The Hollywood Film Awards have been dropping press releases left and right as of late, building to their big gala ceremony on October 24. Much is made of these early ceremonies — the Hollywood Film Awards and the Gotham Awards — as they are in some ways considered to be the beginning of awards season (though I personally don’t start taking careful stock until the National Board of Review in early December).
Indeed, right there in the most recent release for the Hollywood Film Awards’ announcement today is a bit of careful computation: “In the past eight years a total of 73 Oscar nominations and 27 Oscars were given to the honorees of the Hollywood Awards.” But who’s counting?
One must always bear in mind that these awards galas aren’t exactly representative of an objective take on things. If talent isn’t available to show up, accept and thereby promote the festivities, they won’t get the award. So maybe it would be better to call it, say, “Breakthrough Actor Who Was Available.” But I kid. Today’s announcement includes a number of actors that will certainly be in the conversation throughout the year.
Starting with the Hollywood Supporting Actor Award, Christopher Plummer is being recognized for his wonderful work earlier this summer in Mike Mills’s “Beginners.” He’s somewhat ubiquitous this year, popping up in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” in December and, should it find a distributor, “Barrymore” as well.
Next up are the breakthrough awards, one of which is somewhat perplexing. If it’s 2004 and you want to give Joseph Gordon-Levitt your Hollywood Breakthrough Actor Award for “Mysterious Skin,” go to town. Or even a year later with “Brick,” fine, fair enough. But this is 2011. He has established working relationships with multiple directors and has already popped up in featured roles in two Hollywood blockbusters, with another on the way in 2012. It’s safe to say he’s already broken through, but it’s an excuse to get some added star power at the gala and, well, he deserves whatever notice he gets for “50/50” in my book.
Honored alongside Gordon-Levitt with the Hollywood Breakthrough Actress Award is Jessica Chastain, and THAT is a breakthrough actress if we’ve ever had one. Roles in “The Tree of Life,” “Take Shelter,” “The Help” and “The Debt” have thrust her into the spotlight this year.
Finally, Felicity Jones will be honored with the New Hollywood Award, specifically spotlighting her performance in “Like Crazy.” I expect her to be fighting it out with Elizabeth Olsen for similar honors throughout the year.
Here’s a list of the full slate of awards announced thus far for the Hollywood Film Awards:
Hollywood Supporting Actor Award – Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”
Hollywood Breakthrough Actor Award – Joseph Gordon-Levitt, “50/50”
Hollywood Breakthrough Actress Award – Jessica Chastain, “The Tree of Life,” “The Help,” “The Debt,” “Take Shelter”
New Hollywood Award – Felicity Jones, “Like Crazy”
Hollywood Ensemble Acting Award – The cast of “The Help”
Hollywood Animation Award – “Rango”
Hollywood Cinematographer Award – Emmanuel Lubezki, “The Tree of Life”
Hollywood Editor Award – Stephen Mirrione, “Contagion,” “The Ides of March”
Hollywood Production Designer Award – James Murakami, “J. Edgar”
Hollywood Visual Effects Award – Scott Farrar, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”