THR was behind the scenes at the annual event where the stars of “Silver Linings Playbook” teased each other and Paul Thomas Anderson used his speech to mock an unnamed journalist.
At the Los Angeles Film Critics Association awards ceremony Jan. 12 at the Intercontinental Hotel, a few critics grumbled about candidates that lost, such as Amour‘s legendary Jean-Louis Trintignant in his last film role, beaten for best supporting actor by baker-turned-actor Dwight Henry in Beasts of the Southern Wild, in his first role.
“There was some discussion,” LAFCA president and THR contributor Stephen Farber said concerning the voting controversies. But nobody grumbled about the evening’s speeches, which were loose, entertaining and spontaneous, possibly partly thanks to the excellent Donati wine provided by Mira Advani Honeycutt (wife of LAFCA member Kirk Honeycutt, who presented a cinematography award to Roger Deakins for Skyfall, the first Bond film ever honored by LAFCA).
Here are the evening’s 12 best remarks, in order of their utterance, followed by the winners list.
1. Bradley Cooper presented best actress to Silver Linings Playbook costar Jennifer Lawrence. “She has this quality I don’t think I’ve ever seen before,” said Cooper, “a ferocious intelligence that is odd to see in a woman 21 years old. David O. Russell and I used to talk about how it seems like she’s 40 and 10 at the same time. We would be discussing a scene and she would seem to be like doing cartwheels in the corner, and then all of a sudden she’d turn and say, ‘You know, it’d probably be better if you put the camera there, and start it there.’ No matter how stressed we could get or feeling like the mountain is gonna be incapable of being climbed, you look at her and she sort of winks at you and says, ‘Everything’s gonna be OK.’ There’s just this sense of wisdom. Basically what I’m trying to say is I don’t think she’s real.”
2. Jennifer Lawrence accepted the award presented by Cooper and started joking around. “I just found out about our relationship in the tabloids today, so I think we should break up.” She coughed repeatedly. “Sorry to everyone I shook hands with, ’cause I’m sick and you’re all screwed.” She accidentally bonked her head loudly on the microphone. “I’m sorry! God. I’m all three of the Stooges right now. I’m on Sudafed.”
Somebody at a table shouted, “You’re doing fine! Whoo-hoo!”
“The characters in this film I identify with,” Lawrence continued, “because they feel off center, they have extreme ups and downs…Tiffany [her character] is a black sheep. I can relate to that, because as my publicist would say, being inappropriate comes easier to me. Or just being awful. And I’d also like to thank Bradley. I’m grateful he’s patient because we’ve all seen my dancing.” Lawrence read her speech rapidly, then decided not to read the last part from the written speech. “The publicist said something about Dancing with the Stars, but I don’t understand it so I’m not gonna say it. Thank you. I know I sucked at this, and I blew it bigtime, but I really am very grateful.”
3. Beasts star Quvenzhané Wallis, who presented Dan Romer and Benh Zeitlin the best music/score award after they’d brilliantly performed Beasts tunes with a dozen-piece group onstage, said, “Um, this is very exciting to do and I never did it before, so I’m kinda nervous.” But she presented it smoothly. “This is my first feature film and this is my first award for film scoring that I’ve ever gotten,” said Romer. Then Zeitlin carried Wallis off the stage on his hip.
4. Critic Glenn Whipp introduced supporting actress winner Amy Adams by praising the terrifying scene in The Master where her character starts giving orders to her husband, the master of the cult (Philip Seymour Hoffman), while dominating and masturbating him — which Whipp described as “acts of intimacy that are rather alarming in their detached efficiency.”
5. “I think that’s very sweet,” said Adams. “I’m not sure. No, yes, that’s very sweet. Those who know me will know that this might be the character closest to my heart. Just kidding. Or maybe I’m not.” Then Adams teasingly praised costar Joaquin Phoenix as if he were an extremely cute infant. “Joaquin, I love you so much and you know I do. I just want to hit you in the face. And moosh up your yummy face. Yeah, he loves it when I act like that with him. That makes him really comfortable.”
