The 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival presented Academy Award winning actress Helen Mirren with the International Star Award on Jan. 5 at the Palm Springs Convention Center, Palm Springs, Calif. Presented by Cartier, the Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala hosted by TV personality Mary Hart also presented awards to the cast of “Argo,” Bradley Cooper, Sally Field, Helen Hunt, Naomi Watts, Richard Gere, composer Mychael Danna, director Tom Hooper and director Robert Zemeckis. The Festival runs January 3-14.
The International Star Award recognizes an actor or actress who has achieved both critical and commercial international recognition throughout their body of work. “With more than four decades’ worth of memorable film, television and stage performances, Helen Mirren continues to be one of the most outstanding actresses of her generation,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In ‘Hitchcock,’ Mirren delivers another virtuoso performance as Alma Reville, wife to the great master of cinema, who was integral to creating his classic films including the masterpiece ‘Psycho.’ The Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present the 2013 International Star Award to Helen Mirren.” Past International Star Award honorees include Javier Bardem and Gary Oldman.
“Hitchcock” lays bare the captivating and complex love story of film icon Alfred Hitchcock and his steadfast wife and filmmaking collaborator, Alma Reville. It does so through the sly, shadowy lens of their most daring filmmaking adventure: the making of the spine-tingling 1960 thriller, “Pyscho,” which would become the director’s most controversial and legendary film. When the tumultuous, against-the-odds production was over, nothing about movies would ever be the same – but few realized that it took two to pull it off. The Fox Searchlight Pictures film stars Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Toni Collette, Danny Huston, Jessica Biel, Michael Stuhlbarg, James D’Arcy, Michael Wincott, Kurtwood Smith and Richard Portnow. “Hitchcock” is directed by Sacha Gervasi with a screenplay by John J. McLaughlin based on the book “Alfred Hitchcock and The Making of Psycho” by Stephen Rebello.
Helen Mirren received a SAG nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role for her performance in “Hitchcock.” For her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in 2006 of “The Queen,” she received an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award, and BAFTA Award for Best Actress. She was also named Best Actress by virtually every critic’s organization from Los Angeles to London. Mirren earned Oscar nominations for her roles in “The Madness of King George,” “Gosford Park” and “The Last Station.” Her performance in “Gosford Park” also earned her Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations, several critics groups’ awards, and dual SAG Awards, one for Best Supporting Actress and a second as part of the winning ensemble cast. Her other film credits include “Age of Consent,” “The Long Good Friday,” “Excalibur,” “The Mosquito Coast,” “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover,” “The Door,” “Where Angels Fear to Tread,” “Some Mother’s Son,” “Calendar Girls,” “The Clearing,” “Shadowboxer,” “State of Play,” “The Tempest,” “RED,” “The Debt,” “Arthur” and “Brighton Rock.” Mirren is currently in production on “Red 2.”
The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 135,000 attendees each year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Black Tie Awards Gala, honoring the best achievements of the filmic year by a celebrated list of talents who, in recent years, have included Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Danny Boyle, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Ron Howard, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt, Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron and Kate Winslet.
For more information, call 760-322-2930 or 800-898-7256 or visit www.psfilmfest.org.
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Whatever your movie choice this week, please remember your movie theater etiquette: silence your cell phones & no texting, please don’t talk during the film and remove your children if they become a distraction to other audience members. Don’t forget that laughing, crying and cheering are always approved behavior and even encouraged.
-Kay Shackleton is a film historian with special focus on Silent Films, see her work at SilentHollywood.com