Sharon Stone, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Martin Scorsese and Max von Sydow are just a few members of Hollywood royalty who’ll be walking the red carpet at the 11th Annual AARP the Magazine Movies for Grownups Awards in Beverly Hills Monday night.
The dinner and awards show has been one of the pre-Oscar season’s hottest tickets for years — last year Robert Redford, Sally Field and the cast of The King’s Speech were among the guests — and this edition is no exception.
Scorsese will present Stone with the Movies for Grownups Lifetime Achievement Award. The two have been close friends since Scorsese directed Stone to an Oscar nomination and Golden Globe trophy for Casino (1995).
Alexander Payne, the cowriter and director of this year’s Best Movie for Grownups, The Descendants, will be on hand to accept the coveted Chaise d’Or trophy from two of the film’s costars, Matthew Lillard and Robert Forster. Close will accept the Best Actress trophy — for her remarkable performance in Albert Nobbs, as a woman who has spent her entire adult life disguised as a man — from costar Janet McTeer.
Both Close and McTeer are nominated for Oscars for Albert Nobbs — and as in past years, the Movies for Grownups Awards, selected in early December by the editors of AARP the Magazine, bear some remarkable parallels to the Oscar race. Besides Close’s dual honors, The Descendants (Best Movie), Midnight in Paris (Best Screenwriter, Woody Allen), and The Beginners (Best Supporting Actor, Christopher Plummer) all have been honored with duplicate Movies for Grownups wins and Oscar nominations.
Allen, who has never made the trip from New York to Los Angeles to accept an Oscar, will remain true to form this year — but his sister, Letty Aronson, who has produced Allen’s films for nearly 20 years, will accept the Movies for Grownups Award on his behalf.
Still, one of the things that make the Movies for Grownups Awards unique is the voters’ knack for discovering a performance or film that, for whatever reasons, stayed under the radar. This year’s Best Actor winner, Oliver Litondo, is virtually unknown to American audiences, yet he gives a truly towering performance in The First Grader, playing an elderly Kenyan man who enrolls in first grade so he can learn to read. A longtime newscaster in his native Kenya, Litondo is flying to Los Angeles specifically to accept his award (Laila Ali, daughter of Muhammad Ali and a literacy activist, will present the trophy).
Most critics agree that this year’s Oscar nomination list has at least one glaring omission: Stephen Daldry, director of Best Picture nominee Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. The Movies for Grownups Awards will rectify that with this year’s Best Director trophy, presented by Ed Sylvan, chairman and CEO of Sycamore Entertainment, Premiere Sponsor of this year’s Movies for Grownups Awards Gala. Accepting the trophy on Daldry’s behalf will be Max von Sydow, who’s been nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the film.
Michael Nouri, one of Hollywood’s busiest actors, including recurring roles on NCIS and Damages, will host the awards program for the second time.