Thesp given honor at 'Ballad' screening

BERLIN — The Berlin Film Festival got a much-needed dose of star power Tuesday as Daniel Day-Lewis was honored for his work with the special Berlinale Camera prize.

Day-Lewis, sporting a bushy beard, was in Berlin with wife Rebecca Miller to present “The Ballad of Jack and Rose,” which Miller directed.

The Berlinale Camera is presented to personalities or institutions that have had a special relationship with the fest over the years.

Day-Lewis has had four films in competition in Berlin: “In the Name of the Father” in 1994, “The Crucible” in 1997, “The Boxer” in 1998, and in 2003, “Gangs of New York.”

“I don’t see this award as a lifetime achievement award, rather as a recognition of all the films that have taken part in the Berlinale,” he said.

The thesp was given the honor at the screening of “The Ballad of Jack and Rose,” about the last member of a hippie commune who is struggling with a degenerative illness and trying to cope with Rose (Camilla Belle), his adolescent daughter and only companion.

At an earlier news conference, Day-Lewis said Miller sent him the story nine years ago, before they had met. The film “required something of me that I didn’t feel able to give at that time.”

Being a father “probably helped me a lot” to play the part, he added.

On Sunday a screening of a restored print of Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1964 drama “Il deserto rosso” (Red Desert), his first pic shot in color, unspooled to pay homage to late Italian cinematographer Carlo Di Palma.

Di Palma — who died last year — was fondly remembered by fest topper Dieter Kosslick during a brief ceremony attended by Di Palma’s wife, Adriana Chiesa Di Palma, who is also in Berlin as topper of Rome sales company Adriana Chiesa Enterprises.

(Nick Vivarelli contributed to this report.)

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