Hollywood Film Awards: Best and Worst Moments
Queen Latifah hosted the first-ever televised event, broadcasted live on CBS from the Hollywood Palladium
Queen Latifah Hosts
The actress and daytime TV personality kicked off the ceremony with a monologue celebrating the show's first-ever televised broadcast — "I know what you're thinking: 'Did I miss the first 17 Hollywood Film Awards? … You always remember your first" — and noted how it's a well-known predictor of Academy honors.
Robert Downey Jr. awarded the supporting actor honor to his co-star in The Judge, Robert Duvall. "To describe the experience in a single world, it's 'passion,' " Downey said of Duvall, noting that applies to football, his wife and the craft of acting. "It's been quite a while since anything in my hands felt this good," said Duvall, and while thanking his wife, he added, "I've been on this planet a long time, and I've had a few better halves, but she's the best better half I've ever had."
Breakout Performance, Actress
Laura Dern presented the breakout performance for an actress award to "the biggest open heart I could possibly know," her Fault in Our Stars lead Shailene Woodley. "To do this film really truly felt like such an honor," said Woodley, also praising her onscreen character, cancer-stricken teenager Hazel Grace. "Every day we wake up and are breathing, we're winning, so we all already have victories on our plate the second that we leave our pillows in the morning, and she reminded me of that."
Christoph Waltz presented the honor to Keira Knightley of The Imitation Game. "Particularly now, when women are such a minority in all fields, her story and the fact that she really perseveres, and she had space and time and grace is really inspiring," she said of portraying Joan Clarke. Of her co-star Benedict Cumberbatch, she added, "Thanks for being excellent on- and offcamera."
Reese Witherspoon awarded the honor to her Wild helmer, Jean-Marc Vallée. "Becoming a breakthrough director at 51 takes time, patience, gray hair and determination, and a lot of caring and loving people around you," he laughed.
Breakout Performance, Actor
Last year's winner Jared Leto presented the award to Eddie Redmayne of The Theory of Everything. After thanking Leto for Requiem for a Dream, Redmayne told the room of first coming to Los Angeles with other Brits and wasting a ton of time playing ping-pong. He also thanked Stephen Hawking, and echoed Woodley's speech: "It's not just those challenges or limitations that define us, but how we choose to overcome them."
Hilary Swank presented the honor to Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn. "Do not put a writer in high heels and set her up on a stage after an open bar, is the moral of the story!" she joked, thankful she wasn't forced to turn her twist-filled thriller into "a musical about kittens." She also said of her collaborators, "Thank you for believing that the author could write the screenplay."
Introduced by Randy Jackson and Steven Tyler, Hollywood Song award winner Janelle Monae took the stage with her black-and-white-dressed band and a crew of colorful carnival dancers to perform the beat-driven, Brazilian track, "What Is Love" from Rio 2. "The message in this song is pretty simple. … Special moments become more special when you share them with the people you love."
Robert Pattinson presented the helmer award to Morten Tyldum of The Imitation Game. "I'm new to Hollywood, and this is the greatest honor and the warmest welcome I can imagine," he said, adding of Alan Turing, who was punished by his government for being gay, "This film is a small step toward correcting this horrible injustice, by bringing his amazing, thrilling, inspiring true story to a broader audience."
Jonah Hill gave the honor to the cast of Foxcatcher, calling it "the best movie in years." After Hill, Steve Carell and Channing Tatum traded long hugs, Carell joked that "Mark Ruffalo couldn't be here because he is not a good member of the ensemble."
Unbroken director Angelina Jolie presented the award to her film's star, Jack O'Connell, whom she called, "The least Hollywood artist I know." He dedicated the award to the film's subject, the late Olympian and war hero Louis Zamperini, "who's life account of tremendous strength and courage carved a history, like many authors of his generation." He also thanked Jolie, or "my esteemed boss, good friend, her ladyship," and gave her a big bow.
Hollywood Comedy Film
Host Latifah highlighted Chris Rock for penning and directing Top Five. Among his thanks and his confusion on the shape of the award, he also thanked Les Moonves "for having the only awards show without Pharrell this year! Thank God I don't have to listen to 'Happy' right now, I would stab myself!" He also shouted out to Chadwick Boseman, who "played Jackie Robinson, James Brown — if they offer Rosa Parks, say no!"
After struggling to properly pronounce the title, a giggling Jennifer Lopez gave the award to How to Train Your Dragon 2, and clarified, "You don't want to drain your dragon!" Gerard Butler, who voices Stoick, thanked Lopez "for the flawless introduction" and accepted the honor by thanking writer-director Dean DeBlois and the creative team. "One of the reasons for wanting to become an actor is for living in these fantastical, mythical worlds. … I'd like to thank them for allowing me to fly through this world for just a few moments."
Hollywood Career Achievement
Geena Davis presented the award to her Beetlejuice co-star and the lead of Birdman, Michael Keaton, who promised a brief speech for two reasons: "One is, I know you want to get back to your drinking, and the other is, I've lived in horrible fear of that music playing behind me!" He described the Birdman opportunity as a meteor that hit him in a desert, and said of the accolade, "Normally, when they give this type of award to someone, it's because that person is usually dead, and I'm not, and I'm gonna keep on going for a long time."
Kristen Stewart presented the award to her Still Alice co-star Julianne Moore, who began her speech by saying Stewart is "the same special and wonderful person she was when she was 12 years old." After her thanks, she also noted that "my daughter just reminded me that I should thank her too and I should say hi to Shailene Woodley!"
Johnny Depp, who fidgeted a bit with "the weirdest microphone I've ever seen in my life," introduced (with curse words) Shep Gordon, who presented the honor to Supermensch director Mike Myers. "For 20 years, I've begged Shep Gordon to let me make a film about him; he got sick, he was on drugs, and he said yes, and here we are — so here's to drugs!" He added the most valuable lesson he's learned from Gordon in a fame-obsessed culture: "While it is nice to be discovered, it's much better to discover yourself."
After Chadwick Boseman responded to Chris Rock's previous comments — "If you could make a black man blush, you just did it to me!" — he presented the honor to Guardians of the Galaxy. "This is a movie made by outcasts — two years ago, I was a cult film director, Chris was the chubby sitcom sidekick, Zoe [Saldana] was this crazy woman from Queens, Dave Bautista was this wrestler no one took seriously, and we came together with all of our hearts and souls for outcasts," said director James Gunn, alongside Chris Pratt. "For every oddball, outcast geek, nerd, … for anybody who's ever felt left out and alone, this is for you. … We are Groot!"
Amy Adams presented the accolade to Benedict Cumberbatch of The Imitation Game. "Gosh, you make microphones small in this part of the world!" he said onstage. "[Alan Turing] was and is a hero of all time, I think, a man who is a gay icon, who didn't deny his nature, his being, and for that he suffered. … This is a story that celebrates him, that celebrates outsiders; it celebrates anybody who's ever felt different and ostracized and ever suffered prejudice."
Ron Howard announced that Gone Girl won the Hollywood Film award, accepted by Ben Affleck, just after the two "met at the urinal — nice to see you again, Ron." He thanked director David Fincher, particularly for the shower scene: " 'Listen, if we tilt down, we'll never go far enough to see anything,' so thank you David — and I'd like to thank you for keeping the set cool, because if you're gonna have one chance for America to see your junk, you want it to be cold. It's a real gift." He continued his Fincher jabs, noting that there weren't any other nominees, and that "he couldn't be here tonight because he's still shooting the movie!"
The Hollywood Film Awards are produced by Dick Clark Productions, a sister company of The Hollywood Reporter.