Award season kicked off with a tie for Best feature at the annual Gotham Independent Film Awards as Terrence Malick’s highly imaginative “The Tree of Life” shared the night’s high honor with Mike Mills’s flashback comedy, “Beginners.”
“The Tree of Life” starred Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, and also won the Palm d’Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. “Beginners” was released last year and stars Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer.
Some of the evening’s other winners included Felicity Jones for Breakthrough Actor in “Like Crazy”; the cast of “Beginners” for Ensemble Cast; and “Scenes of a Crime” won for Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You. The Audience Award went to “Girlfriend,” a film about a young man with Down syndrome who has a crush on a troubled single mother.
This year’s Gotham Tributes went to director David Cronenberg; film executive Tom Rothman, actor Gary Oldman, and actress Charlize Theron.
Theron called Reitman “one the best directors” she ever worked with, and her mother, who was sitting next to him, “for giving me the character and the strength to be who I am.”
The Gotham Independent Film Awards are presented by the Independent Feature Project, the largest organization in the United States committed to independent film. This year’s ceremony was sponsored by Euphoria Calvin Klein, RBC, The New York Times, Russian Standard Vodka, and others.