinary group has to be singled out. “I love independent film. It's where I found myself,” she says, before thanking her “wonderful friends at Killer Films.” They go way back, folks.

6:51 – And now we have Amy Schumer to present the Gotham Awards tribute to “Tilda Mother Fucking Swinton.” Apparently Schumer, by way of description in a script, wrote of a character: “A goddess, like Tilda Swinton waiting at a baggage claim.” This is something she apparently witnessed once upon a time. “It looked like she was on an ice sled leading soldiers to battle.”

Also, someone apparently counted up all of Tilda's awards and nominations for fodder in this speech. Hopefully they didn't just bank on what's at IMDb.

“She's the greatest hang you will ever have,” Schumer says. “Hanging out with her makes me furious at everyone else I've ever met that they're not her…She can scare the shit out of you, break your heart & give you a boner at the same time.” Lots more F-bombs, too. #PulitzerPrizeMaterialHere

6:58 – Goes without saying probably at this point, but boy is Tilda Swinton a makeup artist's dream lately.

7:00 – Tilda comes to the stage…LIKE A BOSS. “I've got no excuse for winging this,” she says. “I was told about this weeks ago. But I'm going to wing it anyway…My favorite moment [at these awards] was when a bank gave a massive check to a filmmaker. I love these awards. That's the way it should go.

“I've been doing this a long time and I still don't know what I'm up to…I started making films with one filmmaker, Derek Jarman, for nine years on seven films. Very lazy…And then he left the building unexpectedly 20 years ago, he died, and I was kind of high and dry. But a lot of people were up for playing, and a lot of them are in this room.” And then she thanks the person responsible for her chompers in a few films as of late. Like I said…

7:05 – Nothing says independent film like Jon Hamm… Or… Anyway, he's here. He's wondering why he's here, too. He's here to present the last award of the evening: Best Feature. Moment of truth…

7:12 – And the winner is… “Birdman!” I was sort of hoping for that, and I'm glad there was a bit of balance to today. “Boyhood” winning seemed obvious, but here we are. “This award will help to move forward the conversations that Michael Keaton and I have been having with Marvel Studios to make “Birdman 4,'” Iñárritu says. He kids, he kids. “For all of us who are still wondering and questioning what the fuck we're doing here, what this life is about, what is the meaning of all this shit…the reason I'm here [is] independent films. The difference between them and the mainstream films is the independent films, no matter what, they always have something to say.”

He also says he sent Richard Linklater a note after seeing “Boyhood” to thank him for that gift. Lovely. With that, take it away, Patches:


And that's a wrap!

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