A sizeable pocket of Hollywood descended upon 42nd Street last night for the National Board of Review Awards, at Cipriani. The Carpetbagger tagged along for the ride, and returned with anecdotes of the stars and starlets who descended upon the massive space: Ben Affleck, Aaron Sorkin, Jon Hamm, a bored and yawning Christian Bale. You know, the usual.
But the evening’s marquee moment came when Bill Murray took the stage to introduce Sofia Coppola, who would receive a Special Filmmaking Achievement Award for her triple duties of writing, producing and directing Somewhere. And what is Bill Murray’s strategy for cramming his digressions and non sequiturs and other assorted bits of lunacy into the two-minute speech limit? Gobbling cinnamon-spiced Red Hots, of course.
The Carpetbagger had the tact to run the speech in its entirety, and we dutifully do the same here. Enjoy.
They told me I have two minutes. I’m going to pop this Red Hot, so I can finish in two minutes. [He pops the Red Hot.]
Why to give this award, why? Because you have to throw a party. Because you have to compete with the Golden Globes. We all ask that question, if you were able to get out tonight, celebrate, without your relatives, you’ve earned it, you deserve it. Meredith [Viera, the host] is doing a really a good job moving the crowd along, isn’t she? [Applause as he mouths the Red Hot] Why would you give it to Sofia Coppola, why? Because you want to encourage her, I think. I think that’s the real reason. Look at her. [yelling] Look at her! She comes from a family, mother and father, both very successful creating entertainments and amusements and thought-provoking work. She wrote a spec on script for the ‘Virgin Suicides.’ The ambition of these young people, can you believe it? The ambition. She got the job as the director. She directed ‘Lost in Translation’ in another country and another language and got a prize for it. God, this is a hot, hot Red Hot. I’m not going to fool you people because I got another half in my pocket. [He pops it in.] I got one-and-a-half in my mouth right now.
Then she decided to work in France and do ‘Marie Antoinette.’ A woman who was beheaded, not a sympathetic creature, you know what I mean. A lot of directors who would pass on that. Who do you root for, you know? She did that beautiful, beautiful movie and now she’s done this ‘Somewhere,’ which takes place – somewhere. I know, it’s the west coast, southern California basin. So why do you give this person an award? You give them an award because they need to be encouraged. You can look around this room and you could look around the world of film and you can see people that had great success early in your career. Some earned it, some were lucky, some got it, but in a certain point they live life, they get into life. Like Sofia’s gotten into life. She’s married, now she’s got a French lover [Thomas Mars, the singer of the band Phoenix]. She has two children, beautiful children by this French lover — and honestly I’m sick of these directors with the homely kids, I can’t stand it anymore! – she’s got beautiful children and she lives with a man who is the only Frenchman that could ever play rock and roll, ever. [Expletive] Johnny Hallyday! [Beat] Pardon [beat] my [beat] French.
So why do you encourage these people, because now she’s had this success, she’s had this work, she has this life, she has this family, she has this thing going and now is when people like you have chosen well to say, let’s give this person another boost, let’s give this public person another boost, to say, keep going, because now life will come to you, hard, like it’s come to everyone that’s lived long enough, it comes hard, it gets in the way of your career, it stops your career, it stunts your life. It definitely will make your career go left. You show me an actor doing a [expletive for terrible] movie, I’ll show you a guy with a bad divorce. [Looking directly at someone in the audience] You know who I’m talking about!
I want the best for her because she’s a lady, she acts like a lady. The women in her movies are ladies, they have strength and they have power and they’re strong. Even the pole dancers in this movie had enough of themselves to call the lead actor a moron, as all you women should call your men this evening – pole or not. Give her a boost to say, go on, you’ve made it this far, push her out into the deep water, push her out into bigger and deeper films, more and more films. She has a beautiful eye, she has great taste in the people she chooses to work with, she’s a kind and thoughtful director and editor and producer. She’s all the things that we hoped we could be when we work like this. She’s been lucky so far and she’s been strong so far. Let’s keep her going. I appreciate your asking her to receive this award for filmmaking achievement. Miss, Ms. Ms. Ms. Sofia Coppola.