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Tom Hanks, Bono, Meryl Streep Electrify Palm Springs Film Festival Gala

Julia Roberts, Sandra Bullock also celebrated at awards ceremony

Bono was among the many Hollywood stars who energized the Palm Springs Film Festival gala Saturday as he accepted the Visionary Award for U2 with the Edge.

“We are for at the tipping point if we keep up the pressure of reaching an AIDS-free generation,” he said. “Vision without promise is a fantasy and we’re not interested in that.”

Later speakers admitted Bono was a tough act to follow. Still Meryl Streep, Icon Award recipient, had no problems. “I feel like I’m an example in my dotage,” she said. “You just can’t put those old gals out to pasture. We’ve got a lot of stuff to say.”

Sandra Bullock took a different tack, talking of the Internet comments that came up when she Googled her name. “She’s over 40,” came up a lot as did her career choices. Tom Hanks regaled the crowd with the different experiences he had shooting “Captain Phillips” and “Saving Mr. Banks” and concluded by congratulating the gala organizers. “Tonight at table 607 the executives of Walt Disney Co. and Sony have got along just fine.”

Earlier in the evening Thomas Newman, Lupita Nyong’o, Steve McQueen and Bruce Dern were feted. Matthew McConaughey  spoke of the three films he was in in 2013: “Mud,” “Wolf of Wall Street” and “Dallas Buyers Club.” When such roles come to them actors must seize them, he said. Of “Dallas Buyers Club,” he said, “There was never enough money, we did it under $5 million, not enough time, the shoot took 28 days. There was enough food on the set but we couldn’t eat it.”

Julia Roberts did double duty, appearing first to accept the spotlight award, when she attributed her success to a scientific fact: “birds who fly in formation do better.” And later she presented to Hanks. Also honored were the ensemble cast of David O. Russell’s “American Hustle.”

After the gala, guests retired to the Parker Palm Springs for the apres soiree.

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