It’s funny having Tom Hanks back in the awards hunt this year. He’s such a dab hand at the whole campaign spiel, and has been such a quietly familiar presence in the season thus far, that it hardly feels like 13 years since he was last nominated for an Oscar. (Meanwhile, kids born around the time he tearfully accepted his second Oscar for “Forrest Gump” are now legal adults. Where do the years go?)
Hanks isn’t turning into quite the force in the race that advance hype suggested he’d be. Following SAG and Globe nods, he’s looking solid (if not certain) for a nomination for his disciplined leading turn in “Captain Phillips,” while following surprise SAG and Globe omissions, his supporting campaign for his twinkly Walt Disney impersonation in “Saving Mr. Banks” is on shakier ground. He may yet reap the double nod (which would bring his career tally to seven), but either way, he’s unlikely to win much over the next couple of months.
One award he can definitely take home, however, comes courtesy of the Palm Springs Film Festival, which has added him to their already star-studded roster of honorees. Hanks will accept the Chairman’s Award at the festival’s awards gala on January 4 — joining Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey, Julia Roberts, Bruce Dern, Lupita Nyong’o, Steve McQueen, Thomas Newman and the “American Hustle” ensemble on the honor roll at what looks to be a pretty flashy stop on the campaign trail.
Indirectly, it’s the second Palm Springs mention for a “Banks” associate, given that Newman is accepting their Film Composing Award for his work on the Disney production. Criteria for the Chairman’s Award aren’t listed, though it’s clearly reserved for industry royalty: past winners include George Clooney, Nicole Kidman, Ben Affleck and Dustin Hoffman.
Palm Springs chairman Harold Metzner accordingly describes Hanks as “one of the greatest actors of his generation,” before waxing lyrical about his two 2013 performances. Hanks’ 2013 feature film achievements, incidentally, also include a producer credit on the JFK-themed drama “Parkland.”
The Palm Springs Film Festival takes place from January 3-13, 2014.