Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Movieguide Awards

You can't swing a dead cat on Rodeo Drive this time of year without hitting someone on their way to a Hollywood awards show. My wife and I returned from one of the lesser known but arguably more influential galas just today -- the 15th annual Movieguide Awards of the Christian Film & Television Commission.

Here's a good write up in the Hollywood Reporter on the whole thing, a preview of last night's event at the Beverly Wilshire.

We went last year too, when I took home a piece of the John Templeton Foundation's Kairos Prize for screenwriting. This year the past winners were invited back to enjoy the experience minus the nausea of delivering acceptance speeches on the same stage the Golden Globes are presented each year.

Yes, I realize the Golden Globes actually take place at the Beverly Hilton. I realized it literally an hour before we nearly headed off there again this year -- where we would have inadvertently crashed the Obama for President gala that had first dibs on the Int'national Ballroom this year.
The Wilshire was even more opulent, and the show even more entertaining (despite nobody slipping a $10,000 check into my SWAG bag this year).

Roz, Ioan Gruffudd, Alice Evans, and Mr. Fantastic

From hanging out at the red carpet with Mr. Fantastic himself, Ioan Gruffudd, to meeting host John Ratzenberger at the after-party, we had a memorable night. Gruffudd, forever Horatio Hornblower to us, was every bit the gent and class act you'd imagine, on hand to support fiancee Alice Evans, a nominee for her part in Hallmark Channel's The Christmas Card. Sadly, she lost out to Shirley Jones in a film I haven't seen and a role that appeared hard to beat.

(Don't miss Gruffudd this weekend in Michael Apted's Amazing Grace, produced by longtime Movieguide associate Ken Wales, a film already getting great reviews and early Oscar buzz for next year.)

Also in the house were Chris Gardner, depicted by Will Smith in blockbuster Pursuit of Happyness; the great Andy Garcia, winner for anti-communist indy The Lost City; Nativity Story scene-stealer Oscar Isaac; Rocky Balboa's Antonio Tarver; Kirk Cameron; Backstreet Boy and contemporary Christian solo artist Brian Littrell with a moving tribute to the troops; R&B artist Javen's high-energy performance that woke up the crowd as the hours wore on; and a slew of big-time producers I yet again failed to tackle and force feed a copy of my latest script.

Brian Littrell takes the stage

But thanks to my lovely and outgoing starlet wife, Roz, we ran down a few celebs, including one of her favorites, Stephen Baldwin, from whom we have final confirmation that our reality TV fave "The Mole" will never return.

No surprise his ultra-lib brother Alec wasn't present. Probably over at the Obama rally with a whole 'nuther crowd.

Which really sums up the Moviegiude Awards, come to think of it.

With Republicans welcomed and awards given both to faith-based niche films and mainstream blockbusters deemed too populist, patriotic or just plain normal for the Academy, you might call these the anti-Oscars. I like to think of them as the Oscars as they used to be and could be again if the CFTVC continues to get its message out.

Stevie B and 'Days of our Lives' star Nadia Bjorlin

'The Nativity Story' producers with "Joseph" (Oscar Isaac)

Everyone's favorite Pixar voice, retired Boston mailman and all-around great American, John Ratzenberger


KK said...

What a great time! Who's the hottie in black smiling next to you in several pictures?

Splash said...

That would be "Splashette." :-)

K. P. said...

I've been reading the blogs all along but haven't taken the time to blog. I don't blog. I try to find the time to write. :) Adore your directness.

One day, I hope to attend.

Kind Regards,
K. P. Wells

Splash said...

Thanks, K.P.!