That Spotlight won Best Feature at the Gotham Awards last night was not a surprise. These awards, usually celebrating the edgy in filmmaking, noted Carol and Tangerine and The Diary of a Teenage Girl, but the win for Spotlight, for many, is an indication of a sweep in the months ahead. Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer's script won the Best Screenplay award. The Spotlight ensemble seemed poised for this recognition: everyone but Stanley Tucci was present for its Best Ensemble special Jury award: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Brian D'Arcy James, Billy Crudup, and Rachel McAdams posed for cameras, and shouted out to the newspaper men on whom many of their characters were based.
Other highlights of this special night at Cipriani Wall Street were Best Actress for Bel Powley for The Diary of a Teenage Girl, about a budding cartoonist who has an affair with her mother's beau. Powley's new movie is A Royal Night Out in which she plays a very drunken Princess Margaret. Best Actor went to Paul Dano for his role as the young Brian Wilson in Love & Mercy. His new film Youth opens this week. Most people just laugh, he said, about his character's donning a Hitler look. And it is true, even at the Swiss Alps spa where his character is sequestered in Paolo Sorrentino's wise and funny film, everyone's jaw drops.
The tributes to Robert Redford, Helen Mirren, Todd Haynes, and Steven Golin featured the usual clip reels and much deserved high praise. Presenters included Julianne Moore and Alejandro Inarritu. Robert DeNiro emphasized Mirren's sexiness, and she responded with a story about her role as queen, wondering if her husband Taylor Hackford would um, bed her, seeing her in that costume. And how!, she said with a wink.
Diners remarked at presenters Harvey Keitel and Robert DeNiro being in the same room. But what about Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather? Rather emphasized Redford as citizen as well as fine actor. Of course Redford played Rather in Truth. Redford said he was most happy to be recognized for craft.
At evening's end, Spotlight's Mark Ruffalo met Geza Rohrig, star of Son of Saul, remarking that they look alike. Hugging Rohrig, Ruffalo said that one day he would portray Geza in a movie directed by him. In the enormous generosity of the moment, this made sense. Then everyone went below to a new club carved out of the underbelly of this former bank, and had even more dessert in the bank's vault now safeguarding wine.
A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.