Desert fest fetes year’s best

Palm Spring Festival hands out honors

Saturday’s awards gala for the Palm Springs International Film Festival saw Carey Mulligan, Colin Firth, David O. Russell, Diane Warren, Danny Boyle and the ensemble of “The Social Network” being honored at the town’s local convention center.

Among the evening’s highlights were Jake Gyllenhaal, who, in presenting Natalie Portman with the actress trophy, described the thesp’s assets: “She’s 5’1″ and a buck 10.” Then getting into her “Black Swan” perf, he noted the pregnant Portman would make a great mother, although her child would need “years of therapy after seeing ‘Black Swan.'”

The accolades continued to flow when Amy Ryan described Ben Affleck as “our generation’s Orson Welles, except with better abs.”

Affleck riffed on the name of his prize, the Chairman’s Award, saying he grew his beard for the occasion. “I have been trying to get my wife to call me the chairman, I think tonight might be my night.”

“You never get too old for things like this,” said Robert Duvall, accepting the career achievement award. “It’s not the end, I’ve got a few more things to do.”

Honoree Javier Bardem quipped, “International star means you don’t understand what I’m saying.” And yet another honoree, Jennifer Lawrence, said, “I’ve got to pretend this is really cool, but inside I’m jumping up and down because Oliver Stone gave me an award and this is my Saturday night.”

The after-party followed at the Parker Palm Springs.

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