Cumberbatch lands Hollywood award

Benedict Cumberbatch has continued his winning streak by landing the best actor prize at the Hollywood Film Awards.

Cumberbatch lands Hollywood award

Benedict Cumberbatch has continued his winning streak by landing the best actor prize at the Hollywood Film Awards.

The Sherlock star, who was recognised for playing wartime code-cracking genius Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, called the prize “a huge honour”.

The first televised edition of the Hollywood Film Awards was like a dressy, drawn-out advertisement for Oscar hopefuls.

More than half of the night’s recipients were recognised for films that have not yet been released, and trailers for the movies played during the ad breaks.

Queen Latifah, who hosted the ceremony at the Hollywood Palladium, talked about the event’s relative obscurity in her opening monologue, saying: “Not many people knew about this show.”

Responses to the awards ranged from genuine appreciation to goofy acknowledgement.

“All my life I’ve dreamt of getting one of these, like everybody else in this room, and I can’t believe this day has come,” Chris Rock joked as he accepted a trophy for his new film, Top Five, set for release next month.

“An Oscar is an Oscar,” he continued, examining the trophy. “What is this, a shiny blackie? I don’t know. I love it though.”

Johnny Depp made immediate use of the F-word when he took the stage to present the documentary award for Supermensch: The Legend Of Shep Gordon. He appeared to slur his words and continued to use expletives before he was cut off by a film clip package.

Ben Affleck, who accepted the film award for Gone Girl“ said he hoped it did not appear presumptuous that he had prepared a speech.

“When they told me there were no other nominees, I felt cautiously optimistic,” the actor said.

Steve Carell and Channing Tatum, who were recognised as an ensemble for their work in Foxcatcher, used their acceptance speech time to repeatedly hug each other and presenter Jonah Hill.

“I’m not even in the movie,” Hill playfully protested.

Jennifer Lopez laughed and blushed as she mispronounced the name of the animation winner as How To Drain Your Dragon. Gerard Butler teased her about the mistake as he accepted the award for How To Train Your Dragon 2.

Other stars seemed honestly touched at the recognition.

Morten Tyldum accepted an award for directing The Imitation Game, saying: “I’m new to Hollywood. This is the greatest honour and warmest welcome I can imagine.”

Angelina Jolie and the star of her new film, Unbroken, warmly acknowledged the subject of the biopic opening on Christmas Day.

“I dedicate the award to the man himself, Mr Louis Zamperini,” star Jack O’Connell said as he accepted the New Hollywood award.

Founded by entrepreneur Carlos de Abreu and his wife, former model Janice Pennington, the Hollywood Film Awards have been presented off-camera since 1997. There are no nominees, only winners chosen by de Abreu and a dozen others.

Latifah described the event as “a celebration of this year’s greatest movies and a guide to films that will be coming to theatres in the next few weeks and through the holidays”.

“Awards season is on!” she said at the show’s conclusion.

Golden Globe nominations will be announced on December 11 and the awards presented on January 11. Academy Award nominations will be announced January 15, with the Oscar show set for February 22.

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