With no acceptance speeches, no losers and no TV cameras interrupting the festivities, the American Film Institute Awards kept the pressure low and the star power high at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills on Friday.
Over a light lunch in the hotel’s ballroom, 10 films and 10 TV shows were honored at an event the AFI considers its almanac to document what’s excellent about each calendar year of entertainment. The casual atmosphere also ended up being a comfortable place for Michel Hazanavicius to meet Clint Eastwood and Steven Spielberg to chat amiably with Harvey Weinstein and Brian Grazer away from the live-TV lens.
Although AFI board chairman Howard Stringer pointed out that Oscar ballots were due later that day, the clips from each of the recognized projects highlighted some of the emblematic scenes of awards season: the bridal store scene from “Bridesmaids” elicited groans and guffaws; Gil’s discussion with Hemingway in “Midnight in Paris” earned rousing laughter; and Joey’s race through trenches from “War Horse” held the audience rapt.
AFI president and CEO Bob Gazzale gave a quick introduction before handing the stage to Rich Frank, who presented each of the 10 TV shows that were honored. Leonard Maltin introduced the 10 films.
Stringer also got a good laugh when he addressed the audience by saying, “Distinguished guests. And George Clooney.”
The formidable list of film-related attendees included:
Sasha Baron Cohen
Chloe Grace Moretz