Stars Come out for Chicago Film Critics Awards

By Gire, Dann | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 15, 1996 | Go to article overview

Stars Come out for Chicago Film Critics Awards


Gire, Dann, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Dann Gire Daily Herald Film Critic

Some notes from the 8th Annual Chicago Film Critics Awards (otherwise called the Chicago Flames), which local stars handed out before a sold-out crowd Monday night at the Park West.

- Nine out of the 12 winners accepted awards in person, the highest number of personal appearances in the brief but colorful history of the awards.

- Rumors abounded that Keanu Reeves, in town on a film project, sneaked into the Park West and watched the show in the audience. Sorry. Nobody can confirm this happened.

- Italian actress Maria Grazia Cucinotta, who accepted the Chicago Flame Award for "Il Postino" as best foreign language film, spent four straight days in an intensive English training session so she could deliver her acceptance address without an interpreter.

- The most amazing moment of the night occurred when Oliver Stone, the razor-bladed creator of such fiercely original works such as "Platoon" and "JFK," came up to the podium to accept his award as best director of "Nixon."

"I've never gotten a critics award - ever," Stone said, "and neither have any of the actors and crew who have worked with me for, what, the past 20 years."

Stone received his award from Sun-Times film critic Roger Ebert, who has been a staunch supporter of Stone's for many years.

- Composer and singer Randy Newman accepted the best original score award for his work on "Toy Story." He said putting the orchestra through its paces on a film score is a breeze compared with actually writing the music, something he compared with "pipe-laying."

Newman also said he'd better thank the company that made the movie, Walt Disney, "or they'll buy me and dispose of me."

- Gary Sinise, star of "Forrest Gump" and Chicago's best picture award recipient "Apollo 13," became the sentimental showpiece of the night. …

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