Tree & Beginners tie at film awards
Awards season kicked off with a tie for best feature at the annual Gotham Independent Film Awards in the US, as Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life shared the night's top honour with Mike Mills' flashback comedy, Beginners.
Jury member Natalie Portman explained her peers were faced with the extraordinary dilemma of being "stuck" when it came to selecting a winner, so they "made a bold and independent decision" and "chose to honour both".
The Tree of Life, starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, also won the Palm d'Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. Beginners was released last year and stars Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer.
Hosted by Edie Falco and Oliver Platt, the presenters were mostly darlings of the independent film world like Stanley Tucci, Tilda Swinton, Melissa Leo, and actress, directorial nominee Vera Farmiga.
Some of the evening's other winners included Felicity Jones for breakthrough actor in Like Crazy and the stars of Beginners for ensemble cast. The audience award went to Girlfriend, a film about a young man with Down's syndrome who has a crush on a troubled single mother.
"Independent film is my amniotic fluid. It's like the sea I swim in," Tilda said when she arrived.
This year's Gotham Tributes went to director David Cronenberg, film executive Tom Rothman, actor Gary Oldman, and actress Charlize Theron.
Charlize stars in the upcoming dark comedy Young Adult, written by Diablo Cody and directed by Jason Reitman.
The actress called Jason "one of the best directors" she ever worked with, and thanked her mother, who was sitting next to him, "for giving me the character and the strength to be who I am."