At Friday’s 18th annual Hollywood Film Awards — no, no else has heard of them, either — big stars let loose at an event that billed itself as “the kickoff to awards season.”
They also heard the word “Hollywood” about 174 times.
The show, a noncompetitive, open-bar event at the Hollywood Palladium whose statuette recipients were pre-announced, was begun in 1997 by an events-programming CEO. A collection of executives and moneyed movie fans decide the results. Even host Queen Latifah joked, “Did I miss the first 17 Hollywood Film awards?”
The awards, televised for the first time, gave out shiny black “H” statuettes.
“All my life I’ve dreamt of getting one of these — just like everyone else in the room!” joked Chris Rock as he got the Hollywood Comedy Film award for his film “Take Five.” “I can’t believe this day has come!”
“The Imitation Game” star Benedict Cumberbatch won the show’s Hollywood Actor award, while Julianne Moore got Hollywood Actress for “Still Life.”
“The Theory of Everything” star Eddie Redmayne got Hollywood Breakout Performance Actor, and Shailene Woodley got the female equivalent for “The Fault in Our Stars.”
Redmayne gave a charming, chatty speech about his former life as a young struggling actor hanging out in an L.A. parking lot sharing club sandwiches with other British expats and playing ping pong.
Hollywood Supporting Actor went to Robert Duvall for “The Judge.” Keira Knightley got Hollywood Supporting Actress for “The Imitation Game.”
Chummy star-palling was the order of the night. Angelina Jolie — named an Honorary Dame by Queen Elizabeth II last month — was called “your ladyship” by a bowing Jack O’Connell, whom Jolie directed in her upcoming drama “Unbroken.” She gave the Irish actor the New Hollywood award. Later, Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill began a multiple hug-fest after Hill gave the actors the Hollywood Ensemble award for “Foxcatcher.”
The open bar yielded several fun moments. Presenter Jennifer Lopez misidentified “How to Train Your Dragon 2” as “How to Drain Your Dragon.” Johnny Depp slurred his way through the Hollywood Documentary presentation after looking at the double-headed mic on stage, saying, “That’s the weirdest microphone I’ve ever seen in my life!”
“Gone Girl” author and Hollywood Screenwriter award recipient Gillian Flynn got a laugh after lurching to the stage, quipping, “Never put a writer in high heels and send her up some stairs after an open bar!”
“Birdman” star Michael Keaton, accepting his Hollywood Career Achievement award, perhaps summed it up best when he riffed, “I’m going to make this brief, because I know you want to get back to your drinking.”
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