Reiner first rose to fame as the put-upon son-in-law Meathead in the classic sitcom All in the Family. He began his directing career with 1984’s This is Spinal Tap and remained on a torrid hot streak through 1992’s A Few Good Men. Some of the films he made in between included The Princess Bride, Stand By Me, and When Harry Met Sally. In recent years, he hasn’t been as prolific as he was in the 80s and 90s, but he continues to work and LBJ is a solid return to form for the director (a full review will be published on its release, but it’s well worth seeing).
LBJ star Woody Harrelson introduced Reiner, who received the award with self-deprecating grace, claiming that the audience members who gave him a standing ovation were merely stretching.
After the movie, there was a brief Q&A session. Reiner said that because he was of draft age during the Vietnam War, he’d always thought of Lyndon Johnson as evil. But after reading about him, he realized the man had a very complex legacy. There was the horror of Vietnam, but also triumphs on civil rights.
Harrelson echoed Reiner’s early reservations. But after reading about him, he came to view Johnson as a fascinatingly complicated character. When preparing for the role, he conferred with Bryan Cranston, who played LBJ for the HBO movie All the Way. Harrelson praised Cranston’s generosity in sharing ideas.
After the Q&A session, Reiner and Harrelson were led with guests on a second line from the Orpheum to the Palace Cafe.