It”s very possible that, by the Oscars in February, every name associated with the awards season will somehow be honored by the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Its winners are all names you know: Julianne Moore for “Still Alice,” Rosamund Pike for “Gone Girl,” Eddie Redmayne for “Theory of Everything,” and J.K. Simmons for “Whiplash” are among the talent set to be honored at the fest”s awards gala. Now we can add two predictable, completely worthy names to the list: Benedict Cumberbatch and David Oyelowo. They'll be honored on PSIFF's gala on Jan. 3, 2015.
Well, not just Cumberbatch – the entire cast of “The Imitation Game,” in fact. PSIFF announced that the inevitable Best Actor nominee, Keira Knightly (a Best Actress candidate herself), and the rest of the director Morten Tyldum”s biopic cast will take home the ensemble performance award.
“'The Imitation Game' is one of the very best ensembles to grace the screen this season,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner in a statement. “Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley lead an outstanding cast in 'The Imitation Game,' a film about Alan Turing as he attempts to crack Germany”s Enigma machine. The Palm Springs International Film Festival is proud to present the entire cast of 'The Imitation Game' with the Ensemble Performance Award.”
Sunday afternoon, PSIFF followed up its own ensemble award announcement with yet another award. Matzner announced that David Oyelowo, picking up steam for his work as Martin Luther King Jr. in Ava DuVernay”s 'Selma,' will pick up the festival”s Breakthrough Performance Award. Oyelowo has been “breaking through” for about a decade, appearing in British television like 'MI-5' and 'Five Days,' and films like 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes,' 'Red Tailes,' 'Lincoln,' 'Jack Reacher,' 'The Butler,' and DuVernay”s own 'Middle of Nowhere.' On top of 'Selma,' Oyelowo”s 2014 includes “Interstellar' and 'A Most Violent Year.' Happy to see the guy breakthrough with 'Selma'!
Matzner contributed a few words to the Oyelowo announcement too: “David Oyelowo”s transformation into Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is truly outstanding. He perfectly recreates King”s mannerisms and speech cadence, and moreover, captures the spirit of one of the greatest leaders in history, giving audiences a rewarding portrait of this iconic man that is deeply layered and effecting. For this phenomenal portrayal it is an honor to present him with the 2015 Breakthrough Performance Award, Actor.”
'The Imitation Game' is out now in theaters. 'Selma' opens in limited release on Dec. 25, and in more theaters on Jan. 9.