Film Fests Hit Home Run with Oscar Nods

Palm Springs International Film Festival Chairman Harold Matzner expressed satisfaction with his .900 batting average this week when nine out of the 10 honorees he selected for the Jan. 3 Awards Gala received Oscar nominations.

 

But both the Palm Springs International Film Festival and its sister ShortFest scored well in the nominations announced by the Film Academy on Thursday.

“The festival’s synergy with the Oscars has never been stronger than it has proven to be this year,” said Palm Springs International Film Society Executive Director Darryl Macdonald. “We’ve never had so many films and filmmakers from our festival lineups gain recognition from the academy in the same year. I would hope it reflects the savviness and good taste with which the gala honorees and film programs this organization presents are chosen.”

The only gala honoree that didn’t earn a nomination was David Oyelowo, who received the Breakthrough Performance Award, Actor for “Selma.” But “Selma” was nominated for Best Picture.

Three honorees received Best Actress nominations: Chairman’s Award winner Reese Witherspoon for her role in “Wild;” Breakthrough Performance, Actress, Award honoree Rosamund Pike for her performance in “Gone Girl;” and Desert Palm Achievement, Female, Award winner Julianne Moore for her role in “Still Alice.”

A fourth Best Actress nominee was Marion Cotillard, whose Belgium film, “Two Days, One Night,” screened during the festival. Cotillard’s nomination was a surprise since the film didn’t even make the nomination shortlist for the Best Foreign Language film.

Two Best Director nominees were honored at the Palm Springs gala: Director of the Year honoree Alexandro G. IIñárritu for “Birdman,” and Sonny Bono Visionary Award winner Richard Linklater for “Boyhood.” Both films also were nominated for Best Picture.

Desert Palm Achievement, Male, Award winner Eddie Redmayne was nominated for Best Actor for his performance in “The Theory of Everything.” It also was a nominee for Best Picture, as was the Ensemble Performance Award-winning film, “The Imitation Game.”

Steve Carell, who received the Creative Impact in Acting Award at the Variety brunch a day after the gala, was nominated for Best Actor for his role in “Foxcatcher.” Michael Keaton, who presented the Director of the Year Award, also got a Best Actor nod for his performance in “Birdman.”

Two Best Supporting Actor nominations were gala honorees: J.K. Simmons, the Spotlight Award winner for “Whiplash,” and Robert Duvall, who received the Icon Award for “The Judge.”

All five nominations for Best Foreign Language Film were screened at the festival: “Ida,” “Leviathan,” “Tangerines,” “Timbuktu” and “Wild Tales.” “Leviathan” was named the festival’s Best Foreign Language Film by the FIPRESCI critics.

Two nominees for Best Feature Documentary, “CitizenFour” and “The Salt of the Earth,” screened in the festival and a third, “Finding Vivian Maier,” played in last year’s event.

The June ShortFest films received four nominations. Two were for Best Documentary Short Subject: “Joanna,” and “White Earth.” “The Dam Keeper” was nominated for Best Animated Short Film, and “The Phone Call” was nominated for Best Live Action Short.

The Academy Awards will be presented Feb. 22.

Source: The Desert Sun