Nicole Kidman Honored With Career Achievement Award by Palm Springs International Film Festival
By Jackie Willis
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Nicole Kidman's portrayal of Lucille Ball is being recognized, despite the Palm Springs International Film Awards event being canceled. The acclaimed actress is the recipient of the Career Achievement Award for her performance in Being the Ricardos, a biopic about Ball and her husband, Desi Arnaz.
“On American television there are few classic stars more beloved than Lucille Ball. Rising to the challenge of playing such an iconic talent, Nicole Kidman delivers a truly spot-on performance in capturing both the on-camera comic timing and off-camera bravery that made Lucy an unstoppable force in the 1950s and 60s,” Harold Matzner, festival chairman, said. “For this role, in the wake of her many other outstanding performances, we are thrilled to present the prestigious Career Achievement Award to Nicole Kidman."
Past recipients of the Career Achievement Award include Annette Bening, Kevin Costner, Bruce Dern, Laura Dern, Clint Eastwood, Sally Field, Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson and Spike Lee.
Meanwhile, Lady Gaga is officially an icon! The triple-threat star is being honored with the Icon Award for her performance in House of Gucci.
"To many Lady Gaga is an icon through her music, but she continues to impress audiences with her iconic acting roles. Following her memorable performance in A Star is Born, Lady Gaga yet again raises the bar in her portrayal of Patrizia Reggiani in House of Gucci, the shocking true story of the family behind the Italian fashion empire," said Matzner. "For this tour-de-force performance, it is our honor to present the Icon Award to Lady Gaga."
Past recipients of the Icon Award include Glenn Close, Willem Dafoe, Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep.
Additionally, Will Smith and the cast of King Richard are recipients of the Ensemble Performance Award.
“King Richard is a wonderful film that tells the emotional story of Richard William’s determination and vision that, along with the steady support of his wife Oracene, turned their daughters Venus and Serena into tennis superstars,” said Matzner. “Will Smith absolutely transforms into Richard, alongside a powerful Aunjanue Ellis as Oracene, in this true ensemble film that also features exceptional performances from newcomers Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton as Venus and Serena, and an impressive cast, including Tony Goldwyn and Jon Bernthal as pivotal coaches Paul Cohen and Rick Macci. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present the Ensemble Performance Award to the cast of King Richard.”
These celebs aren't the only ones hitting the ground running this awards season! Andrew Garfield is getting the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor for his performance in tick, tick…BOOM!
“From his numerous film roles and theatrical performances, Andrew Garfield is an outstanding actor, who puts his heart and soul into bringing the character he’s portraying to life," said Matzner. "In the emotionally stirring and fascinating musical tick, tick…BOOM, Andrew gives a stunning and heartfelt performance as theater composer Jonathan Larson. For this career best performance, we are honored to present the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor to Andrew Garfield."
Garfield also received the festival’s Ensemble Performance Award for The Social Network in 2011 and the Spotlight Award for Hacksaw Ridge in 2017.
It was also announced that Jennifer Hudson is being honored with the Chairman’s Award for her portrayal of Aretha Franklin in Respect.
“In Respect, Jennifer Hudson brings to life Aretha Franklin’s rise from childhood gospel singer to international star. Hudson transforms into the Queen of Soul singing her heart out in this legendary performance,” Matzner said. “It is our honor to recognize Jennifer Hudson’s phenomenal acting and singing talents with the Chairman’s Award.”
Hudson, 40, was previously honored at the festival with the Breakthrough Performance Award in 2007 for her role in Dreamgirls. Past recipients of the Chairman's Award include Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, Regina King, and many more.
Penélope Cruz is also getting the recognition she deserves at the PSIFF. The 47-year-old actress is the recipient of the International Star Award, Actress for her performance in Pedro Almodóvar's Parallel Mothers.
In Parallel Mothers, two women share a hospital room where they are going to give birth. Both are single and became pregnant by accident. Janis (Cruz), middle-aged, doesn’t regret it and she is exultant. The other, Ana (Milena Smit), an adolescent, is scared, repentant and traumatized.
“Penélope Cruz has collaborated with Pedro Almodóvar on so many wonderful films, from Broken Embraces to Volver, and their partnership truly shines with her brilliant performance in Parallel Mothers, which has already earned international festival honors,” said Matzner. “She is an actress with immense depth and humanity, giving the world a tremendous body of work for three decades. For her poignant work in Parallel Mothers, it is our honor to present the International Star Award, Actress to Penélope Cruz.”
Past recipients of the International Star Award, Actress include Nicole Kidman, Helen Mirren, Saoirse Ronan and Charlize Theron. Last year’s recipient Carey Mulligan went on to receive an Academy Award Best Actress nomination.
“It is always a challenge to portray a real-life figure, especially one so beloved as Princess Diana, yet Kristen Stewart does a fantastic job in Spencer,” said Matzner. "She completely disappears into this iconic role, authentically adopting Diana's mannerisms, accent and demeanor with real emotional depth. For this career-best performance, it is our honor to present the Spotlight Award, Actress to Kristen Stewart."
Past recipients of the Spotlight Award, Actress include Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, Helen Hunt, Allison Janney, Rooney Mara, Julia Roberts and Yuh-Jung Youn, all seven of which received Academy Award nominations in the year they were honored, with Janney and Youn winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
The PSIFF, presented by American Express and sponsored by Entertainment Tonight, will take place in-person from Jan. 6, 2022 through Jan. 17, 2022 at the Palm Springs Convention Center, and will require proof of vaccination and the wearing of a mask. As for the annual Film Awards, that event has been canceled "due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases and out of an abundance of caution to ensure the health and safety of the honorees, patrons, and staff."