First Awards Season Stop: The Hollywood Film Awards

The Hollywood Film Awards might not boast the same caché as the Academy Awards, but it’s widely regarded as the first of many stops on the way to the Dolby Theater for awards hopefuls. The glitzy gala, which takes place tonight at the Beverly Hilton, has risen in prominence over the last few years, representing the official start of awards season–at least in terms of the flurry of red-carpet opportunities and sit-down dinners that comprise November through February in Los Angeles.

While many of this year’s honorees are likely to hear their names when Oscar nominations are announced Jan. 10, this group is determined not by industry professionals, but by Hollywood Film Awards founder, Carlos de Abreu, and a small committee. Nevertheless, de Abreu has been prescient in his past selections, which last year included Oscar winners Jean Dujardin, Octavia Spencer, and Christopher Plummer.

All of the honorees are announced ahead of time, so there won’t be any moments of shock or surprise, meaning everyone can relax at their crowded tables and enjoy the show. Tonight’s affair will include an ensemble award for the cast of Argo, for which Warner Bros. is in full campaign mode; director David O. Russell, lead actor Bradley Cooper, and supporting actor Robert DeNiro will receive mention for Silver Linings Playbook, another serious contender for The Weinstein Company and Cooper’s first real shot at an acting nom; Rust and Bone star and previous Oscar winner Marion Cotillard will receive an actress award; Quentin Tarantino is getting a screenwriting award for the film he also directed, Django Unchained; and Les Miserables and Anna Karenina producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner of Working Title Films will receive producer awards. Richard Gere, who’s getting great reviews for his role in Arbitrage, is tapped for career achievement, and Amy Adams will be honored for her supporting role in The Master.

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