EXCLUSIVE: Spirit Award-nominated Brie Larson has boarded indie drama Room, directed by Lenny Abrahamson. She’ll star as Ma, a woman kidnapped as a teenager who has been held captive for years in a tiny …
2013 Gotham Awards: ‘Inside Llewyn Davis,’ ‘Fruitvale Station,’ ‘Short Term 12,’ ‘Dallas Buyers Club’; Lee Daniels Talks Racism: “I Became Very Angry At White People”
The Coen brothers‘ Inside Llewyn Davis won Best Feature tonight at the fourth annual IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards but lost some of the spotlight to presenter Lee Daniels, who made some eyebrow-raising remarks. Kicking off awards season in NYC, the trophy show propelled the CBS period folk music drama and Fruitvale Station, Dallas Buyers Club, and docu The Act of Killing toward the Oscars. The raucous audience at Cipriani Wall Street chattered so loudly during Daniels’ tribute speech his The Butler star Forest Whitaker that he tried to shush them with a few f-bombs. “Forest would like to hear all you talking through my speech, so shut the f*ck up,” admonished Daniels. He wasn’t the only presenter to complain onstage about the Gothams crowd, as Julie Delpy threatened to set herself on fire to get their attention while presenting another tribute, to Before Midnight helmer Richard Linklater.
Big wins went to Fruitvale Station, which nabbed Best Breakthrough Director and Actor for Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan, respectively. Dallas Buyers Club star and Oscar hopeful Matthew McConaughey won the Gothams’ inaugural Best Actor award and accepted via iPhone through co-star Jared Leto with his signature “All right, all right, all right.” Short Term 12‘s Brie Larson nabbed Best Actress honors, boosting the SXSW winner’s awards profile. Presenting Best Documentary, Morgan Spurlock took a shot at public television (“PBS: We pay more money than IFC”) before presenting the Gotham to Joshua Oppenheimer’s Oscar hopeful The Act of Killing.
Host Nick Kroll (Kroll Show, The League) struggled with the ambivalent room early on with a roast of the indie scene: “To the people from L.A. or abroad, I hope you’re enjoying your tiny hotel room you had to pay for out of pocket because Magnolia or IFC wouldn’t pony up.” Riffing on the night’s nominees, he quipped, “A common theme in this year’s movies are the horrors we inflict upon one another – slavery, war, folk music… .” Unfortunately for Kroll, he was upstaged by New York Mayor Bloomberg. “Independent filmmakers and New York have a lot in common… We both want Harvey Weinstein to be nice to us.” Boosting local filmmaking versus runaway production to neighboring Canada while presenting the tribute to his Media and Entertainment Commissioner Katherine Oliver, Bloomberg joked, “For the record: the mayor of Toronto and the mayor of New York do not have a lot in common.”
In the first leading role of her career, Brie Larson has been getting rave reviews for playing a teacher working with troubled kids in writer-director Destin Cretton’s Short Term 12. Cinedigm picked up distribution at this year’s South by Southwest festival, where the film won the Grand Jury and Audience Awards, and Larson most recently earned a Gotham Award nomination for best actress. Although Larson also appears in two higher-profile films of the season—Don Jon and The Spectacular Now—it’s her performance in this tiny indie that has everyone talking.
AwardsLine: Did you initially read the script for Short Term 12 with the idea that you would play Grace?
Brie Larson: I didn’t know what the role was or what the movie was about. I just couldn’t believe that what I was reading was a script. I kept thinking that I was reading some sort of transcript. It felt so honest and natural. I had never read dialogue that was so revealing and simple and complicated with no manipulation. I was totally intimidated by the material. It’s never been easy for me to book any job so I couldn’t imagine that something this rich would be easy for me. I tried to apply for a bunch of volunteer jobs before and learn as much as possible so I could have an in-depth, intelligent conversation with Destin about (the role). I wanted to be viewed as a collaborator and someone who was interested in the subject. I didn’t tell him that I had been rejected by all the volunteer jobs. At the end of a very short conversation—20 minutes or something—he asked if I would do it. I was totally and completely shocked. I hadn’t booked a job before where I haven’t had to audition multiple times. I knew at some point that he had seen my reel, but I don’t even know what’s on that thing. But I know there were certain scenes where he thought, “Why did she put this on her reel? She’s not even in this.” Then he’d rewind it and watch it again and see that it was me. The fact that I blend into whatever character I’m playing was interesting to him, that there wasn’t some sort of set thing that I do every single time.
The Locarno Film Festival drew to a close Saturday night in Switzerland with the top Pardo d’Oro prize going to Story Of My Death. The Spanish film is directed by Albert Serra and imagines the last days of Giacomo Casanova. American actress Brie Larson took the Best Actress prize for Short Term 12, Destin Cretton’s drama about a woman working at a foster care facility. The film also received a special mention. The jury prize went to Joaquim Pinto’s E Agora? Lembra-Me. Best Director was South Korea’s Hong Sang-soo for Our Suhni and Best Actor was Fernando Bacilio for Daniel and Diego Vega’s El Mudo. A complete list of winners follows:
Director Destin Daniel Cretton’s Short Term 12, featuring a breakout turn by Brie Larson, nabbed top narrative honors at the 2013 SXSW Film Awards held tonight at Austin’s Paramount Theatre. Cretton’s script won the Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship and was based on his own Sundance-winning short. In the docu competition, Ben Nabors’ Kickstarter-backed William And The Windmill won the Grand Jury Prize for its profile of William Kamkwamba, the teenage Malawian inventor who took TEDGlobal by storm in 2007. The fest unveiled juried award honors in narrative and documentary feature, short film, design, and special categories. SXSW is an Oscar- and BAFTA-qualifying shorts festival and the winning narrative, documentary, and animated shorts will be eligible for the Academy Awards and Orange British Academy Film Awards. The 2013 SXSW Film Festival hosted 133 feature films and 110 shorts and continues through Saturday, March 16; Audience Award winners will be announced that day. Scroll down for full list of winners.