Stars serious and silly at Hollywood Film Awards

AP Entertainment Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The first televised Hollywood Film Awards was like a dressy, drawn-out advertisement for Oscar hopefuls.

More than half of the night’s recipients were recognized for films that haven’t been released yet. Trailers for the movies played during the commercial breaks.

Queen Latifah, who hosted the ceremony Friday at the Hollywood Palladium, talked about the event’s relative obscurity in her opening monologue, saying, “Not many people knew about this show.”

Response to the awards ranged from genuine appreciation to goofy acknowledgement.

“All my life I’ve dreamt of getting one of these, like everybody else in this room, and I can’t believe this day has come,” Chris Rock joked as he accepted a trophy for his new film, “Top Five,” set for release next month.

“An Oscar is an Oscar,” he continued, examining the trophy. “What is this, a shiny blackie? I don’t know. I love it though.”

Johnny Depp made immediate use of the F-word when he took the stage to present the documentary award for “Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon.” The megastar slurred and continued to use expletives before he was cut off by a film-clip package.

Ben Affleck, who accepted the film award for “Gone Girl,” said he hoped it didn’t appear presumptuous that he prepared a speech.

“When they told me there were no other nominees, I felt cautiously optimistic,” the actor said.

Steve Carell and Channing Tatum, who were recognized as an ensemble for their work in “Foxcatcher,” used their acceptance speech time to repeatedly hug one another and presenter Jonah Hill.

“I’m not even in the movie,” Hill playfully protested.

Jennifer Lopez laughed and blushed as she mispronounced the name of the animation winner as “How to Drain Your Dragon.” Gerard Butler teased her about the mistake as he accepted the award for “How to Train Your Dragon 2.”

Other stars, though, seemed honestly touched at the recognition.

Benedict Cumberbatch, who won the actor award for playing code-cracking Alan Turing in “The Imitation Game” (opening later this month), called the prize “a huge honor.”

Morten Tyldum accepted an award for directing the film.

“I’m new to Hollywood,” he said. “This is the greatest honor and warmest welcome I can imagine.”

Angelina Jolie and the star of her new film, “Unbroken,” warmly acknowledged the subject of the biopic opening Christmas Day.

“I dedicate the award to the man himself, Mr. Louis Zamperini,” star Jack O’Connell said as he accepted the New Hollywood award.

Founded by entrepreneur Carlos de Abreu and his wife, former model Janice Pennington, the Hollywood Film Awards have been presented off-camera since 1997. There are no nominees, only winners chosen by de Abreu and a dozen others.

Latifah described the event as “a celebration of this year’s greatest movies and a guide to films that will be coming to theaters in the next few weeks and through the holidays.”

“Awards season is on!” she said at the show’s conclusion.

Hollywood’s awards season has traditionally begun at year’s end. Golden Globe nominations will be announced Dec. 11 and the awards presented Jan. 11. Academy Award nominations will be announced Jan. 15, with the Oscar show set for Feb. 22.


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