The movie award season is now upon us… and Hollywood stars and studios are giddy with anticipation that their films and individual performances will be recognized by their peers and other designated judges. Of course, the brass ring… or more literally, the “gold standard” of Hollywood award approval is the Academy Award affectionately known as “Oscar.”
However, the path to Oscar glory is lined with a prestigious gauntlet of other awards to be coveted and won… all designed to honor Hollywood’s best of the year… and also, set the pace for who will be the perceived odds on favorite to win the ultimate prize, the Oscar.
These precursors to the biggest prize include the Screen Actors Guild awards, The Golden Globes, The People’s Choice Awards… and more.
However, one of the first and most significant of these many awards is The Critics’ Choice Awards. That’s because the winners of these awards are nominated… then, the winners chosen by the elite Broadcast Film Critics’ Association… which is made up of TV film critics from across the country who not only see all the top films in advance of the general public… but also, they get the chance to interview the stars face-to-face about their latest films… giving the critics a unique insight into the stars’ performances.
As a film critic for Boston Latino TV, I gratefully enjoy the honor of being included among this group of critics and a proud member of the BFCA… and earlier this year, I cast my vote for what I considered to be the best films and performances worthy of winning a “Critics’ Choice Award.”
Zoe Saldana and Boston Latino TV film critic, Tim Estiloz
Last week, the votes were tallied and the awards presented to the winners during a grand gathering of Hollywood’s A-List actors and actresses at Los Angeles’ Hollywood Palladium. The gala affair was a sight to behold… and as a BFCA member and film critic for Boston Latino TV… I had the honor of attending this grand event. TV and newspaper press from across the country were on hand for this star-studded ceremony… lining the red carpet.
Boston Latino TV was represented in Los Angeles at this stellar event… and I’ll soon have a video report of what took place at the Critics’ Choice Awards… complete with interviews with the nominees and the winners. Meantime, sit back and relax while I give you a peek “behind the scenes” of what you didn’t get to see when the show was telecast on VH1.
A lot goes on during those commercial breaks and I was there to watch it all. It was my first time at this awards event… and I have to admit, I was a bit star-struck by all the celebrities, lights, glitz and Hollywood glamour all gathered in one location.
I arrived on the scene early along the red carpet to shoot my on-camera segments for our upcoming Boston Latino TV segment. However, once that was all over… it was time to take in all the Hollywood star-power. It wasn’t long before the red carpet was filled with Hollywood stars and directors holding court on the red carpet.
Meryl Streep, Sandra Bullock, Matt Damon, Paul McCartney, Morgan Freeman, Susan Sarandon, Woody Harrelson… and dozens more posed for the cameras and interviews as they made their way into the Hollywood Palladium. Meantime, from the roof of the Palladium, Nick Jonas performed for the crowds of fans who were fortunate enough to score a seat along the red carpet to watch the stars arrive.
As for me and my date for the night, my friend and colleague TV entertainment reporter Sara Edwards… we too were treated as though we were stars as well. As members of the critics’ organization that honored these celebrities… we also were on the red carpet to take photos and feel like we – along with our fellow critics – were among the lucky ones being featured as “stars”… if only for a night. Sara and I were fortunate enough to be seated at the same table as “Nine” director Rob Marshall and Oscar winning actress Marion Cotilliard. Our table was right in the front row… with the table seating Avatar director, James Cameron to our right… and the table with the cast of “Inglourious Basterds” and director Quentin Tarantino to our left.
Critics’ Choice Awards Red Carpet in Hollywood.
We were right in the center of the action. As I looked around, I realized I was literally surrounded by Hollywood’s elite. I could see more stars like Jeff Bridges, Stanley Tucci, Cuba Gooding Jr., Sandra Bullock and Mo’Nique seated within a stone’s throw of our table. So this is what it’s like to be in the middle of Hollywood. Wow – what a feeling ! Eventually, the show began with actress / singer Kristin Chenoweth opening the show with a fantastic opening song that parodied and playfully skewered many of the night’s nominees.
The show was truly a huge success and phenomenally staged. Details on the winners and more will come in our BLTV video coverage soon.
However, what I can tell you about here on this blog… is just a small taste of what happens between the on-air segments. When the show cuts to commercial… everyone has about two or three minutes to dash to and fro to meet with… or congratulate the winners and nominees. For me… this was an opportunity not to be squandered… nor one for being the least bit shy.
After Mo’Nique’s well deserved win for Best Supporting Actress for her riveting role in “Precious”… I dashed over to her table to offer my congratulations. She couldn’t have been more gracious and open… and more grateful to have been honored with one of the evening’s first awards. Each commercial break was an opportunity for me to meet a new star. I shook hands with director James Cameron… chatted with Marion Cotilliard, who by the way was gorgeous… congratulated a gregarious Quentin Tarantino about his screenplay win for Inglorious Basterds.
I saw Woody Harrelson and Cuba Gooding Jr. share a hug and chat over something that was funny to them as the commercial break wound to a close. I wanted to get to meet Paul McCartney… and got within five feet of the legendary Beatle. However, the popular McCartney was always surrounded by fans equally intent on getting some personal time with him… and I never got the chance. Still, to be close enough to almost reach out and touch such a music legend was cool enough. Sadly, my goal to meet Penelope Cruz went unfulfilled… as Penelope didn’t show for the event.
But, my heart got pumping when I realized Avatar and Star Trek actress… and lovely Dominican, Zoe Saldana was sitting right next to me the whole time at the table behind us. I boldly went where few men have gone before… and chatted with Zoe about her film work… and asked to get a photo with her. My pulse went into warp drive when she graciously agreed. Suddenly, with that souvenir… the night – for me – was complete.
And so it went throughout the two-hour event. Every commercial break… A-List stars were darting from table to table wheeling, dealing and congratulating each other… while I made sure to make the most of the evening myself to meet as many stars as I could. It was a glorious night full of fun, glitz, Hollywood glamour… and, for me… being shamelessly “star struck” . Alas, before long… it was all over.
The telecast ended… and it was time to adjourn down Hollywood Blvd. to the after-party which lasted into the wee hours… with lots of food, music and an open bar catering to your every whim. In a dark corner of the party… I could see Susan Sarandon chatting intently with American Idol runner-up, Adam Lambert… surrounded by each other’s entourage.
It was fascinating to watch. … but, then – the nearby table full of delicious sushi, dance music and the open bar began singing it’s irresistible siren song to me. All the mojitos you can drink… and no bar tab.
I could get used to this. Hooray for Hollywood!
For more info about TV entertainment reporter / film critic, Tim Estiloz visit : www.aerochug.com and video reviews at Boston Latino TV : http://bostonlatino.tv/ – Visit Tim’s website at : www.TimEstiloz.com