This year’s honorees at the PSIFF also included “Rustin” star Colman Domingo who was presented the Spotlight Award for acting by Lenny Kravitz. Domingo is in both “Rustin,” and “The Color Purple,” and the roles are so different that you get to view his stellar acting chops. His speech in Palm Springs was the one that caused the audience to sit straighter and snap to attention. He knows how to command a crowd.
Another Spotlight Award for acting was given to “The Color Purple” star Danielle Brooks by her co-star Taraji P. Henson and director Blitz Bazawule. Danielle’s performance as Sofia resulted in Oprah Winfrey passing the baton to Brooks on a morning talk show, and it was well-deserved. Blitz was also named one of the Variety 10 Directors To Watch awardees.
“Poor Things” star Emma Stone received the Desert Palm Achievement Award from her co-stars Mark Ruffalo and Willem Dafoe. Emma’s achievement in portraying a Frankenstein monster creation come alive is pretty astonishing. Willem Dafoe and Mark Ruffalo complemented the story with aspects of themselves that haven’t been seen in previous films.
“Oppenheimer” star Cillian Murphy was awarded the same prize by his co-star, Robert Downey Jr. In each instance, the person introducing the award winner seemed to have as much fun as the awardee. In the instance of Cillian Murphy, however, he seemed quite shy and reticent in Palm Springs on stage. I was relieved to see him more forthcoming at the Globes. It is rather hard to follow Robert Downey, Jr., however.
“American Fiction” star Jeffrey Wright was given the Career Achievement Award by his co-star Leslie Uggams. And the playful flirting between Wright and Uggams enchanted the audience. Wright is always good, but his character Thelonius Monk in “American Fiction” is inspired. Director Cord Jefferson was recognized the next day as one of the Variety 10 Directors To Watch. Let’s keep an eye on him.
The audience was thrilled when Meryl Streep stepped forward to present “Maestro” star Carey Mulligan with the International Star Award. And Streep was very gracious in her presentation. Following Streep’s nomination at the Golden Globes this weekend, she is now officially the most nominated actor in the history of the Golden Globes (with 33 nods).