John Travolta, Jessica Lange, Martin Landau, Quentin Tarantino, Jack Lemmon and Billy Wilder took a long lunch with a roomful of movie critics as the Los Angeles Film Critics Association handed out its awards for 1994.
The unusually heavy star quotient led to what LAFCA president Henry Sheehan described as the heaviest press coverage in the event's history. Seventeen awards were presented and all but two of them were accepted in person - best supporting actress winner Dianne Wiest ("Bullets Over Broadway") and film critic Pauline Kael, who received a special award, were no-shows at the Hotel Bel-Age in West Hollywood.However, the stars didn't seem to mind, especially Travolta, who confided that he didn't sleep for three days last month after learning he had won the best actor award for his portrayal of hitman Vincent Vega in "Pulp Fiction."
"I was so excited," he said. "It had been so long since I had been honored as an actor on any level that I got confused. . . . It means a lot to me."
"Pulp Fiction" writer-director Quentin Tarantino accepted two awards, one for screenplay with collaborator Roger Avary and another for best director. The film also won best picture, an award accepted by producer Lawrence Ben-der.
Landau's best supporting actor award for his portrayal of Bela Lugosi was one of three laurels conferred on "Ed Wood," Tim Burton's tribute to the optimistic 1950s schlock filmmaker.
Landau said Burton told him that if he didn't take the role, the movie might not get made, "probably one of the greatest compliments I've ever had in my life."
Other winners included:
- Jessica Lange, as best actress in director Tony Richardson's "Blue Sky"
- "Ed Wood" composer Howard Shore and cinematographer Stephen Czapsky
- Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieslowski for best foreign-language film, "Red"
- the documentary "Hoop Dreams";
- "The Hudsucker Proxy" production designer Dennis Gassner
- "The Lion King" for best animation
- Billy Wilder, who had two presenters for his lifetime achievement award - critic and film historian Joseph McBride and longtime friend Jack Lemmon.