Belfast Telegraph

Coppola honoured by Hollywood stars

Clint Eastwood, Robert De Niro and Kevin Spacey were among the high-profile names who presented gongs at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences' second annual Governors Awards.

George Lucas, Kathryn Bigelow and Josh Brolin also handed over awards at the Los Angeles event, while Natalie Portman, Hilary Swank, Robert Duvall, Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Marisa Tomei, Patricia Clarkson and James Caan were also in attendance.

All were on hand to celebrate the work of three honorary Oscar winners and writer-director-producer Francis Ford Coppola, who received the Irving G Thalberg award.

De Niro and Lucas lauded Coppola, who sat at a long table in the centre of Hollywood & Highland's Grand Ballroom, surrounded by his family and friends.

"I love you," De Niro said. "You're an inspiration and one of my biggest influences. You can see it in my acting, in my directing, in my producing, and perhaps most of all in my De Niro 2010 estate-bottled Pinot Noir."

Lucas called the 71-year-old filmmaker "my big brother and my mentor".

Accepting the Thalberg bust, Coppola said he had "a great love of the original Hollywood tradition" and "admiration for the tradition of Irving Thalberg and, of course, for the fantastic producers who have won it. I thank you from the bottom of my heart".

De Niro also helped recognize 94-year-old actor Eli Wallach, who was presented with an Oscar statuette for his 60-year acting career that continues today.

Eastwood, who worked with Wallach on The Good, The Bad And The Ugly, called him "a great performer and a great friend".

Spacey presented filmmaker, historian and author Kevin Brownlow with an Academy Award for his work preserving and protecting silent films.


From Belfast Telegraph