STORY: Despite the relief of being back on a red carpet after the past few years, for many stars at the fifth annual HCA (Hollywood Critics Association) Awards in Los Angeles and the premiere of Batman in New York, the mood was overshadowed by concerns about developments in Ukraine.
“I feel mixed emotions…I mean, it’s nice to have people putting in the effort to put this moment together…kind of a celebration of acting achievement which is awesome. But I’m also…everything is overshadowed by what’s going on in Ukraine so it’s a bit of everything. I feel bad for people in Ukraine right now,” Nicolas Cage said.
Kenneth Branagh walked the red carpet this time not as an actor, but as a director in Belfast – a coming-of-age story based on his own personal experience growing up in Northern Ireland at the start of the Troubles , which he compared to the current situation in Eastern Europe.
“In my lifetime, 30 years of appalling, appalling violence and darkness have been overcome, albeit imperfectly, by dialogue that was very difficult to sustain, but sustained and has led to 25 years of viable peace. The answer is dialogue. The answer is telling. The answer is concession. The answer is to try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. It’s never, it’s never an invasion,” he said.
The awards were scheduled for early January but were postponed due to rising COVID cases in Los Angeles. Last year’s event was held virtually.