Martin Scorsese Honored at Chanel’s MoMA Film Benefit Awesome Guest List.
NOVEMBER 20, 2018
By CHLOE MALLE?
“Marty Scorsese is not Picasso,” proclaimed Robert De Niro from the podium of MoMA’s underground theater at the museum’s 11th annual Film Benefit honoring the beloved director. “Picasso only needed one frame for Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Marty needed 2,000 frames for ‘Le Loup de Wall Street.’ ” Six floors below Picasso’s most famous painting the audience tittered. The almost hour-long homage to the septuagenarian director included ghosts of Scorsese past, present, and future, with speeches and video clips from actors whose careers were, and continue to be, made by the director.
Emily Mortimer, in a velvet Chanel column (the house partners on the event every year), recalled her experiences on the set of Shutter Island and Hugo. Wolf of Wall Street’s Jonah Hill confessed that while other kids had posters of superheroes on their wall he had a photo of Marty (”I can’t believe I get to call him that”). Cate Blanchett filmed a video from an airplane she seemed about to parachute out of (thematically appropriate since her most memorable Scorsese role was in The Aviator), Ray Romano (who stars in the upcoming The Irishman) also sent a video, as did Wolf of Wall Street’s Margot Robbie. Leonardo DiCaprio and De Niro, the director’s two most consistent muses and partners, concluded the speeches with DiCaprio referencing their current and sixth project together, in which the actor will play Teddy Roosevelt. Finally, after a compilation of film clips, the man himself took the stage, thanking MoMA for “always being a home for the art of cinema because it is modern art, it is the 20th-century art form.”
And with that, the various glamorous gangs of New York moved en masse upstairs to dinner in the Marron Atrium, where images of skyscrapers were projected onto the walls to remind diners they were surrounded by the mean streets of midtown. Drew Barrymore, in a leather newsboy cap, led former sister-in-law Jill Kargman by the hand, while Chanel-clad Chloë Sevigny and Natasha Lyonne took their seats flanking Derek Blasberg. After hen-of-the-woods-and-pignoli salad and brick chicken, Gary Clark Jr. took the stage. Bette Midler and Tony Bennett looked on with curiosity. The evening capped with a large sheet cake brought out to celebrate Scorsese’s 76th birthday two days earlier. The most recognizable eyebrows in the business shot up in happy surprise as he blew out the candles.
At the end of De Niro’s speech, the actor noted that Scorsese’s first career ambition was to be a priest, “and my theory is that he changed when he realized being a priest meant serving God while being a director meant being God.” Judging from the devotion and reverence in the room on Monday evening, he made the right choice.