Hollywood Awards Gala: Teary Lectures From Penn, Jokes From Galifianakis

Plus Bening, Berry, Duvall, the “Social Network” cast — and going golfing with Ed O’Neill

Annette Bening (for “The Kids Are All Right”) and Robert Duvall (for “Get Low”) headlined the annual fall “horoscope” of the upcoming awards season, the Hollywood Awards Gala. As TheWrap’s Steve Pond reported, the event has both its detractors and a parade of top talent that save the date on their calendars. A few of the highlights from Monday night’s event the Beverly Hilton:

A teary eyed Sean Penn lectured the room that if “(Haiti) is allowed to fall an hour and half from our shores, we can begin to count our own days.” Penn had just arrived back in L.A. from Haiti the night before, causing him to be a late scratch at Sunday’s screening of “Fair Game." (Penn plays Ambassador Joseph Wilson in the thriller based on the exposure of ex-CIA operative Valerie Plame.)

On a lighter note, Zach Galifianakis drew the biggest laughs of the night, calling  his“The Hangover 2” director Todd Phillips “the worst Jew in Hollywood,” a vague reference to last week’s controversy over the departure of Mel Gibson from the upcoming sequel. Don Rickles’ predictable candor – calling the night and some attendees “cockamamie” –also warmed up the room.

The late-arriving Justin Timberlake  (channeling the fashion of REM frontman Michael Stipe) stepped forward into a “speaking” role at the podium alongside Jesse Eisenberg while accepting an ensemble award for “The Social Network." The cast singled out their co-star Josh Pence for attention. Pence performed in every scene as the other half of Armie Hammer’s preppy Winklevoss twins so the effects team could replace him with Hammer’s face in post-production.

Only hours after the December release of Halle Berry’s “Frankie & Alice” was announced — she stars and also produced — Berry presented the Hollywood Director Award to Tom Hooper for the much-discussed “The King's Speech”.  Berry's “Monster's Ball director," Marc Forster, received the same award three years ago.

Warren Beatty, Jodie Foster, Sam Rockwell, Carey Mulligan, Hans Zimmer and “Expendables” Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, and Gov. Schwarzenegger also took the stage. (Photos by Getty Images.) Attached.

Earlier in the day,Ed O’Neill talked up “Modern Family’s” Halloween episode at the Bernie Brillstein Golf Classic. Fellow comics Kevin Nealon and Martin Short also hit the links at Wilshire Country Club in honor of the late producer and talent manager to benefit the Barlow Respiratory Hospital.

In time for what Bryant Gumbel called “the heavily-hyped but much ignored” launch of another NBA season on Tuesday night, perennial league sponsor Gatorade ramped up work off the court. Jennifer Hudson, Common and fellow Chicago musician Lupe Fiasco got together to record an an ode to their shared hometown. “We Can Do it Now” will serve as the soundtrack to the Gatorade equivalent of civil-war re-enactments: a series of restaged basketball games that ended controversially the first time. A free (and legal) download of the collaboration is available at ReplayTheSeries.com.

Jessica Biel, Eva Mendes, and Rachel Weisz got a shortcut to the DGA, screening their directorial debuts to a packed house at the Sunset Blvd theatre as part of Glamour Reel Moments on Monday. Hyundai sponsored the promotion that corrals stars to direct adaptations of stories written by the magazine’s readers.