Julianne Moore Feted by Ethan Hawke, Sarah Paulson: "What Award Hasn't She Won?!"

Julianne Moore MMI Tribute H 2014
Andy Kropa/Invision/AP

Julianne Moore MMI Tribute H 2014

Steve Buscemi, Ellen Barkin and Chloe Grace Moretz also honored the 'Still Alice' star at the Museum of the Moving Image's annual salute.

"I've known Julianne Moore since I was fifteen," Chloe Grace Moretz genuinely told guests of the Museum of the Moving Image's annual salute on Tuesday evening at New York City's 583 Park Avenue. "I feel so lucky to have met her at such a young age because she's been incredibly fundamental to my upbringing as a young woman in this industry." Subsequently, guest-turned-presenter Candice Bergen — invited by museum co-chairman and Sony Pictures Classics co-founder Michael Barker — humorously paralleled, "Julianne Moore had no impacting my youth whatsoever, she bore no foundation in my growing-up. In fact, I barely know her!" She added of Moore's latest Oscar-nominated performance as a woman grappling with Alzheimer's, "I haven't seen Still Alice because at 68, it's just too close."

Many more jokes flowed between the black-tie dinner's pre-written clip introductions for films spanning 1997's Boogie Nights to the upcoming Maps to the Stars — the majority of which her children Caleb and Liv haven't seen, due to her R-rated characters — as Moore's onscreen collaborators like Rebecca Miller, Billy Crudup and Sarah Paulson shared lighthearted asides about the actress' meticulous abilities and constant fearlessness in film. Steve Buscemi recalled the first project they ever shared (but didn't work together, and still haven't), Tales from the Darkside: The Movie. "You played Christian Slater's sister and you were killed by a mummy, which I brought back to life — good times!" And her husband and director Bart Freundlich recalled when he first met her before The Myth of Fingerprints: "She said, 'I like your script, man, but it's too long, some things are gonna need to be cut down, and if it's my part, I'm not interested," — to which I responded, 'Will you marry me?'"

Moore's magnetism for accolades was also a popular topic onstage. After reading off a long list of honors she's received over the years, Ethan Hawke remarked candidly, "It's funny, you don't really know how many awards you haven't won until you Google Julianne and prepare for these kinds of things," and Ellen Barkin noted with a wink that the five-time Oscar nominee (who has yet to be victorious) is "the only American actress to have won the trifecta of Berlin, Venice and Cannes, which maybe begs the question, what award hasn't she won?"

Even Moore poured out the punch lines during her acceptance speech, after video tributes from Mark Ruffalo, Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland. "This is not something I ever expected to happen to me, certainly not while I was alive to see it. I received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame last year and I made a lot of jokes to my family and anyone else who would listen that now I don't need a tombstone, and now I feel like I don't need a memorial service either — thank you, you've saved my family a lot of money!"

But offstage, the actress's film counterparts shared reverent reflections on the Still Alice star. "She's someone who's sustained a level of excellence for so long that it gives you some hope that it can be done," Crudup told The Hollywood Reporter on the red carpet, and Hawke echoed, "It really is possible — a couple times a generation, somebody lives the dream and they do everything just right."

Buscemi also observed, "I never not believe her — it's amazing all the different characters she's played, and yet there's something of herself she gives to every character," and Paulson said Moore taught her to "take your work incredibly seriously, but don't be so blinded by the importance of what you feel you're doing so that you don't have fun." Moore, who worked her hardest this past year to shoot, release and promote Still Alice, said she wouldn't change the film's rare timeline. "You always have to work with the same determination and speed; you never know what the outcome's gonna be. But really, the reward is the work itself."

Yet Moretz mentioned to THR beforehand of Moore, "She's taught me how to be a real young woman in this business, ... and how family, and her husband and children, are what really matters. That's your real whole self." Likewise, Moore closed her speech by paraphrasing Zadie Smith, who said she doesn't understand why critics dismiss family-centric films when "family is the most important and the biggest narrative of our lives. I've been so privileged to have this career and be in so many moving, exciting, interesting narratives, ... but it's my own story, my own family story with Bart and Cal and Liv that have given my life so much meaning."

Email: Ashley.Lee@THR.com
Twitter: @cashleelee