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Art Directors Guild Awards Honor 'Anna Karenina,' 'Life of Pi,' 'Skyfall,' Snub 'Lincoln' and 'Argo'

Awards
by Beth Hanna
February 3, 2013 2:47 AM
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Keira Knightley in "Anna Karenina"
Keira Knightley in "Anna Karenina"

The 17th annual Art Directors Guild Awards, presented at a lively if long ceremony at the Beverly Hilton, honored "Anna Karenina," "Life of Pi" and "Skyfall" in the period, fantasy and contemporary feature film categories, respectively. (Full list of nominations here.)

Returning host Paula Poundstone found a joke for the night and stuck with it: Art directors wear unusual eye-glasses. “Apparently you can’t do this without an elaborate frame,” she quipped. She was also struck by the appropriately well-designed look of the Beverly Hilton’s ballroom, which boasted fringe hanging from the ceiling and a special side-stage for the live band. “The person who designed this room tonight will be up for next year’s ADG awards.”

Awarded in the half-hour TV series category was HBO’s “Girls.” Production designer Judy Becker said that when working on the show she was inspired by her own life in New York when she was a twentysomething, and said of creator Lena Dunham, “She’s the best.”

“Star Trek” and “Reading Rainbow” alum LeVar Burton awarded TV movie or mini-series to “American Horror Story: Asylum,” while John C. McGinley of “Scrubs” handed the hour-long TV series award to “Game of Thrones.”

The award for a period feature film beat out both "Lincoln" and "Argo": “Anna Karenina.” Production designer Sarah Greenwood thanked director Joe Wright for letting her be part of his “mad visions,” and admitted that “to be here in such illustrious company is quite daunting.”

'Life of Pi'
'Life of Pi'

Fantasy feature film went to “Life of Pi.” Production designer David Gropman brought his entire team on stage with him, and bowed to them before saying that “no designer works by himself.” He thanked director Ang Lee, who he called “the master of our ship.”

Gorgeous Jane Seymour was on hand to present the award for contemporary feature film. The former Bond girl’s presence proved appropriate, as “Skyfall” won in the category.

Earlier in the evening, Seymour presented the pre-announced Cinematic Imagery Award to Bond production designers Sir Ken Adam, Allen Cameron, Peter Lamont and Dennis Gassner. Lamont and Gassner were in attendance to accept the honor. Lamont has worked in some capacity -- starting as uncredited draftsman and working up to production designer -- on 18 Bond films. After “Casino Royale,” he passed the baton to Gassner, quipping, “What can I say? Quantum, Skyfall, money.” Gassner in turn said that his work on the last two 007 installments has been “the greatest privilege of my life.”

Not in attendance was Lifetime Achievement honoree Herman Zimmerman, who designed “Star Trek: Next Generation,” as well as six films in the Trek franchise. His video tribute was moving; Zimmerman said onscreen that he “never felt like [being a production designer] was a job. A lot of hours, but it was just too much fun.”

Complete list of winners:

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