Actors chew scenery at the AFI luncheon

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LOS ANGELES — Abigail Breslin and her stuffed Curious George doll had lunch with the likes of Steven Spielberg, Clint Eastwood and Spike Lee at the American Film Institute’s annual awards ceremony. The 10-year-old star of ‘‘Little Miss Sunshine’’ mingled with Hollywood heavyweights with the ease of an industry veteran. Her mom, Kim Breslin, held onto Curious George while Abigail posed for photos. Friday’s AFI luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel was the latest stop on Abigail’s awards-season travels. She was at the Palm Springs Film Festival last week and on Monday she heads to the Golden Globes, where she may be the youngest wearer of Harry Winston diamonds. ...

She said she’s enjoying the spotlight — ‘‘Sunshine’’ is nominated for a slew of awards and she earned a best supporting-actress nod from the Screen Actors Guild — but if acting doesn’t work out, she’d like to be a veterinarian.

Despite Curious George’s attendance, the AFI lunch wasn’t all kids’ stuff. Golden Globe nominee Helen Mirren, lauded by critics everywhere for her performance in ‘‘The Queen,’’ closed the program with a moving tribute to director Robert Altman, who died in November.

‘‘He had an incredibly strong, courageous, fierce independence of mind. You could see that in his films and in his life,’’ she said. ‘‘I salute the great master, the great mind, the great man, Robert Altman.’’

The AFI Awards, announced earlier, recognize 10 outstanding films and television programs as chosen by a panel of producers, critics, scholars and AFI trustees.

Besides ‘‘Little Miss Sunshine,’’ the films honored were ‘‘Babel,’’ ‘‘Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,’’ ‘‘The Devil Wears Prada,’’ ‘‘Dreamgirls,’’ ‘‘Half Nelson,’’ ‘‘Happy Feet,’’ ‘‘Inside Man,’’ ‘‘Letters from Iwo Jima’’ and ‘‘United 93.’’

The television honorees were ‘‘Battlestar Galactica,’’ ‘‘Dexter,’’ ‘‘Elizabeth I,’’ ‘‘Friday Night Lights,’’ ‘‘Heroes,’’ ‘‘The Office,’’ ‘‘South Park,’’ ‘‘24,’’ ‘‘The West Wing’’ and ‘‘The Wire.’’


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This page contains a single entry by Thomas Conner published on January 13, 2007 2:32 PM.

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