Hollywood stars lock horns with critic at pre-Oscar awards
There were precious few air kisses and patted backs when Hollywood's Oscar season gravy train stopped in the Big Apple for the New York Film Critics Circle Awards. Instead, the event ended in tearful recrimination after its outspoken host spent the evening exchanging insults with the A-list talent brave enough to venture onto his podium.
Armond White, a veteran critic for the New York Press, was always going to be a dangerous choice of anchorman for the prestigious event, which has been running since the 1930s. He is the local media's foremost controversialist, and is famed for delivering cruel and aggressively negative film reviews.
The mood of Monday night's event duly turned ugly when film director Darren Aronofsky – whose most recent film Black Swan was dubbed "a ridiculous psychological thriller" by White – ventured to the microphone to deliver a gong to the winner of the Best Cinematography award.
"I actually thought I was giving White the compassion award, because if you don't have something, you should get it," he announced, to gasps of disapproval from the be-suited audience. "Seriously, though, keep it up because you give all of us another reason not to read the New York Press."
White couldn't resist the opportunity to respond, with interest, to Aronofsky: "That's all right. Darren reads me," he said, upon returning swiftly to the microphone. "That's all I want. And because he reads me, he knows the truth."
From there, things swiftly deteriorated. Inviting the playwright Tony Kushner to present an award to The Social Network, White (who recently compared the Facebook movie to a "fake-smart, middlebrow TV show") said: "Surely, Kushner, whose great play, Angels in America, showed how spiritual and social connections transformed lust and envy to family, friends, and country, has a moral responsibility to explain why The Social Network is good."
He then introduced the actress Michelle Williams by praising her role in the 2004 flop Land of Plenty. "I made that movie almost 10 years ago," Williams said tartly, when she arrived on stage. "I can't imagine what you've said about me since then if you had to go back that far to say something nice."
The bad feeling was all too much for Annette Bening, whose role in The Kids Are All Right (a film White also hated) won the Best Actress prize. "Bening, tearfully, came close to lecturing critics for being mean little shits," one attendee told the website Gawker. "She said something like, 'Can't we all just get along?'"
TV reviewBroadcasting House was preparing for a visit from Prince Charles spoiler alert
Glastonbury Michael Eavis reveals final headline act 'most likely' British pair
Film Ewan McGregor joins star-studded Beauty and the Beast cast as Lumiere
TVThe Island with Bear Grylls under fire after male contestants kill and eat rare crocodile
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 The Visit: Trailer for M Night Shyamalan's latest horror film is terrifying
- 5 9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
Fast & Furious 7 overtakes Frozen to become 5th highest grossing movie of all time
Poldark, series 1 finale, review: How a costume drama became a Sunday night swoon-fest
The Visit: Trailer for M Night Shyamalan's latest horror film is terrifying
Apprentice series 11: Claude Littner to replace Nick Hewer as Lord Sugar's aide
Game of Thrones season 5 episode 3, review: Sansa and manhood-lopping torturer Ramsay Bolton - really?
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
HSBC review into moving headquarters from UK 'underway'