Hanks, Portman honoured at HFAs
TOM HANKS and Natalie Portman took top acting honours at the recent Hollywood Film Awards (HFAs), billed as the official start of the film industry’s annual prize-giving season.
The Hollywood Blockbuster Award went to Disney’s The Jungle Book while there was a comedy prize for two-time Oscar-winner Robert De Niro for his role in the upcoming The Comedian.
Hanks ( far right) was honoured for Sully, Clint Eastwood’s drama about real-life hero Chelsey Sullenberger’s 2009 emergency landing of a passenger jet on the Hudson River.
Portman ( right) was recognised for her starring role in Jackie, a portrait of First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy during the days immediately following her husband’s assassination.
Best supporting actor went to Hugh Grant for comedy biopic Florence Foster Jenkins, while Nicole Kidman was recognised for her support role in Lion.
The ceremony, which has trademarked its description of itself as “the official launch of the awards season”, is in its 20th year.
Mel Gibson, who is making a comeback with Hacksaw Ridge after his career collapsed following an anti-Semitic tirade caught on tape, was accepted back into the fold with an award for directing.
Hosted by British actor and comedian James Corden, the plush Beverly Hills ceremony has been criticised in the past, chiefly because it is not known who actually votes for the winners.
The website says selections are made by an “advisory team” of “insiders”, prompting trade journal Variety to describe the evening as “more mystery than suspense”.
Critics have also questioned the wisdom of some of the decisions; this year, the two actress prizes and De Niro’s honour were awarded for films which aren’t out yet.
Organisers point out, however, that more than 100 honourees have gone on to garner Oscar nominations or wins.
Matthew McConaughey, who stars in Gold – which won the ensemble award for its cast – revealed that 2016 had been one of his “roughest” years as many family members and close friends had died, “more so than the last 10 years combined”.
“What that’ll do is make you appreciate living a little more,” he told reporters. – AFP