At the beginning of December you can feel the buzz increase as the entertainment awards season starts to pick up steam. There is talk of Oscar and Golden Globes nominations and even less glamorous sub category awards like those presented by the Screen Actors and Director’s Guilds. But before any of those happen it’s the Satellite Awards that take the stage and sets the tone for the many other awards shows to come.
On December 16th the winners of the 17th Annual Satellite Awards were announced at a ceremony at the Intercontinental Hotel in Century City. The big winner for 2012 was David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings Playbook.â€ The film about love and mental illness swept all the coveted categories, including Best Motion Picture, Best Director for Russell, Best Actor for Bradley Cooper, and Best Actress for Jennifer Lawrence. Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers also shared the Best Editing trophy for their work in the movie.
The Satellite Awards show also celebrated the career of actor Terence Stamp with the Mary Pickford Award, songwriter Paul Williams with the Auteur Award, sound editor Walter Murch with the Tesla Award, and actor Bruce Davison with an Honorary Satellite Award for Lifetime Achievement. Director Benh Zeitlin (â€œBeasts of the Southern Wildâ€ ) also received the Humanitarian Award in an emotional ceremony that honored films on both large and small scale from all over the world. Paul Williams’ moving acceptance for the Auteur Award was an impassioned statement about the importance of young singer/songwriter’s having the ability to make a living at their craft.
Mirjana Van Blaricom, International Press Academy President, began the evening by saying â€œAs we meet again in a world plagued and divided by conflict, violence, hunger, and natural disasters, we share our mutual hope that film and television can play a part in bridging gaps and emphasizing the universality of love, loyalty, and compassion â€“ and thereby increasing a realistic hope for true peace and true brotherhood between nations.â€ In its regard for the international nature of film to truly move us and to heal, the International Press Academy has to be commended for considering not only high profile major studio Oscar contenders, but also the smaller and lesser known films that may have flown under Hollywood’s radar but are deserving of recognition.
The nominations included worthy nominees from the specialty and foreign-language sector, as well as some of the higher profile favorites. In the winner’s categories, David O. Russell’s “Silver Linings” took most of the key categories, while “Skyfall,” the latest installment in the James Bond franchise, claimed its first prize of the awards season when actor Javier Bardem, won for Best Supporting Actor. Tom Hooper’s well-received “Les Miserables” provided a setting that allowed Anne Hathaway to take home the Best Supporting Actress award for her role as Fantine. The critical and fan favorite also received two other awards – Best Song for “Suddenly” and for Motion Picture Ensemble. Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi” was another winner with multiple awards. The visually-stunning survival drama was honored with awards for Best Adapted Screenplay (from the Booker-Prize winning novel by Yann Martel) for David Magee and Best Cinematography. Jeff Orlowski won Best Documentary for â€œChasing Ice,â€ which, he said, â€œwas made with money from friends and family, about $650,000, if you can believe that!â€
In accepting her award for Best Actress, Jennifer Lawrence said â€œThe characters in the film are identifiably David’s. They skew off center, have extreme ups and downs, and are so nuanced and a story lies beneath each one of them. I found a real freedom in playing Tiffany. She was so unusual for me because she laid it all out on the table â€“ was tough, and a no-bull kind of girl.â€
Gale Anne Hurd followed Lawrence’s acceptance as the presenter for Paul Williams’ Auteur Award, and also represented AMC’s â€˜The Walking Dead,’ a show on which she is a producer, to accept Best Ensemble, Television. Actors Michael Rooker, Danai Gurira, and Scott Wilson accompanied her on stage to pick up the statue. It is a moving experience to see such an iconic producer as Gale Anne Hurd getting one award after another in a largely male dominated industry especially when we talk about working behind the camera. (She was honored just a few weeks prior by the Caucus for Producers, Writers and Directors)
The evening’s events included a tie in the category of Best International Film between KIM Ki-duk’s â€œPietaâ€ (South Korea) and France’s â€œThe Intouchables.â€ Soo Jin Hwang from KOFIC and Jin Sung from KCCLA were present; Soo Jin accepted the award on behalf of writer/director Kim Ki-duk, stating the importance of this recognition for their country on the heels of the film winning the Golden Lion at Venice earlier in the year.
“Beasts of the Southern Wild” received two Special Achievement Awards. Its charming young lead actress Quvenzhane Wallis was honored with the Newcomer Award, while the film’s director Benh Zeitlin received the afore-mentioned Humanitarian Award. In presenting the Humanitarian Award, actor Dennis Haysbert said â€œin the face of such heart-wrenching tragedy, we have a symbol of hope, an emblem of resilience who might help the survivors, young and old, to hold back the beast known as fear: that emblem is a little girl named Quvenzhane Wallis, IPA’ Newcomer Award recipient for 2012.â€
Haysbert went on to say that â€œher performance in â€˜Beasts of the Southern Wild’ rocks you back when you see her mini tour-de-force as a coup-de-grace that vanquishes the monster called Fear. If she can do it, we can do itâ€¦ and before writer/director Benh Zeitlin comes up to accept for her, Benh, we’d like to let you know that you are our Humanitarian honoree for your compassion, kindness, and emotional fortitude in bringing the world’s attention to the plight of one to shine light on the lives of many. We hope that your film â€˜Beasts of the Southern Wild’ is a source of strength for all children, parents, teachers, caregivers, and even the global community, in its ability to communicate a strategy for standing firm in the face of anything.â€
It was a fitting remark on a night that celebrated the diversity of film on an international scale, a tip of the hat to the greatness that was 2012 in film and maybe an indication as to where the chips may fall as Hollywood and the entertainment business now moves full steam ahead into the awards season.
2012 Satellite Awards Winners in Film:
Motion picture: “Silver Linings Playbook”
Director: David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Actor: Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Supporting Actor: Javier Bardem, “Skyfall”
Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, “Les Miserables”
Original Screenplay: Mark Boal, “Zero Dark Thirty (2012)”
Adapted Screenplay: David Magee, “Life of Pi”
Motion Picture, Animated or Mixed Media: “Rise of the Guardians”
Motion Picture, Documentary: “Chasing Ice”
Motion Picture, International: (tie) “The Intouchables” and “Pieta”
Cinematography: Claudio Miranda, “Life of Pi”
Editing: Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers, “Silver Linings Playbook”
Score: Alexandre Desplat, “Argo”
Song: “Suddenly” from “Les Miserables”
Sound (editing and mixing): Andy Nelson, John Warhurst, Lee Walpole, Simon Hayes, “Les Miserables”
Visual Effects: Michael Lantieri, Kevin Baillie, Ryan Tudhope, Jim Gibbs, “Flight”
Art direction & production design: Rick Carter, Curt Beech, David Crank, Leslie McDonald, “Lincoln”
Costume design: Manon Rasmussen, “A Royal Affair”
Special Achievement Awards:
Outstanding contribution to the entertainment industry: Terence Stamp
Nikola Tesla Award: Walter Murch
Auteur Award: Paul Williams
Honorary Satellite Award: Bruce Davison
Newcomer Award: Quvenzhane Wallis, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Humanitarian Award: Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Motion Picture Ensemble: “Les Miserables”
Television Ensemble: “The Walking