Robert Duvall to Receive Career Achievement Award at Palm Springs International Film Festival 


Robert Duvall, pictured here in his latest film "Get Low" (he deserves a Best Actor nomination for the flick!), will receive the Career Achievement Award at the Awards Gala of the 22nd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival.

The Awards Gala will kick off the 2011 awards season on Saturday, January 8 at the Palm Springs Convention Center and will be hosted by “Entertainment Tonight’s” Mary Hart. Duvall will join previously announced honorees Javier Bardem, Colin Firth, Jennifer Lawrence, Carey Mulligan and Natalie Portman. The Festival runs January 6-17.

Here's the rest of the press release:

“For nearly 50 years, Robert Duvall has transfixed cinematic audiences with his gritty, intuitive performances,” said Film Festival chairman Harold Matzner. “In Get Low, his most recent role, Duvall portrays a backwoodsman who stages his own funeral while still alive. Duvall gives a virtuoso performance, challenging audiences to understand his character who is caught between myth and reality. To this star, a star in every sense of the word and tradition, the Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present the 2011 Career Achievement Award to Robert Duvall.”

Past recipients of the Career Achievement Award include Cate Blanchett, Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Samuel L. Jackson and Helen Mirren.

Duvall was most recently seen as Felix Bush in Sony Pictures Classics, “Get Low.” A magical and moving blend of folk tale, fable and real-life legend, Get Low is a movie spun in the Southern storytelling tradition about the mysterious 1930s Tennessee hermit who famously threw his own rollicking funeral party, while he was still alive. Academy Award® winner Robert Duvall, Golden Globe winner Bill Murray, Academy Award® winner Sissy Spacek and Lucas Black form an ensemble of unforgettable characters who bring to life the surprising last act of Felix Bush, a life-long maverick and misfit who has been nearly swallowed up by the power of his town’s sinister myths about him – until he sets out to make a shocking confession in front of his own memorial service.

Respected by his peers and adored by audiences worldwide, he has earned numerous Oscar nominations for his performances in The Godfather, Apocalypse Now, The Great Santini and The Apostle. Duvall won the Academy Award as Best Actor for his role in Tender Mercies, and has earned Golden Globes for his performances in Apocalypse Now, Tender Mercies, Lonesome Dove and Stalin. More recently, Duvall was honored with an Emmy Award for his iconic portrayal of “Print Ritter” in AMC‘s Broken Trail.

Duvall made his big screen debut in 1962, as the creepy “Boo Radley” in To Kill A Mockingbird. He has gone on to star in such classics as Assassination Tango, The Apostle, Bullitt, True Grit, M*A*S*H, The Conversation, Network, The Natural, Colors, Days Of Thunder, A Handmaid’s Tale, Rambling Rose, Wrestling Ernest Hemingway, Phenomenon, A Civil Action, Open Range, and Thank You For Smoking, among many others.

About The Palm Springs International Film Festival

The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 130,000 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 Clint Eastwood, Kate Winslet, Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Sean Penn, Leonardo DiCaprio, Ron Howard, Anne Hathaway, Jeff Bridges, Danny Elfman and many others.

The Festival’s 22nd Annual Awards Gala is presented by Cartier and sponsored by Mercedes Benz and Entertainment Tonight. Renewing sponsors of this year’s Festival are Title Sponsor The City of Palm Springs and Presenting Sponsors The Desert Sun, the City of Indian Wells, Spencer’s Restaurant and KPSP Local 2. Major Sponsors include Bank of America, Penfolds, Regal Entertainment, Diageo, Desert Regional Medical Center, Integrated Wealth Management, Wessman Development, Guthy-Renker, Wells Fargo, Chihuly Art Glass, and Ocean Properties Development.

For more information, call 760-322-2930 or 800-898-7256 or visit www.psfilmfest.org.


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So Long Mr. Irvin Kershner and Thanks for Giving Us the Best "Star Wars" Movie Ever -- "The Empire Strikes Back!" 


