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Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.
by Peter Knegt
December 1, 2009 12:38 AM
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Gotham Awards '09: Minute By Minute

10:00pm EST: Short and sweet, writer Mark Boal thanks Summit Entertainment, "who took a big risk to put out an Iraq War film." And with that, my work here is done. Hope you didn't mind the typos and increasing apathy toward what was going on. Again, get a full list of winners here.

9:58pm EST: And the last winner of the night is... "The Hurt Locker"!

9:55pm EST: It's almost over, folks. Shohreh Aghdashloo joins us to present best feature.

9:53pm EST: Bigelow takes the stage after lengthy clip show. "Without this community I couldn't make a film like 'The Hurt Locker,'" she says to the crowd, adding that making the film was "the most gratifying experience."

9:48pm EST: Oh, "K-19: The Widowmaker"... How I'll never see you.

9:47pm EST: Willem Dafoe takes the stage to present Kathryn Bigelow's award. He stays on script and doesn't reference the Perez penis reference.

9:45pm EST: Eamonn Bowles from "Food, Inc." distributor Magnolia Pictures accepts award on director Robert Kenner's behalf. "There's no calorie counter tonight!" he said.

9:43pm EST: And it's "Food, Inc."

9:41pm EST: Best documentary is about to be announced...

9:40pm EST: Bevan and Fellner graciously thank Universal and then single out Focus. Sorry, that's all I got.

9:37pm EST: I get a late, great quote from the boys downstairs. "I can't believe it," Catalina Saavedra said when she took the stage, thanking "Maid" director Sebastian Silva and sharing the award. "Guys, she doesn't have an agent," Silva said, pointing at the crowd. Note to Oscar: The last three winners of this award have gone to get a nomination from you.

Tribute Award winner Stanley Tucci at the 2009 Gotham Awards. Photo by Brian Brooks.

9:35pm EST: I'm back, and have fully missed the Coens (but am informed by fellow indieWIREians that they were "too hard to quote, but hilarious." Bevan and Fellner take the stage.

9:25pm EST: The Coen brothers take the stage, and I really need to pee. They are presenting a tribute award to producer/executives Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, and I mean absolutely no disrespect, but I must take a brief exit as they do so.


9:22pm EST: Tucci's still here but I can see on the silent screen that Catalina Saavedra has won best breakthrough performer for The Maid!

9:21pm EST: Tucci comes to the press room (sans Meryl, sadly). He's asked which his favorite role is, and gives a reasonable but cliched answer about all of them being his babies.

9:19pm EST: Ellen Burstyn (!) and Oliver Platt take the stage to present breakthrough performance. "That's a cue," Burstyn bitches when she finishes her speech. "Roll the clips!" It's my first LOL moment here in the press room.

9:17pm EST: "I feel far too young, but look far too old to win this award," Tucci ends off. That's how it's done, Portman.

9:18pm EST: More Tucci on Streep quotes: "She's drunk as a skunk, it's so sad."

9:15pm EST: "Award shows are at once heaven and hell," Tucci said. "How great to have Meryl as God." Here here.

9:11pm EST: I get my sound back for the Tucci clip show. Am waiting on my indieWIREian colleagues for quotes from la Streep.

9:10pm EST: Jeremy Renner confirms to an idiotic member of the press that he is, in fact, on Facebook.

9:09pm EST: Oh god, Brooke Shields is joining them for a photo opp. I'm staring at Meryl mouth words.

9:09pm EST: The sound gets turned off as the "Hurt Locker" boys enter. Damn you, Bigelow!

9:08pm EST: "I'm like the queen, I brought my purse," she says before getting into her Stanley Tucci tribute introduction. I melt at the thought we are in the same building.

9:07pm EST: Meryl Streep's taking the stage! Those "Hurt Locker" boys better take their time.

"The Hurt Locker"'s Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty with Brooke Shields at the Gotham Awards. Photo by Brian Brooks.

9:05pm EST: Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty take the stage for an extremely brief and non-quote worthy speech.

9:03pm EST: "The Hurt Locker" wins it. I had kinda been hoping for "A Serious Man," but a worthy alternative.

