December 06, 2016

“Flight” director Robert Zemeckis to be honored at Palm Springs Film Fest – OSCARS


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Robert Zemeckis’ return to live-action, the thrilling substance-abuse drama “Flight,” continues to earn accolades as the awards season rolls on.

Today, the 24th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival announced that it will present the Oscar-winning director with its Director of the Year Award at the event, scheduled for Jan. 3-14.

Presented by Cartier, the Awards Gala will be held Saturday, Jan. 5, at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The festival already revealed that it will honor Helen Hunt (“The Session”) and Naomi Watts (“The Impossible”) for their searing portrayals.

More from the release:
“For 35 years, Robert Zemeckis has been creating some of the most iconic and indelible images in cinema, garnering international acclaim as a filmmaker of extraordinary vision,” said Film Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In his latest work, ‘Flight,’ Zemeckis continues to tell fascinating stories by combining strong characters with groundbreaking visual effects, which includes one of the most memorable plane crashes in cinematic history, while following the compelling emotional journey of Denzel Washington’s character of an emotionally damaged man dealing with addiction. For these achievements the Palm Springs International Film Festival is honored to present the 2013 Director of the Year Award to Robert Zemeckis.”

Zemeckis routinely receives credit for his spectacular special-effects-enhanced visual sequences, and the plane crash at the start of “Flight” is an eye-popping addition to the filmmaker’s already impressive resume.

But Zemeckis also coaxes jaw-droppingly subtle performances from his cast, a talent that dates all the way back to “Used Cars” and “Romancing the Stone.” From Tom Hanks to “Cast Away” to Denzel Washington in “Flight,” the director has proven himself to be a real actor’s director. The Palm Springs honor should be the first of many this awards season.

Read more of our exclusive Awards coverage:
Our “Silver Linings Playbook” review
Ben Affleck tells us about “Argo” and the possibility of more Dennis Lehane stories
Bryan Cranston calls “Argo” his “proudest moment in motion pictures.”
Helen Hunt opens up about on-screen nudity for “The Sessions”
Amy Adams lends strength to “The Master”
“Arbitrage” director Nicholas Jarecki on Richard Gere and the Oscar race.
Producer Harvey Weinstein

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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