Welp, it looks like Johnny Depp’s about face in terms of campaigning for Black Mass and for an Oscar nomination is happening as he adds another award to his collection with the Desert Palm Achievement Award (Actor) from the Palm Springs Film Festival. This comes off the heels of the announcement he will receive the Maltin Modern Master Award from the Santa Barbara Film Festival. Now, the cynic in me says it’s not a big geographical stretch for Depp to head to Palm Springs or Santa Barbara to accept these “awards” that are nothing more than a step in the PR campaign from Warner Brothers but it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be taken seriously in terms of getting that Oscar nomination. All of which makes the piece I wrote about pundits overreaching in calling Johnny Depp a real contender something that could definitely make me look more than just a little silly.
Statistically, and you know I love my stats, the male recipient of the Desert Palm stands a very solid, if not nearly locked, chance at a Best Actor Oscar nomination in some cases, ending up in a win. Past actor recipients of the Desert Palm Achievement Award include Jeff Bridges, Bradley Cooper, Daniel Day-Lewis, Colin Firth, Matthew McConaughey, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt and Eddie Redmayne. In the years they were honored, Bridges, Day-Lewis, McConaughey, Penn and Redmayne went on to win the Academy Award for Best Actor, while Cooper, Firth and Pitt received Oscar nominations. That goes for actresses too; the last time someone received this award, actor or actress, and didn’t receive an Oscar nomination was Marion Cotillard for Nine in 2010.
To add to the event feeling less like a film festival and more like an Oscar prediction ceremony, Cate Blanchett (Truth and Carol) will receive the Desert Palm Achievement Award for an actress and Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) will also be honored with the International Star Award at the festival’s ceremony on January 2nd.
The official press release:
[box type=”shadow” align=”aligncenter” class=”” width=””]Palm Springs, CA (November 17, 2015) – The 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) will present Johnny Depp with the Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor at its annual Awards Gala for his performance in Black Mass. Each year the festival selects an actor and actress to receive this award. The Awards Gala, hosted by Mary Hart and presenting sponsor Entertainment Tonight, will be held Saturday, January 2, at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 1-11.
“Johnny Depp is one of the most versatile and dynamic actors of our time,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In his latest film, Black Mass, Depp, in a stunning transformation, creates a gripping and multi-layered portrait of infamous gangster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger. He delivers an astounding performance that has earned raves from both critics and audiences and is sure to garnerawards attention. It is our honor to present the 2016 Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor, to Johnny Depp.”
Past actor recipients of the Desert Palm Achievement Award include Jeff Bridges, Bradley Cooper, Daniel Day-Lewis, Colin Firth, Matthew McConaughey, Sean Penn, Brad Pitt and Eddie Redmayne. In the years they were honored, Bridges, Day-Lewis, McConaughey, Penn and Redmayne went on to win the Academy Award® for Best Actor, while Cooper, Firth and Pitt received Oscar® nominations.
Depp can currently by seen in “Black Mass,” which tells of the unholy alliance between ruthless mobster James “Whitey” Bulger (Depp) and childhood friend-turned-FBI agent, John Connolly (Joel Edgerton). The bond, forged growing up on the streets of South Boston, would test the limits of loyalty in a town that answers to its own, unwritten code. Blinded by ambition, Connolly convinces Bulger to inform on their common enemy, the Italian Mafia. The deal allows Bulger to expand his criminal empire with complete impunity, threatening to destroy both men, their families, and the very city that made them. Based on true events, the film is directed by Scott Cooper and features an ensemble cast, also including Benedict Cumberbatch, Rory Cochrane, Jesse Plemons, Dakota Johnson, Julianne Nicholson, Kevin Bacon, W. Earl Brown, David Harbour, Corey Stoll, Peter Sarsgaard, Adam Scott and Juno Temple. The screenplay is by Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth, based on the book by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neil. Produced by John Lesher, Brian Oliver, Scott Cooper, Patrick McCormick and Tyler Thompson.
Depp is a three-time Academy Award nominee for Best Actor for his work in “Finding Neverland,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” and “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” Over the last three decades, Depp’s diverse range of roles has made him one of the leading actors of his generation including performances John Waters’ “Cry Baby,” “Benny & Joon,” Lasse Hallstrom’s “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” and “Chocolat,” Mike Newell’s “Donnie Brasco,” Terry Gilliam’s “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” Ted Demme’s “Blow,” “The Libertine,” Michael Mann’s “Public Enemies” and several collaborations with Tim Burton including “Edward Scissorhands,” “Ed Wood” and “Sleepy Hollow.”
About The Palm Springs International Film Festival The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is one of the largest film festivals in North America, welcoming 135,000 attendees last year for its lineup of new and celebrated international features and documentaries. The Festival is also known for its annual Black Tie Awards Gala, honoring the best achievements of the filmic year by a celebrated list of talents who, in recent years, have included Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Bradley Cooper, George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Matthew McConaughey, Julianne Moore Brad Pitt, Eddie Redmayne, Julia Roberts, David O. Russell, Meryl Streep, and Reese Witherspoon.[/box]