It was a star-studded crowd for the 11th annual Movies for Grownups Awards, hosted by AARP Magazine. Sharon Stone was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award which was presented to her by Martin Scorsese who directed her in her Oscar-nominated Casino, certainly a highlight of her career, and both acknowledged that with great stories.
Stone, looking ravishingly beautiful, said, “I must have died and gone to heaven to get a Lifetime Achievement Award from Martin Scorsese. I am so grateful for this day. I’m grateful I’m here in this moment. I’m grateful I’m here, because it wasn’t always a sure thing.” In case you didn’t know, this gorgeous blonde has been through hell in her life, and yet retains a great sense of humor.
Clips throughout her career showed everyone Stone is an actress of uncommon range: dazzling us in such films as Basic Instinct, and winning an Emmy for The Practice. In addition to appearing in more than 40 films, Stone is the mother of three young sons and a dedicated philanthropist, helping many causes including amfAR and AIDS research.
Martin Scorsese took home an award for Breakthrough Accomplishment, from his magnificent Hugo film, his valentine to the art of filmmaking.
Also on hand were lots of Oscar nominees enjoying the relaxed atmosphere at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Meryl Streep chatted with enthusiasm with Ed Begley Jr. and his wife Rachelle as they rekindled a friendship that formed when they made the movie She Devil, an outrageous comedy. And Meryl told me her next project is going to be “a sexy comedy.” Meryl was happy to get the Best Grownup Love Story award for The Iron Lady, because of the touching portrayal of the relationship between Margaret Thatcher and her husband. Meryl joked that Jim Broadbent played her husband, “and he hated Margaret Thatcher, so that was a strong bit of acting talent that had him playing the guy who crawls into bed with her.”
The AARP was the right crowd for Meryl to explain that, “Margaret Thatcher was kicked out of office, forcibly retired, a situation that happens too much here in America.”
Glenn Close, Oscar nominee for Albert Nobbs, was on hand to pick up her Best Actress award, but then had to catch a flight to resume filming her series Damages in New York in the morning. Glenn said Albert Nobbs “was a dream I’ve had for years, and now it’s a dream come true.”
The Movies for Grownups Awards had the ideal host with Michael Nouri. He ad-libbed a hysterical bit with Kenneth Branagh. It was fun to see two such classy guys just go over the top and provide big laughs.
Also part of the prestigious gathering was Robert Forster, Chloe Moretz, Penelope Ann Miller, Kathy Griffin, Laila Ali, Janet McTeer, Burt Young, and Max von Sydow. Gene Kelly’s widow, Patricia Ward Kelly, helped honor the phenomenal silent movie The Artist as Best Comedy. James Cromwell urged everyone to give The Artist another look: “Like a great bottle of wine, it improves with age and deserves a second taste.”
Other movies honored were The Descendants, named Best Movie; Best Actor, Oliver Litondo for The First Grader; Best Writer, Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris; Best Supporting Actor, Christopher Plummer for Beginners; Best Intergenerational Movie was Win Win; and Best Movie for Grownups Who Refuse to Grow Up was won by The Muppets.
The Help was selected Reader’s Choice. Octavia Spencer was there to thank everyone and hope the AARP crowd would bring her more luck. Actually the organizers of the program can take a bow for being a predictor for the Oscars. Nancy Perry Graham, editor in chief at AARP Magazine; and Bill Newcott, the entertainment editor; plus Meg Gran, West Coast editor, can be proud to continue the 11-year tradition of showcasing decent adult movies.