Another legendary Hollywood icon has passed away. "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back" director Irvin Kershner has died. He was 87.

Besides directing the best film of the "Star Wars" franchise, Kershner also gave us "Never Say Never Again" and "Robocop 2." But most famously, Kershner also made Harrison Ford utter one of the most memorable lines in "Empire." His "I know" response to Princess Leia's "I love you."

Here's the great Kershner talking about his career:




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Will James Franco and Anne Hathaway Host Oscar? Are They Ready? 


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has asked James Franco and Anne Hathaway to host the Academy Awards and according to Deadline, "it looks like both young stars have accepted the offer!"

I think it's a fantastic and inspired choice!

Hathaway showed her musical talent at the Academy Awards two years ago with a dance number with then host Hugh Jackman. And Franco is almost 100% sure to get a Best Actor nod for "127 Hours." (Check out my interview with the actor and director Danny Boyle for "127 Hours" right here)

I don't think Hathaway will get a Best Actress nomination for her performance in "Love and Other Drugs," but she's a brilliant actress who was previously nominated in 2008's "Rachel Getting Married."

The official host announcement could be made as soon as this week, but so far, I think Franco and Hathaway will do wonders hosting the upcoming Academy Awards.

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So Long Leslie Nielsen! Beloved Comedian Dead at 84 


Leslie Nielsen, the guy who made us laugh in films like "Airplane!" and "The Naked Gun" has died. He was 84.

The actor died Sunday near his home in Fort Lauderdale, Fla due to complication of pneumonia.

His nephew, Doug Nielsen, told Canadian radio station CKNW, that "he just fell asleep and passed away."

Let's remember the great funny actor with the video mashup below using the best of the best from two of his best films -- "Airplane!" and "The Naked Gun."



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"Harry Potter" Vanquishes Everyone with $50.3M Box-Office 


Even Rapunzel couldn't break "Harry Potter's" magical box-office spell. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1" remained the No. 1 movie in America with $50.3 million over Thanksgiving weekend.

Disney's "Tangled" came in very close with $49.1 million.

So far, "Harry Potter" has raised its total to $220.4 million in just 10 days with a worldwide total of $609.6 million.

Meanwhile, "Tangled" featuring the voices of Mandy Moore and Zachary Levi raised its five-day total to $69 million since opening Thanksgiving eve.

While "Tangled" did not beat "Harry Potter," the film exceeded industry expectations delivering the second-biggest Thanksgiving debut ever just behind "Toy Story 2" which opened with $57.4 million.

Sitting mightily at No. 3 is DreamWorks Animation's "Megamind" with $12.9 million beating new films such as "Burlesque," "Faster," and "Love & Other Drugs."

Christina Aguilera and Cher made a so-so debut with "Burlesque" landing at No. 4 with $11.8 million, and a $17.2 million five-day total.

The dramedy "Love & Other Drugs" starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway debuted at No. 6 with $9.9 million with a five-day total of $14 million since opening Wednesday.

Dwayne Johnson and Billy Bob Thornton must settle for No. 7 with "Faster" selling $8.7 million in box-office tickets, and $12.2 million since its Wednesday opening.

Meanwhile, "The King's Speech" featuring the much-talked about Colin Firth performance as British monarch George VI, debuted with $349,791 in just four theaters in New York and Los Angeles! Per theater average? That's about $87,448 compared to "Tangled's" $13,628 per theater.

Here's the estimated Top 10 Box-Office Films for weekend of Nov. 26:

1. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1," $50.3 million.

2. "Tangled," $49.1 million.

3. "Megamind," $12.9 million.

4. "Burlesque," $11.8 million.

5. "Unstoppable," $11.75 million.

6. "Love & Other Drugs," $9.9 million.

7. "Faster," $8.7 million.

8. "Due Date," $7.3 million.

9. "The Next Three Days," $4.8 million.

10. "Morning Glory," $4 million.

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