Melissa McCarthy to Receive Spotlight Award at Palm Springs International Film Fest Gala

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Melissa McCarthy is going to be adding some new accolades to her trophy shelf.

The comedy icon is getting a lot of love for her recent dramatic turn in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, and it was announced on Monday that she'll soon be honored with the coveted Spotlight Award from the 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival.

The celebrated honor is set to be presented by her acclaimed co-star, Richard E. Grant, during the Film Awards Gala --  hosted by Mary Hart and Entertainment Tonight -- at the Palm Springs Convention Center on Jan. 3, kicking off the star-studded film festival.

"Melissa McCarthy delivers a heartbreaking performance as author Lee Israel, perfectly portraying Israel’s loneliness as she struggles with her own relevance in society,"  Festival Chairman Harold Matzner said in a statement released on Monday, adding that McCarthy's performance is "truly captivating and deserving of awards recognition."

The honor could be a big indicator that McCarthy's already buzzy performance could earn her an Oscar nomination. Past Spotlight Award recipients include Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, Bryan Cranston, Andrew Garfield, Helen Hunt, Allison Janney, Rooney Mara, Julia Roberts and J.K. Simmons, all of whom earned Oscar noms after receiving the special recognition.

In the case of Simmons and Janney, both went on to actually take home the Oscar.

If McCarthy ends up getting an Academy Award nomination, it wouldn't be the first time. The 48-year-old comedy queen was previously nominated in 2012 for Best Supporting Actress for her scene-stealing performance in Bridesmaids.

In Can You Ever Forgive Me?, McCarthy stars as the real-life writer and biographer Lee Israel, and follows the true story of Isreal's attempt to revitalize her struggling career and waning finances by committing a series of bold forgeries, penning fake letters by dead authors and selling them to collectors.

The 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival kicks off Jan. 3, with the Film Awards Gala, and runs through Jan. 14.


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