As the only comedy up for the top feature award, it wasn’t surprising that “Little Miss Sunshine” generated the biggest laughs Saturday night at the DGA’s 59th awards show at the Century Plaza.
Steve Carell, presenting the nomination plaque to directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, recounted his first meeting with the husband-wife duo when Faris had an oatmeal-and-martini breakfast.
“They were warm decent people, and I knew in my heart that they would never succeed in Hollywood,” Carell said. “I got the part because I was the only actor in Hollywood who could grow a deep, full beard in 72 hours.”
Emcee Carl Reiner commanded Carell to “lope” back and forth on the stage until he got laughs, which took about five seconds. He also thanked Dayton for wearing a hat, noting it gave Reiner an excuse to put on a heater to fend off the powerful air conditioning.
In a more sober moment, Lithuanian filmmaker Arunas Matelis connected with the crowd on accepting the docu award for “Before Flying Back to Earth,” saying the young leukemia patients in the film “give us lessons of patience and hope.”