Celine Song’s wistful romance “Past Lives” earned prime honors on the Gotham Awards on Monday night at an award-season kickoff the place the night time’s greatest drama got here in a political speech by Robert De Niro that the actor claimed had been edited with out his permission.
“Past Lives,” a breakout on the Sundance Film Festival in January and an arthouse hit in June for A24, could also be poised to be an Oscar sleeper this yr after successful finest characteristic movie on the Gothams. Affection is robust for Song’s directorial debut, starring Greta Lee as a girl born in Seoul who, after marrying an American (John Magaro), reconnects with a childhood good friend from South Korea (Teo Yoo).
“This is the first film I’ve ever made and a very personal film about an extraordinary feeling I had in an ordinary bar in the East Village, not too many blocks away from here,” said Song, accepting the award. “As this film has been shared with the world, it has taught me — and taught us — that you’re never alone in that extraordinary feeling.”
“Past Lives” was anticipated to win, however the ceremony went off-script when De Niro, co-star in Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon,” took the rostrum to current a tribute award to the movie. While giving his remarks, De Niro seen a piece had been omitted on the teleprompter. After trying to scroll again by, he accomplished his speech earlier than returning to learn from his cellphone.
“The beginning of my speech was edited, cut out,” De Niro stated. “I didn’t know about it.”
De Niro, identified for his fiery rhetoric in opposition to former President Donald Trump, then expanded on what he referred to as America’s “post-truth society” and chided Hollywood — particularly John Wayne — for earlier depictions of Native Americans.
“The former president lied to us more than 30,000 times during his four years in office, and he’s keeping up the pace with his current campaign of retribution,” De Niro stated. “With all of his lies, he can’t hide his soul. He attacks the weak, destroys the gifts of nature and shows his disrespect for example using Pocahontas as a slur.”
De Niro appeared in charge Apple, which produced “Killers of the Flower Moon,” for the modifications to his speech.
“So I’m going to say these things — to Apple and thank them, all that. Gothams. Blah blah blah. Apple. But I don’t really feel like thanking them at all for what they did,” stated De Niro. “How dare they do that, actually.”
Apple did not instantly reply to requests for remark late Monday night.
It was nonetheless an enormous night time for Scorsese’s epic, in regards to the Osage murders within the early twentieth century, though Scorsese unexpectedly wasn’t in attendance. Lily Gladstone, who stars within the movie reverse Leonardo DiCaprio, received for finest lead efficiency — although not for that efficiency.
Gladstone received for a lesser-known movie launched earlier in 2023: “The Unknown Country,” in which stars as a woman embarking on a road trip though the Midwest. In each of her speeches — for “Killers of the Flower Moon” and “The Unknown Country” — Gladstone praised the filmmakers for prioritizing Native views.
“I challenge everybody in this room who makes films: Invest. When you have a budget, invest it in the people,” stated Gladstone. “Invest in the people that you’re telling your story about. Your film will be better for it. Your lives will be better for it.”
The Gotham Awards, now of their thirty third yr, leapfrog a lot of the main ceremonies that lead as much as the Academy Awards. But over time, they’ve established themselves as the primary large social gathering of the season, and an early trace at a number of the favorites.
Put on by the Gotham Film & Media Institute and held yearly at Cipriani Wall Street, the Gothams have some quirks that make them totally different than different awards. Prizes are chosen by small committees of movie professionals, critics and journalists. Their performing classes are additionally gender impartial, with 10 actors nominated for lead efficiency, and one other 10 up for supporting performances.
This yr, one of the crucial aggressive classes was finest worldwide movie. There, Justine Triet’s Palme d’Or successful courtroom drama “Anatomy of a Fall” triumphed over the likes of “Poor Things,” “All of Us Strangers” and “The Zone of Interest.” Triet’s movie additionally received for finest screenplay.
Andrew Haigh’s tender metaphysical drama “All of Us Strangers,” starring Andrew Scott as a screenwriter forged again into his childhood whereas growing a relationship with a neighbor (Paul Mescal), had come into the Gothams because the lead nominee with 4 nods, however went residence with no trophy.
The Gothams this yr eliminated a $35 million price range cap for nominees, however many big-budget movies nonetheless opted to not submit themselves. The monthslong Screen Actors Guild strike meant awards season obtained off to a slower begin, however one of many early questions is that if something can rival these diametrically opposed summer season sensations of “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer.”
Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie of “Barbie” had been among the many quite a few tribute awards. In their joint speech, Gerwig stated her associate, Noah Baumbach, discovered he was co-writing the film along with her from a Variety article that cited them each. He despatched the article to Gerwig with only a query mark, she stated.
“Then he wrote again: ‘It’s OK, we’ll make one another snort,'” added Gerwig.
Best supporting efficiency went to Charles Melton of Todd Haynes’ “May December.” He performs a younger father who first started his relationship along with his spouse (Julianne Moore) when he was a minor.
A.V. Rockwell, whose directorial debut “A Thousand and One” stars Teyana Taylor as a single mom, received for breakthrough director. She famous all of her fellow nominees had been ladies. “It’s a fight just to get here,” she stated.
“Just to be frank, it is very hard to tell a culturally specific story when you look like this,” stated Rockwell.
Best documentary went to Kaouther Ben Hania’s Tunisian movie “Four Daughters,” a real story a few Tunisian ladies with two daughters who grew to become radicalized. The movie reconstructs their disappearance.
In the TV classes, the Netflix sequence “Beef,” starring Steven Yeun and Ali Wong as a pair locked in a feud after a highway rage incident, received for each breakthrough sequence underneath 40 minutes and for Wong’s efficiency.
“If you haven’t seen ‘Beef’ yet, I swear it’s more than me and Steven crying.” Wong stated.
Tribute awards ensured that some star energy hit the Gothams stage. They got to: Bradley Cooper, the director, star and co-writer of “Maestro”; Ben Affleck, the director and co-star of “Air”; George C. Wolfe, the director of “Rustin”; and Michael Mann, the director of “Ferrari.”
Affleck, nevertheless, wasn’t in attendance. The movie’s screenwriter, Alex Convery, as an alternative accepted the award.
“Well, you thought you were getting Ben Affleck,” stated Convery. “Sorry.”
The Gothams have a checkered historical past of forecasting future awards glory. Last yr, it was the primary win in what grew to become a runaway Oscar marketing campaign for “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” and the place Ke Huy Quan’s supporting-actor bid obtained its begin. The yr earlier than that, Gotham winner “The Lost Daughter” pale on the marketing campaign path, however 2020-winner “Nomadland” went the gap to the Academy Awards.
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