Penelope Cruz won a Spirit Award this afternoon for her performance in Woody Allen’s “Vicki Cristina Barcelona.” This wasn’t that surprising, but the Spanish star told a great yarn about the director.
“Woody is a symbol of independent film,” she said. “He does whatever he wants. Including going to the dermatologist on the day that I had a scene kissing Scarlett Johanssen. Apparently it couldn’t be left to the end of the day.”
She continued: “And that’s just what he did. He left the set. And he came back, and all the attention was on his freckle.”
The buzz at the pre-party of the Spirit Awards was about where Sundance was going. Geoff Gilmore, outgoing director of the festival after 19 long years, went from one congratulatory conversation after another, having just announced his departure to Tribeca Enterprises.
Trevor Groth, a veteran programmer who is rumored to be among the candidates to replace Gilmore, said the Sundance Institute will need to make the decision sooner rather than later.
“We initially heard a decision would be made by May, but we will have to figure it out before then,” he said. “Regardless of what happens now, the festival will feel different.”
Michelle Satter, another Sundance veteran, who has raised many indie directors up from mere pups, said a committee would be choosing the new director. But that Robert Redford would have a major impact on the decision, as would Sundance Institute executive director Ken Brecher.
Director Catherine Hardwicke explained why she declined the offer to direct the next installment of the “Twilight” movies. “I turned it down, even though they were offering me a s---load of money,” she said. “They wanted to shoot within 12 weeks, and the script wasn’t done,” she said, standing with her producer, Jamie Marshall. “I wanted to dream about it. I wanted it to be right. I didn’t want to be doing books-on-tape.”
But Hardwicke says she is about to sign with Summit to direct another movie, based on a book called “If I Stay.” That too is set in Portland and is a teenaged love story. “My agent says that’s my ‘kill zone,’” she said.
Photo of Mickey Rourke shortly before winning Best Actor at the Spirit Awards, by Sharon Waxman.
Peter Rice, who runs Fox Searchlight and has this year’s Oscar statues apparently locked up, looked as happy as any prom queen on the night before prom. Rice’s studio distributed both “Slumdog Millionaire” and “The Wrestler.” The latter marched off with Best Picture and Best Actor at the Spirit Awards. Everyone says “Slumdog” is it for tomorrow.
Director Antoine Fuqua was in the crowd. He's editing his latest film, "Brooklyn's Finest," which starts Ethan Hawke and he says is better even than "Training Day."