EXCLUSIVE: It was to be a big night for American Hustle, even if loopy and notorious film critic Armond White stole some of the headlines from Monday night’s New York Film Critics Circle awards ceremony by heckling 12 Years A Slave director Steve McQueen from the back of the room. But it shouldn’t take away from a night of celebration for all those winners. For the record, and according to media and Twitter accounts (I’m in L.A. and wasn’t there), White, a former NYFCC President (!) who does this sort of boorish behavior often at these ceremonies, called McQueen derogatory names (I don’t have to repeat them). The black “critic” has been on record as not appreciating McQueen’s film (to say the least). Seriously New York Film Critics, why do you let this guy in the building? Hopefully the director and his distinguished and iconic presenter Harry Belafonte (who reportedly brought many to tears with his moving remarks) didn’t hear any of it. At any rate Best Actor Robert Redford (All Is Lost) and Best Actress Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) were on hand to lend a touch of class as well as Supporting Actor winner Jared Leto of Dallas Buyers Club. But the big winners of the evening (as previously reported when results of the voting were announced on December 3) were the gang from Sony’s American Hustle which took Best Picture, Best Screenplay for David O. Russell and Eric Singer and Best Supporting Actress for an absent Jennifer Lawrence who was stuck filming another Hunger Games sequel and sent co-star Bradley Cooper to accept. Russell was there to accept his award as well as producers Megan Ellison, Richard Suckle and Jonathan Gordon (Chuck Roven did not make the trip) for Best Picture. Enthusiastic screenplay presenter James Toback called Russell “a great American artist” and praised the film as one of the greatest he has ever seen. It’s certainly a major player this awards season with 2 SAG nominations, 7 Golden Globe nods and 13 Critics Choice Awards noms in addtion to PGA, WGA and now DGA nominations so far. Here’s an exclusive look at several character featurettes highlighting the work of its SAG-nominated ensemble cast:
Awards Columnist Pete Hammond - tip him here.