Remember when animal wranglers involved with “The Hobbit” movies revealed that Peter Jackson”s production resulted in the death of 27 animals? That did not sit well with the zoological protection organizations! If the Humane Society ran its own version of The Razzies, 2012″s “Unexpected Journey” would have picked up the award. Lucky for Team Hobbit, it doesn”t. In fact, after several recent cases of animal mistreatment (the death of three horses on the set of HBO”s “Lucky” comes to mind) the Humane Society turn the other cheek in 2014 and praise the people of Hollywood who are getting it right. The Wrap reports that Darren Aronofsky will be the first recipient of the the organization”s Filmmaker Award, for the “compassionate decision” to use CG animals in his March tentpole “Noah.”
Aronofsky will earn his award at the Humane Society”s “To The Rescue! New York,” set for Nov. 21. It”s a lavish charity event: Tickets start at $1,250, tables start at $12,500, and a deluxe “Diamond Anniversary Table,” in honor of the Humane Society”s 60th anniversary, runs a healthy $60,000. Georgina Bloomberg, Kimberly Ovits, and Amanda Hearst co-chair the event with an honorary host committee including Kristen Bell, Bill Maher, Moby, Wendie Malick, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, and Madison Square Gardan”s artist-in-residence, Billy Joel.
“Darren's ingenious film is a testament that animals can remain a cornerstone in entertainment without their welfare ever being put in jeopardy,” Michelle Cho, vice president of the Los Angeles office for the HSUS, told The Wrap. “The worldwide box office success of ‘Noah” proves that audiences find digital animals just as effective in storytelling.”
In an interview with the Humane Society earlier this year, Aronofsky explained his decision to go all CG. Live animals was never an option. “I think it”s just wrong to bring that into play […] When you start to get to certain types of creatures, it”s really questionable how right it is. Especially now that digital technology is basically able to get really close, there”s really no reason to do it.”
Despite mixed reviews and a significant gap between release and awards season, “Noah” is still on the table as an Oscar contender. Patti Smith”s original song and Clint Mansell”s score are both promising, while Kris recently reported that 42West is on board to help the Biblical epic weather the season”s prestige storm. So while the Humane Society”s award should help raise awareness of animal treatment, it should draw some much-needed eyes to Aronofsky”s film too.