Emotions run high at Palm Springs fest
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — Hollywood kicked off the year’s awards season with an emotional night in the desert. The Palm Springs International Film Festival’s annual opening gala is often treated by honorees as a businesslike stop on the industry’s self-congratulation circuit. But Thursday found Laura Dern, Jennifer Lopez and Quentin Tarantino wiping away tears onstage.
Dern, presented with the career achievement award, was surprised with a video of her divorced parents Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd highfiving as they praised her, saying “You got game.”
“That was really moving for me,“the 52-year-old actress said. “Every kid kind of wants to see their parents together.”
Dern, who stars in “Little Women” and “Marriage Story,” then told the crowd that she’d been conceived in the nearby mountain town of Idyllwild during production of the 1966 Roger Corman biker movie “The Wild Angels.“
Lopez apologized for being overcome with emotion after an introduction from “Hustlers“writer-director Lorene Scafaria. “I’m so glad to be here but I want to run out the door, I’m so nervous,“she said.
The 50-year-old performer noted that women held key roles both behind and in front of the camera on the crime drama: “To all the talented women out there writing films, producing films and directing films, support one another. And tell your stories.”
“Little Women” director Greta Gerwig introduced “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood” writer-director Tarantino with effusive praise, saying he “makes movies as if movies could save the world.” The 56-year-old director wiped a tear from his eye: “My joke that I say when people are going to talk about me is, ‘Speak about me as if I were dead.’ And they never do! And you did! Thank you, Greta.”
Also taking home honors: “The Irishman” director Martin Scorsese, “Joker” star Joaquin Phoenix, “Judy” star Renee Zellweger, “Pain and Glory” star Antonio Banderas and “Bombshell” star Charlize Theron.
Greta Gerwig presents the Director of the Year award to Quentin Tarantino on Thursday in Palm Springs.