Matt Damon leads Oscar push for Ridley Scott

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -- Matt Damon launched a bold new phase of Oscar campaigning for his "The Martian" director on Saturday, telling a crowd that Ridley Scott has "given more than enough to cinema" over his career to deserve an Academy Award.

See Full Article

Damon spoke at the opening night gala for the Palm Springs International Film Festival, a non-televised black-tie dinner at the desert city's convention center. It's become a well-attended stop on the busy Hollywood awards circuit due to its timing during the Oscar nominations voting period and eight days before the Golden Globe Awards. Honorees Johnny Depp, Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale and Michael Fassbender also took the stage.

Damon said he was shocked to discover that the 78-year-old director of "Blade Runner" and "Alien" had never won an Oscar despite three nominations and his helming of 2001 best picture winner "Gladiator."

"He's just a master director. There are a handful of them on planet Earth. But he is one of them," Damon said. "Awards -- whatever, who gives a (expletive). I mean, except for this one. But ... I hope this is his year. I don't know if you're supposed to say that out loud. But ... when I did 'The Departed,' we said it out loud a lot about Marty (Scorsese) and it panned out."

Saturday's loose and sometimes coarse ceremony saw Depp praising his wife, actress Amber Heard, "for putting up with me" and Bale getting in a dig at the 2,000-plus attendees, which included socialites who sometimes chatted away at dinner tables during acceptance speeches.

"I've never been at a film festival that ignores the speakers so much as this film festival," said Bale, on stage with his "The Big Short" co-stars Steve Carell, Jeremy Strong and Finn Wittrock.

Cate Blanchett, being lauded for her performance in "Carol," was more magnanimous.

She thanked the festival, which runs through Jan. 11, "for reminding us -- all of us honored tonight -- that if we're not nominated for any other award not to feel like losers. We had a moment of glory."

The festival announced its awards ahead of time, minimizing anxiety for actors and allowing plenty of time for informal reunions. Depp hugged his "Finding Neverland" co-star Kate Winslet on the red carpet before the show. Damon walked backstage in conversation with Blanchett. The two shared the screen in "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "The Monuments Men."

"Room" star Brie Larson and "Trumbo" star Bryan Cranston had both screened their personal movies at the festival years earlier. Cranston wrote and directed a feature, "Last Chance," that played Palm Springs in 1999. "I will forever be grateful to you for doing that for me. It launched a different phase of my career," he told the crowd.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Chris Cornell's widow pays tribute to late singer in public letter

    Entertainment CBC News
    Chris Cornell's widow has penned a letter addressed to the late Soundgarden frontman days after he took his own life. Vicky Cornell writes in the note published online by Billboard on Wednesday that she's sorry she didn't "see what happened to you that night. Source
  • 'Modern Family' star Sarah Hyland denies anorexia accusation

    Entertainment CTV News
    In this Oct. 24, 2016, file photo, Sarah Hyland attends the 2nd Annual InStyle Awards at The Getty Center in Los Angeles. Hyland posted on social media May 24, 2017, that her skinny appearance lately is due to a medical condition. Source
  • Ariana Grande's manager: 'Fear cannot rule the day'

    Entertainment CTV News
    Ariana Grande's manager says he plans to honour those killed during the bombing of her concert with "love and joy and life." Scooter Braun writes on Twitter that "the wish of terrorism is to take away that feeling of freedom and joy. Source
  • 'War Machine' review: Satire misses the mark

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    War Machine concerns the futility and idiocy of conflict. The satire is co-written/directed by David Michod (Animal Kingdom) and boasts a huge cast led by Brad Pitt, but it has a couple of weak spots; Brad Pitt is one of them, alas. Source
  • Pattinson, Sandler lead Oscar contenders out of Cannes

    Entertainment CTV News
    CANNES, France -- It's a long way from May in France to February in Los Angeles, but the Cannes Film Festival has often been a breeding ground for Academy Awards campaigns. The Oscars aren't much on the minds of the filmmakers or attendees in Cannes; the festival is its own achievement, with nearly as much spectacle and prestige as the Academy Awards. Source
  • 'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales' review: Fifth flick fights off the bloat

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    We had zero hope for the fifth chapter in the waterlogged Pirates of The Caribbean franchise. And we were wrong. This thing is terrific. Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is hugely entertaining, full of the action and humour that made the first film such a standout. Source
  • Jury selected for Bill Cosby's sex assault trial

    Entertainment CBC News
    Seven men and five women, including two black jurors, will determine comedian Bill Cosby's fate at his upcoming sexual assault trial in Pennsylvania, after claims from his lawyers that race played a factor in their selection. Source
  • Carrie Fisher would have led ninth Star Wars movie, says Lucasfilm chief

    Entertainment CBC News
    Late actress Carrie Fisher was supposed to be the leading force of the ninth film in the Star Wars saga, plans derailed by her sudden death last year, Lucasfilm Ltd president Kathleen Kennedy said in an interview published on Wednesday. Source
  • Best and worst of Survivor: Game Changers

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    A look back at the best and worst moments of Survivor: Game Changers. BIGGEST SHOCKER: Jeff Varner’s Unforgivable Outing at Tribal Despite their disagreements, everyone agreed with this: When the slithering Survivor felt his back was against the wall, Jeff Varner crossed the line unlike any other time we’ve seen in the show’s history. Source
  • Gold Star father Khizr Khan plans book for young people

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK - Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who became a national celebrity after speaking at last year's Democratic National Convention, has a book planned for young readers. Khan's "This Is Our Constitution" comes out Nov. Source