Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Clooney kicks off awards season

George Clooney and girlfriend Stacy Keibler at the Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala

George Clooney and other red-carpet veterans joined some Hollywood newcomers to kick off the two-month-long movie award season at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.

"When you're of age: drink," Clooney noted to the newcomers at Saturday night's gala awards ceremony. "That's good advice to pretty much anybody."

Among those relative newcomers were Clooney's co-stars from the drama The Descendants. ''It is the first time we have dressed up all season," said actor Matthew Lillard. "We have a couple months to put on nice dresses and suits."

"Don't forget the shoes," injected actress Judy Greer. "Oh man, am I going to need a massage when the next two months are over."

Clooney, star of both Descendants and the drama The Ides of March, was given the festival's Chairman's Award for acting, directing, producing and writing. "They gave me a gavel on the way in," he joked. "And I'm feeling like I might actually get protested now."

Among other honorees were actresses Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn), Jessica Chastain and Octavia Spencer (The Help) and Glenn Close (Albert Nobbs).

Brad Pitt was handed the Desert Palm Achievement Award for his performances in Moneyball and The Tree of Life. Gary Oldman (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy) was dubbed International Star of the Year - the significance of which seemed to baffle its recipient.

"I am on an international stage, rather than a local one," Oldman noted. "I guess that is what that means?

Or perhaps he simply no longer needs a passport.

"Who designed the award?" Oldman asked. "Maybe I have just that and it gets me through customs."

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