6. Accepting the best actor award, Phoenix shyly muttered a 17-second speech sardonically alluding to Lincoln‘s dominance of the Oscar race and the Adams/Hoffman masturbation scene, then fled the stage: “I’m assuming that the LA Film Critics were banned from seeing Lincoln. I’m not sure who the distributor is, it’s a strange strategy. I don’t know what ‘detached efficiency’ means, but I’d just like to say thank you and good evening.”
7. LAFCA’s first-ever film editing award went to Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg for Zero Dark Thirty. Goldenberg also edited Argo. When Chris Terrio accepted the LAFCA best screenplay award for Argo, Terrio pointedly mocked the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, which snubbed Argo director Ben Affleck and Zero Dark Thirty director Kathryn Bigelow while nominating both films for best picture. “Despite the opinions of some nominating people in this town, um, CIA movies that are edited by William Goldenberg did not direct themselves.”
8. Using Quvenzhané Wallis’ nickname, her Beasts costar Dwight Henry said, “I’d like to thank my leadin’ lady Naizie…’cause if she didn’t want me to do this film, she ultimately had the say-so who was gonna play her father. She turned down two other guys that were scheduled to play her father.”
9. “I’ve been on many 10 worst films of the year lists, because the spirit of Ed Wood has washed over me,” said Tim Burton, accepting the animation award for Frankenweenie. “I’d like to just enjoy this moment.” He thanked Disney for daring to do the film. “You know, it’s not on every studio’s to-do list: ‘Must make black and white stop motion movie today.'”
10. Best director winner Paul Thomas Anderson used his speech to mock an unnamed journalist. “At the Broadcast Film Critics Awards the other night, somebody came up to Joaquin and said, ‘I really want to thank you because you really helped my career.’ He said, ‘Why?’ She said, ‘Well, the first time I did an interview, I sat down with you and said, ‘Wow, what did you think of the film?’ And Joaquin said, ‘What did you think of the film?’ And she said, ‘Well, I haven’t seen it.’ And she said, ‘You changed my life, because from that moment on, I saw every film I was gonna do an interview on.'”
11. Amour star Emmanuelle Riva, who won best actress in a tie with Lawrence, thanked the audience via a video. Amour director Michael Haneke, who won best picture, said that Riva, 86, famous for Alain Resnais‘ 1959 Hiroshima Mon Amour, told her a poignant thing, “‘Isn’t this funny, Michael, that the title of my first and now my last film, it’s the same word, love.’ I find this as sad as beautiful. So I say thank you very much to LAFCA in her name.”
12. Trintignant, who didn’t win, nonetheless also greeted LAFCA voters on video, wrapping up his comments with a wry joke. “Voila, voila, voila, voila,” said Trintignant, “As we say in France, God bless Mr. Obama, God bless you all.”
38th Annual Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, 2013:
Best picture: Amour (runner up: The Master)
Best director: Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master (runner up: Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty)
Best actor: Joaquin Phoenix, The Master (runner up: Denis Lavant, Holy Motors)
Best actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver LInings Playbook, Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Best supporting actor: Dwight Henry, Beasts of the Southern Wild (runner up: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained)
Best supporting actress: Amy Adams (runner up: Anne Hathaway, The Dark Knight Rises, Les Miserables)
Best production design: Jack Fisk and David Crank, The Master (runner up: Adam Stockhausen, Moonrise Kingdom)
Best editing: Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg, Zero Dark Thirty (runner up: William Goldenberg, Argo)
Best music score: Dan Romer and Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild (runner up: Jonny Greenwood, The Master)
Best foreign language film: Holy Motors (runner up: Footnote)
Best documentary: The Gatekeepers
Best animation: Frankenweenie
New generation: Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Career Achievement: Frederick Wiseman
Douglas Edwards Experimental/Independent Film/Video: Leviathan