Tom Hanks Honored By The Lincoln Center Film Society: Now That's A BIG Deal!

by KATE MILTNER · April 28, 2009

[Julia Roberts, Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks. All photos by JOE SCHILDHORN for PMc]

Last night's Lincoln Center Film Society Gala honoring Tom Hanks was a star-studded event filled with glamour, glitz and lots of people saying “fuck” on stage. While my date and I didn’t make it into the $50,000-per-table dinner  (where Eli Manning sat at the same table as Nigel Barker, violating standard hotness-per-square foot regulations), we were happily entertained with gratis Chandon and truffle-oil popcorn at the bar outside. While waiting for our entrée into the renovated Alice Tully Hall, I noticed a familiar face in the scrum: Amanda Setton, otherwise known as Penelope from Gossip Girl. “OMFG! I embarrassingly squealed as I clutched my date’s arm in glee. Fortunately, the security guards started letting the crowd inside, and I was ushered away before I was allowed to embarrass myself further...

Once inside, it was evident that the dinner that had been taking place was not totally over.  As the well-dressed hordes meandered their way through the dinner tables towards the auditorium, the hoi polloi looked on in moderate surprise that their dessert course had been rather abruptly interrupted.  I saw Jeff Zucker and Lorne Michaels, John Leguizamo and Geoffrey Rush (who really hasn’t aged that much since Shakespeare In Love, bravo for him).  Jane Krakowski was being harassed by a portly, ruddy man in a business suit who asked her if she had a business card and, when she politely demurred, pressed his own into her dainty mitt.

Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Sam Mendes

The tribute itself was even more star-studded than the atrium, featuring colorful tributes from the likes of Mike Nichols, Sally Field, Robert Zemeckis, John Patrick Shanley (f-bomb count: 4), Ron Howard, Jonathan Demme, and Steven Spielberg. Aaron Ruehl performed a jazzed-up version of chopsticks in honor of Hanks’ podiatric musical stylings in Big, and Bruce Springsteen performed a stripped down “Streets Of Philadelphia” (but not before making a comparing-the-size-of-our-Oscars-in-the-bathroom-of-the-Dorothy-Chandler-Pavilion joke). Nora Ephron recited a revised Hanks genesis story (“Pinky Goldblatt was born on Long Island in 1961…”) and Charlize Theron gushed about her love of Splash and her days as a child on her South African farm.

The  moment of the night, however, went to Julia Roberts who came out on stage, announced that she was paying her babysitter overtime, had to pee, and was wearing the same dress as Hanks’ publicist.  Decrying “Tom Hanks, what the fuck?” and revealing that “that movie where you walked around the airport, that was a pass for me”, Roberts (f-bomb count: 371) stole the show until Hanks got on stage and decried “Tonight is a night for the goyim!”

[Ed Burns, Christy Turlington]

The show let out around midnight, and the crowd spilled in to the atrium where servers were passing around mini cupcakes and chocolate covered strawberries and pretzels. The luminaries had headed elsewhere, it seemed, except for Jane Krakowski: she was being hit on by a young lad no older than 24. Jenna Maroney would be proud.

[Steven Spielberg]

Ron Howard, Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson

Liz Swig, Nigel Barker

Samantha Bryant, Colin Hanks

Susan Hess, Adrien Brody

Gillian Miniter, Sylvester Miniter

Mike Nichols, Sam Mendes

Charlize Theron

Sally Field

Christopher Walken