NEW YORK — “Michael Moore is at the People’s Choice Awards, because he has a hunch he might win,” quipped liberal funnyman Al Franken, explaining the whereabouts of the firebrand docmaker absent from the New York Film Critics Circle annual gala Sunday. “And the people are much more important than you are,” he added, before going into a tirade about the right-wing press.
Franken also joked that Miramax honcho Harvey Weinstein had bravely stood by “Fahrenheit 9/11” “in the face of certain success,” before being visibly tut-tutted by the circle’s chair, Thelma Adams, for hogging the mic at Gotham’s Roosevelt Hotel.
Weinstein used his acceptance speech to set the record straight on Moore’s decision to pull “Fahrenheit” from docu contention in the Oscar race, saying the move was made so it could play on foreign TV and U.S. pay-per-view prior to the election, rendering it ineligible as an Acad doc contender.
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On hand to accept awards in person were Clint Eastwood, Clive Owen, Pedro Almodovar, Virginia Madsen, Paul Giamatti, Brad Bird, Joshua Marston and Alexander Payne.