Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.
by Peter Knegt
November 30, 2010 3:07 AM
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Gotham Awards 2010: Minute By Minute

Natalie Portman at the 2010 Gotham Awards. Photo by Brian Brooks.

10:20pm EST: That's a night, folks. Full list of winners here

10:16pm EST: And the winner is.... Winter's Bone, rebounding significantly from Jennifer Lawrence's surprising loss in the breakthrough performance category.

10:13pm EST: Steve Buscemi and Melissa Leo are on stage announcing the award that will bring the night to a close... best film.

10:10pm EST: Duvall says the Iranian film "The Apple" is one of his favorite films. He's lovely and all, but its been 10 minutes and there's only one award left so...

10:04pm EST: Robert Duvall: "I got out of New York becauase I got tired of doing 8 shows a week in theater. I wanted to do my own films."

9:58pm EST: Murray's fantastic, as one would expect: "I know he's a big deal because he's Boo Radley. I watched it the other night on TCM."

9:56pm EST: First though, we have Bill Murray taking the stage to pay tribute to Robert Duvall (FOUR tribute awards amidst only six competitive ones?)

9:55pm EST: One award left!

9:52pm EST: Poitras: "When I knew this would be a film about Guantanamo & Al Qaeda, I thought the funders would run the other way. That wasn't the case."

9:50pm EST: The winner of best documentary is.... Laura Poitras' The Oath. Snubbed on Oscar's shortlist, this incredible documentary gets a well deserved consolation prize.

9:49pm EST: Barbara Kopple & Sam Rockwell present best documentary. Huge applause for "The Oath" during announcement of nominees.

9:45pm EST: Aronofsky takes the stage. He says he used to stalk James Schamus & Ted Hope back in the early days of IFP. He was a member, and used to steal film festival applications. "Sorry about that," he joked.

9:42pm EST: Hilary Swank is beside me in the back press room and talking about her role in upcoming "Valentine's Day"-esque "New Year's Eve," and as a result I cannot concentrate on the inspired Aronofsky clip reel (despite only making 5 films, his work can come together in clip form quite nicely), set to Clint Mansell's incomparable score from "Requiem For a Dream."

9:34pm EST: Natalie Portman - charming as ever - takes the stage to begin a hilarious and touching tribute to Darren Aronofsky, making me lol for the first time all night by calling "Requiem For a Dream" "a slapstick film about sleeping disorders."

9:29pm EST: Jennifer Lawrence isn't there.

Darren Aronofsky at the Gotham Awards.
9:28pm EST: And the winner is... Winter's Bone. A nice turnaround after Lawrence's breakthrough performance loss.

9:27pm EST: Hawke gives one of the night's best lines: "I was supposed to give this with Parker Posey, but in tribute to ensemble acting, she's not here."

9:26pm EST: Ethan Hawke is presenting the best ensemble award. So far the awards have been far from predictable, so this should be interesting....

9:19pm EST: Ugh. A tribute to Hilary Swank. Bathroom break.

9:16pm EST: "Thanks to the Safdie Brothers for the opportunity to act," Bronstein says. "I hope I get the opportunity to do it again. It's athletic, y'know what I mean?"

9:14pm EST: Winona (who is doing a great job) announces that Ronald Bronstein has surprised over favorite Jennifer Lawrence for his work "Daddy Longlegs" in the best breakthrough performance category.

9:12pm EST: Jesse Eisenberg and Winona Ryder (!) have taken the stage to present best breakthrough performance.

9:10pm EST: Rosie Perez lets Mike Ott know that $15,000 is coming his way thanks to, yes, The Royal Bank of Canada.

9:07pm EST: A bit of excitement as "Littlerock," directed by my friend Mike Ott, is the Gothams' Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You

9:05pm EST: Rosie Perez and a REPRESENTATIVE FROM THE ROYAL BANK OF CANADA come on stage to present the award for Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You.

9:00pm EST: Schamus breaks out a dry erase board to do his "professor schtick" on stage. He explains that the difference difference between pornogrphy (legal) and prostitution (illegal) is the camera in the room, which rallies the audience.

