"In the words of a famous countryman of mine, John Lennon, 'All you need is love,'" said "12 Years a Slave" director Steve McQueen upon receiving his Hollywood Breakout Director Award, the first award of the night presented at the 17th Annual Hollywood Film Awards.
And indeed, the ballroom at the Beverly Hilton Hotel was full of love Oct. 21, as actors came out to sing the praises of their peers in the ceremony, which bills itself as "the first stop of the awards season." Hollywood Actor honoree Matthew McConaughey pointed out many friends in the audience, from "Before Midnight" director Richard Linklater, who cast him in his first film, "Dazed and Confused," to his "A Time to Kill" co-star Sandra Bullock, who was being honored with the Hollywood Actress Award for her work in "Gravity."
Julia Roberts went barefoot to accept her Hollywood Supporting Actress Award for her turn in "August: Osage County." Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin, performing Hollywood Song Award winner "Atlas" from "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire," had barely sung the final lyrics when he quipped, "I messed up the end, but the rest was okay!"
The star power wasn't just limited to the winners. Presenters included Robert Downey Jr., Bruce Willis, and even Kanye West, who flew in from San Francisco -- on Kim Kardashian's birthday, no less -- to honor McQueen, a man he said "I am proud to call my friend." (It was reported that later that night, West proposed to Kardashian. She said yes.)
In addition to glamour, the ceremony featured many humorous moments. Appearing onstage to present to "my neighbor Julia Roberts," the first thing Sean Penn said was, "Are the drinks free out here, too?"
Roberts herself thanked her husband, Danny Moder, who she said agreed to come to the ceremony for two reasons, "This is not televised, and I knew I won."
Downey Jr. introduced Hollywood Breakout Performance Award winner Jared Leto, who is earning raves for his turn as a transvestite in "Dallas Buyers Club" by calling him "one of the most beautiful actresses" of his generation. Bullock, accepting the Hollywood Actress Award for her gut-wrenching turn in "Gravity," also earned laughs when discussing the idea of retirement from acting. "I don't want to go to pasture. It's cold, I'm allergic to grass, and I don't like cows."
There were plenty of emotional moments as well; perhaps none more touching than when New Hollywood Award honoree Lupita Nyong'o of "12 Years a Slave" was moved to tears during her speech. And often, the touching aligned with the humorous, as when Hollywood Actor honoree McConaughey spoke about his recent foray into independent movies like "Mud," "Killer Joe," and "Dallas Buyers Club." Said McConaughey, "I started choosing experiences in roles I was taking. I lost money for the first time ever in my career in the last two years, but I had a lot of fun."
The Hollywood Film Award Honorees Include:
Hollywood Career Achievement Award: Harrison Ford
Hollywood Screenwriters Award: Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater, "Before Midnight"
Spotlight Awards: Michael B. Jordan, "Fruitvale Station," David Oyelowo, "Lee Daniels' The Butler," Sophie Nelisse, "The Book Thief"
Hollywood Animation Award: Dan Scanlon, "Monsters University"
Hollywood Visual Effects Award: John Knoll, "Pacific Rim"
Hollywood Director Award: Lee Daniels, "Lee Daniels' The Butler"
Hollywood Actor Award: Matthew McConaughey, "Dallas Buyers Club," "Mud"
Hollywood Actress Award: Sandra Bullock, "Gravity"
Hollywood Supporting Actor Award: Jake Gyllenhaal - "Prisoners"
Hollywood Supporting Actress Award: Julia Roberts, "August: Osage County"
Stars Power 17th Annual Hollywood Film Awards
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