The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions

Calendar


Weekend to-do list
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Sunday, January 5, 2014, 8:06 p.m.

'Celebrity mule train' gets rolling

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -- Sandra Bullock shared the painful results of Googling herself, Meryl Streep shadowboxed on-stage, and Tom Hanks braced for awards season's "celebrity mule train" at the year's first glitzy Hollywood gala.
Matthew McConaughey, Julia Roberts, Amy Adams and Bradley Cooper were among the stars who cracked jokes and praised one another Saturday night at the opening of the Palm Springs International Film Festival, a desert warmup of sorts for more closely-watched industry events in coming months.
Honors were announced well in advance and the ceremony wasn't televised, lessening pressure on winners and allowing for self-effacing, sometimes lengthy acceptance speeches. The festival is celebrating its 25th year but it's only recently become a stop on the awards circuit.
U2's Bono spoke passionately about artist activism and the fight against AIDS. Bruce Dern reveled in industry praise for his "Nebraska" after a half-century career, saying: "A bunch of you seem to have gotten together and to have said, 'Bruce Dern can play."' Presenters included Gary Oldman, Ewan McGregor, Idris Elba and Jane Fonda.
Bullock, also nominated for Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe awards for her performance as an astronaut in "Gravity," delighted the crowd of over 2,000 by reading online comments about herself.
"Julia (Roberts), apparently you and I are in a dispute over George Clooney. We talked about this. It's shared custody and we both are fine with it," she joked.
McConaughey, honored for his lead role in "Dallas Buyers Club," also noted his movie "Mud" and small part in "The Wolf of Wall Street."
"I had a sensational year of acting," he said, wearing a bowtie and shimmering gold tuxedo jacket.
Streep, who stars alongside Roberts in "August: Osage County" and is also up for Globe and SAG honors, was given the festival's icon award.
"I don't feel like an icon. Most of the days I feel like 'I can't,"' she said. But, she allowed, jabbing fists toward the crowd, "I feel like I'm an example now in my dotage of the fact that you just can't put those old gals out to pasture. We've got a lot of stuff still to say."
There was self-congratulation all around at the quality of awards season films, from "12 Years A Slave," whose director Steve McQueen was honored, to "American Hustle," whose cast received an ensemble award.
"We put out a damn good product," McConaughey said. "We've got challenging films. We've got stories of isolation, survival, history, con men, scams. A lot of these films, they walk that tightrope. They have that combination of two very hard things to have -- import and entertainment."
There will be no shortage of additional opportunities to celebrate said movies, as Hanks noted in accepting the fest's chairman's award for his leading roles in "Captain Phillips" and "Saving Mr. Banks."
He and many others gathered Saturday will reunite at the Golden Globes next weekend in Beverly Hills and the SAG awards the following weekend.
"To be invited to the Palm Springs International Film Festival is an honor and a delight beyond words and sometimes beyond reasoning," Hanks said. "It means without a doubt that the holidays have come to an end and for a few lucky people the celebrity mule train is just beginning."
------
Follow AP Entertainment Writer Ryan Pearson at www.twitter.com/ryanwrd
Story tags » MoviesTelevision

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.