James Schamus at the Gotham Awards. Photo by Peter Knegt
8:58 pm EST: Schamus takes the stage. Having been a staffer at IFP when the Gothams started, it says it means a lot for me to be up there.

8:53pm EST: Hathaway: "James, you really saved me by putting me in 'Brokeback Mountain.' Don't get me wrong, I loved playing princesses..."

8:52pm EST: Recently announced Oscar host Anne Hathaway takes the stage to begin the tribute to James Schamus.

8:51pm EST: Tucci and Clarkson back to relay their favourite quotes from previous Gotham Awards:

Clarkson warms my heart with a "Hedwig" verse:
"My sex change operation got botched/
My guardian angel fell asleep on the watch/
Now all I've got is a Barbie Doll Crotch/
I got an angry inch!"

8:49pm EST: "I love movies so much," a clearly touched and surprised Asch says. "You have all inspired me my whole life."

8:46pm EST: Whoa. Kevin Asch surprises here for "Holy Rollers" (Dunham had been the clear favorite).

8:42pm EST: Julianna Margulies and Paul Rudd announcing breakthrough director award. Will Lena Dunham or Tanya Hamilton continue the awards' female-friendly track record?

8:38pm EST: "It's so cool to be in this crowd of amazing people," says Guggenheim. "Hey, Bill Murray! And Laura Poitras, you're my hero."

Guggenheim ends off his speech by noting that he "hopes this award brings more attention to the kids in my movies. Millions of kids like them shouldn't have to win to get good education."

8:36pm EST: Over 26,00 votes resulted in..... Waiting For 'Superman' winning the Festival Genius Audience Award.

8:34pm EST: Anthony Mackie and Leighton Meester arrive to announce the first EVER Festival Genius Audience Award, which is determined by online voters.

8:31pm EST: Clarkson notes the show's female friendly tendencies: 7 of the last 20 breakthrough director awards have gone to women; Half of the 30 films nominated this year were directed by women; and 4 of the 5 best ensemble nominees were directed by women.

Breakthrough Performance Award winner Ronald Bronstein with his "Daddy Longlegs" director Josh & Ben Safdie. Photo by Brian Brooks.
8:25pm EST: Hosts Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci (perhaps the classiest idea for hosts, ever) take the stage to get things going "It's been 20 years of independent awards like this."

Best moment:

Clarkson: "The young nominees were wearing diapers 20 years ago."

Tucci: "And we're wearing diapers right now."

8:16pm EST: Volume comes back on for clip retrospective of 20 years of Gotham Awards (to the tune of Broken Social Scene... did the Royal Bank of Canada have anything to do with this?). Julie Delpy, Mira Nair, Susan Sarandon, Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, David Cross, Roger Ebert, Meryl Streep, Ellen Page, Natalie Portman, Jim Jarmusch, Robert Altman, Maggie Gyllenhaal among the many faces that pop up. Many cute soundbites, none of which I have the time to jot down.

8:12pm EST: The show has begun, but the volume has not been turned up on the screen in the press room. Though I can definitely tell you that Harvey Keitel, Julianne Moore and John Tuturro - or at least people that look like them, are opening the show.

8:08pm EST: Am told from my indieWIRE colleagues down on the floor that the consensus is that this year's Gothams are more "celebrity-filled" than ever before.

8:05 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: I appear to be the only journalist in the room. There's copious amounts of alcohol, lots of loud people distracting me from getting organized, and jazzy elevator music. I don't like where this is going.

7:58pm EST: As a Canadian, am finding it strange that the Royal Bank of Canada is a co-sponsor of the Gotham Awards.

7:45 pm EST: Over the next two hours, indieWIRE will be giving you a minute-by-minute (ish) rundown of the 2010 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 Eric Kohn and Brian Brooks (glamorously enjoying the ceremony from the main floor amidst the likes of Michelle Williams, Natalie Portman, and gasp, my childhood love Winona Ryder), to you, our indieWIRE readers. The fun starts in roughly fifteen minutes. Check out the list of nominees here.

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