Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were in the house. Meryl Streep was there. And yet the annual awards dinner of the New York Film Critics' Circle was stolen by one Albert Brooks last night at Crimson in Manhattan. Brooks said he had hoped Debbie Reynolds (a friend of his father and the woman who played the title role in "Mother," a Brooks film which won him the NYFCC's screenwriting honors in 1996). Reynolds, alas, couldn't make it. Peter Travers filled in, saying Reynolds had sent a note saying, "Your father was great ad so funny you received all of his talent and so much more." Travers, who added that "making a movie was like a war and after the war a critic comes in and shoots the wounded," yielded the stage to a very dapper-looking Brooks, who saluted Aaron Sorkin (who earlier in the evening had praised Brooks' screeenplays). "I feel so guilty for selling my Academy copy of 'The Social Network,'" Brooks said. Then, continuing the night's theme of mocking the David Denby-Scott Rudin feud (ably recounted by my senior colleague here ), he said, "The real reason David Denby isn't here is he was picking up Scott Rudin's dry cleaning."
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