Alan Cumming was a lively emcee who threw out plenty of Hollywood-targeted laughs, including a good jab at Brits’ hesitance to call attention to themselves: “We make the Oscars look downright slutty.”
The standout tribute of the night came from Robert Downey Jr., who insisted that he should be receiving the Chaplin Award he presented to Ben Stiller. Downey had a good time at stiller’s expense, singling out the disappointing “Tower Heist,” “which I haven’t seen and have no opinion on.” Stiller, in turn, said, “I often wonder how my career would have changed if I hadn’t turned down ‘Chaplin.’ ”
Robin Williams presented the first award, the Albert Broccoli award, to Pixar chief John Lasseter, who confessed that when he first started working in animation he had a hard time drawing. Lasseter went on to talk about what he learned from his mentor, legendary Disney animator Ollie Johnston. He punctuated his speech by dedicating the honor to the late Steve Jobs.
Helen Mirren paid tribute to fellow Brit Helena Bonham Carter by praising her talent as an actress and her quirky style. Carter had just as many compliments for Mirren, and launched into a charming, rambling speech. “Tim told me to be brief but he’s not here so that’s not going to happen,” she said. She ended by saying she still adheres to advice her father always gave her: “Keep buggering on.”
Jason Isaacs introduced “Harry Potter” director David Yates by saying, “I’m worried that you’re unemployed.” It was hard to forget “Potter’s” award hopes after an action-packed clip reel and another lighthearted speech from “HP” producer David Heyman, who said Yates “has been having an affair with Herman Cain.”
Oliver Platt was on hand to introduce Warren Beatty, who received the Kubrick award and thanked his wife Annette Bening and sister Shirley MacLaine, both of whom were seated at his table.
Guests sipped Hawk Crest wines and dined on pear and gorgonzola salad, stuffed chicken breast and finished with key lime tart and dulce de leche ice cream truffle.