Before Lady Gaga spoke at the New York Film Critics Awards last night, I had a few minutes to talk to her. Wearing a very elegant black dress, her blonde hair up, Stefani Germanotta told me how thrilled she was to get a prestigious NYFCC award – for ‘House of Gucci’.
She was undoubtedly the biggest star of the evening at the Tao restaurant. She laughed as she remembered the original version of this hip spot, uptown on East 58th Street. “We were always trying to sneak into Tao. Now I am here !”
I asked him about the Grammys. She and Tony Bennett are in the running for several for their album “Love for Sale.” “I’m so thrilled to be nominated along with Tony for Best Pop Duo,” she said, and shimmy with excitement. She told me it was no longer clear if Bennett – who has Alzheimer’s disease – recognized her. But, she says, at 95 and a half, “Thank God we still have it!”
Not only did Gaga – who brought her mother as a date – stay for the entire three-hour ceremony, but she stayed afterwards and took photos with everyone from Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard to Jane Campion, and “Drive My Car” director Ryusuke Hamaguchi. In his speech accepting Jim Jarmusch’s Best Picture, Hamaguchi said – through his interpreter – how unreal the whole night seemed with Gaga sitting in front of him and Martin Scorsese in the room. (Scorsese came to give Campion Best Director for “The Power of the Dog.”)
Here is Gaga’s speech:
If this was all surreal for Gaga and Hamaguchi, wait: Best Director winner Campion couldn’t quite hold back tears after Scorsese presented him with his award. She recounted how Susan Sontag knocked her out 30 when her first film came out in 1989. She said she had a tough time with critics at the time. No more! Campion has racked up every director’s award this season and is headed for a certain Oscar on March 27.
Apart from Gaga, no other winning actor was present. Benedict Cumberbatch, Kodi Smit-McPhee (who sent in a great video), and Kathryn Hunter were all absent as the NYFCC dinner was moved from January due to COVID. The other big winners present were Joachim Trier, director of “The worst person in the world” (Best foreign language film) and Paul Thomas Anderson, whose screenplay of “Licorice Pizza” was awarded. The two young stars of this film, Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman, were present but said nothing. (The really rude MGM publicists were there too, making no friends.)
One of the highlights of the evening was the ‘Worst Person’ star’s introductory speech Renate Reinsve, who is Norwegian but showed no problem with English. She is not only beautiful but hilarious in her performance. American directors should find something for her immediately.
Star veteran comedian and actor Robert Klein appeared to give a special award to film critic Marshall Fine, who made a documentary about Klein a few years ago. Robert Klein just turned 80! He looks much younger and “killed”. He was very, very funny. Later, Fine got a shoutout from Hamaguchi, a fan of Fine’s book about director John Cassavetes.
Upcoming update – keep refreshing – with pics and videos to come…
PS A great evening, thanks to Janice Roland and Falco Ink for organizing it. For most, this was the first notable large gathering in two years, and it went perfectly…
PPS Some people who participated in the National Board of
Review fan dinner two nights ago said conversely it was hot in the venue at Cipriani 42nd St. no one could breathe…sounds fun! Guess they really wowed those $600 ticket buyers…
Cover photo courtesy of Star Pix / Marion Curtis c 2022