The swanky gala, which raises funds for films to continue to join The Museum of Modern Art’s collection, attracted Elizabeth Banks, Alec Baldwin, Billy Eichner, and Kristen Stewart, who served as a co-chair with director Todd Haynes and Graydon Carter, who recently announced he’s stepping down from Vanity Fair.
Baldwin was unable to make the NYC event, but sent in a video for Moore, as did Eichner (who was busy in Brooklyn, hosting Glamour’s Women of the Year event). Baldwin kicked off the opening remarks garnering laughs from the audience, saying, “Your talent is as great as the many freckles you have.”
Stewart, who co-starred with Moore and Baldwin in “Still Alice,” called the honoree her “work mom,” raving, “I am, in this odd way, very proud of you tonight…it’s an odd thing to be proud and awestruck at the same time.” She candidly quipped, “You’re like my work mom. I love my mom. No disrespect to my mom, but I wish you were my mom.”
Moore’s husband, director Bart Freundlich, spoke glowingly about his wife. Moore’s children were also in attendance to celebrate their mother, who is the latest MoMA Film Benefit honoree, following Baz Luhrmann, Tim Burton, Kathryn Bigelow, Pedro Almodóvar, Quentin Tarantino, Tilda Swinton, Alfonso Cuarón, Cate Blanchett and Tom Hanks, who have all been feted in past years.
Haynes, who directed Moore in “Safe” and “Far From Heaven,” penned a poem for the Oscar-winning actress, but also focused on her efforts for gun safety laws, as did Banks, who declared, “Julianne Moore is saving lives, guys. She’s protecting our freedom.”
Moore also commented on the current political climate for a quick moment, speaking of the power of film to “validate our very humanity.”
“We are currently living in very difficult times where our very humanity feels threatened and dismissed by a leader who continues to demean and berate, ignore and debase use all,” Moore said on stage, referring to President Donald Trump. “But I have truly been heartened by those who have spoken out, and our refusal to accept this behavior as normal. And I believe that we’re witnessing a time and we are learning that the more we validate and see one another’s experiences and add our voices to one another’s, the stronger we are as a human force and the more likely we are to affect lasting change and rid ourselves of racism, gender bias, sexual assault and gun violence.”
Rubbing shoulders with the A-list speech-givers were friends of Moore, plus a who’s-who of New Yorkers, who bought seats at the event with 100% of the proceeds going toward MoMA’s film program. An insider says more than $1 million was raised for the film program at this year’s annual fete.
Following the ceremony, the MoMA theater was emptied into a simply-decorated space for a three-course dinner where guests were surprised by a performance by the Grammy-winning Lauryn Hill, who sang five songs, while decked out in — what else? — Chanel.