Despite the chockablock ballroom full of Hollywood’s best and brightest, a jovial emcee in the comedian John Mulaney and honorees the audience seemed thrilled to celebrate, a pall of sadness was cast over the Governors Awards — an event created 14 years ago by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to shorten the Oscar telecast by relegating the honorary Oscars to its own untelevised confab.
Held Tuesday night, the ceremony — which was delayed two months because of the Hollywood strikes — honored two women who had just experienced remarkable losses. The editor Carol Littleton’s husband of 51 years, the cinematographer and former academy president John Bailey, died in mid-November. Just two weeks later, Michelle Satter, the Sundance Institute’s founding director and the recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, learned that her son, Michael Latt, 33, had been shot dead at his home in Los Angeles.
“We need to talk through a broken heart,” the filmmaker Ryan Coogler said during his presentation to Satter, who had guided him through the making of his first feature, “Fruitvale Station.”
Still, as they say, the show must go on. And with Oscar nomination voting set to begin Thursday, A-listers of all stripes were in full campaign mode, working valiantly to try to ensure their spot on the ballot when nominations are announced on Jan. 23.
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