Steve Martin wept, Angelina Jolie tried very hard not to and everybody laughed lots during the motion picture academy’s Governors Awards ceremony Saturday.
Accepting an honorary award in recognition of her charitable work, Angelina Jolie remembered her mother who died of ovarian cancer in 2007. Choking back sobs, she said, “I will do as my mother asked and do the best I can with this life to be of use. To stand here today means I did as she asked. If she were alive, she’d be very proud.”
Martin Short goosed Steve Martin as he introduced him: “I think it’s safe to say that Steve Martin is a genius. Not necessarily true, but safe.”
Martin accepted his honorary accolade in the same absurdist spirit: “I can’t express how I feel tonight because the botox is still fresh.” Then he cried as he mentioned his wife, newborn child and the many good friends he’s made while working in the movie biz.
Angela Lansbury confessed to doing limited film work throughout a career more focused on TV and live theater, but is grateful to the academy: “You can’t imagine how happy and undeserving I feel to receive this golden chap.”
Costume designer Piero Tosi was also hailed, but could not attend the ceremony where his prize was collected by actress Claudia Cardinale.
Yahoo entertainment reporter Richard Rushfield hailed the gala as “an evening that managed to be touching, hilarious and heartfelt. It was a tribute to all that is great about Hollywood, moving even the most cynical hearts in the audience.”
“This year’s show was more streamlined and less ragged than some of its predecessors, for the most part doing away with toasts from the audience or long, rambling speeches,” wrote Steve Pond at TheWrap.
“This is more of a schmooze fest than any awards show I have covered,” observed Deadline’s Pete Hammond. “Publicists keep their clients hopping from table to table almost like they’re running for office.”