9:00pm EST: Richard LaGravenese joins Brooke Shields of all people to present best ensemble performance. She gets cut off in the press room as Ms. Portman is now gracing me with her presence. Someone asks her about Oscar buzz for "Brothers." She seems annoyed.. "Well, we're promoting the film," she says when someone asks her if she's campaigning for awards season before heading back out in time for me to hear Brooke announce the nominees.

8:58pm EST: "Everyone in this room... I feel lucky to be your peers and in this great city," Portman said in a short and generally underwhelming speech. "I feel lucky to create among all of you."

8:54pm EST: Natalie Portman tribute time. "What can i say, I adore Natalie Portman and so does everyone who has ever worked with her," said Jim Sheridan as he awkwardly introduced Portman. First off, though, we get a clip show gives us expectedly big doses of "The Professional," "Closer," "Garden State," and "Beautiful Girls." "Star Wars" is thankfully missing in action.

8:47pm EST: Russo-Young keeps it short and street. Thanks her parents and literally is here backstage 30 seconds later.

8:45pm EST: They leave just in time for me to hear the winner announced... "You Won't Miss Me," by Ry Russo-Young.

8:42pm EST: Anthony Mackie and Rosie Perez come in the press room and the TV sound is turned off... So no Clarkson quotes for you.

8:41pm EST: Patricia Clarkson (!) and Sam Rockwell take the stage to present Best Film Not Screening at a Theater Near You.

8:39pm EST: "Oh, shit, now I have to do a speech," Siegel said. "Though the great thing about doing a super low budget movie is that you can thank everyone in the credits."

8:37pm EST: And the winner is.... Robert Siegel for "Big Fan"

8:35pm EST: Rosie calls "Antichrist" a "sick-ass movie," then asks Dafoe if it was, in fact, his penis in the movie, and then almost accidentally announces the winner before the nominees and clips are shown. The crowd loves it.

8:34pm EST: Rosie Perez and Anthony Mackie presenting best breakthrough director.

8:32pm EST: Shouts out Willem Dafoe in the audience. "It's good to see so many wonderful actors that have brought so much joy to audiences," he says. "And it's also good to see Willem Dafoe. Who brings us confusion and terror, and more recently, a terrible fear of castration." He then gives three things he learned from "Antichrist," which gets the audience going: "1. Keep an eye on your child; 2. Don't go camping with your wife when shes down in the dumps from your child dying while you were having sex; 3. If a wolf looks you in the face and says 'chaos reigns,' get the fuck out of the there. I don't care how long you have the cabin for."

Rosie Perez and Anthony Mackie backstage at the Gotham Awards. Photo by Brian Brooks.

8:28pm EST: Now Nanjiani's making "Paranormal Activity" jokes. They aren't winning over the audience.

8:25pm EST: "Don't worry, I've never heard of me either," Nanjiani begins. "What better way to celebrate movies we've never seen by having a host that no one's ever heard of."

8:22pm EST: "It's not a night of sadness for me, it's a night of celebration," Byrd announces. On her final official duty as executive director, she acknowledges the entire past and present staff of the IFP, and gets the ball rolling by introducing the night's host, comedian Kumail Nanjiani.

8:16pm EST: Gladly didn't take the journey, as things seem to be getting started. On a television in the press room, I watch as the IFP's new interim head of the organization, Joana Vicente introduces the woman she is replacing (who is moving on after 18 years at the organization), Michelle Byrd, to the stage.

8:13 pm EST: Attempted to be productive by using the delay to pee, but was informed the nearest washroom is essentially a mile-long journey through a sea of 1,000 people.

8:07 pm EST: There's no sign of things starting, despite the scheduled start time of 8pm. In the meantime, I'll paint a little picture of the press room: 40 some-odd chairs with 11 people sitting in them, copious amounts of alcohol, and jazzy elevator music. I don't like where this is going.

7:45 pm EST: Over the next two hours, indieWIRE's editorial team will be giving you a minute-by-minute (ish) rundown of the 2009 Gotham Awards (in addition to a full list of winners). Unless this shaky wireless connection fails me, I'll be reporting from backstage at the Cipriani Wall Street in Lower Manhattan, as well as relaying info from Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks (glamorously enjoying the ceremony from the main floor amidst the likes of Meryl Streep and Natalie Portman), to you, our indieWIRE readers. The fun starts in roughly fifteen minutes. Check out the list of nominees here.

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