Belfast Telegraph

Brad Pitt leads Oyelowo sing-along

Brad Pitt stole the spotlight at the Palm Springs International Film Festival with a sing-along.

The Oscar-nominated filmmaker travelled to the desert town of Palm Springs, California, to present British actor David Oyelowo with the Breakthrough Performance Actor award for his performance as civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King Jr in Selma.

Brad, who was a producer on the film, led the audience at the star-studded ceremony to sing David's often-mispronounced surname, saying: "I know there is one lingering question at the back of your minds. It's a fundamental question and I think it's only fair that we air it out tonight and that question is, how the hell do you pronounce his name?"

The Fury star, who also professed his admiration for the British actor, both as a colleague and friend, continued: "I've been there and I'm here to help. My job tonight is to help you. In situations like these, I find it often helps to sing it, so repeat after me..." as he sang David's last name to the tune of the popular soccer chant Ole, Ole, Ole, as well as Coldplay's hit Yellow.

It was a good night for Brits as Rosamund Pike received the Breakthrough Performance Actress award for Gone Girl, while Eddie Redmayne won the Desert Palm Achievement award for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory Of Everything, which was presented to him by his Savage Grace co-star Julianne Moore.

The cast of The Imitation Game, including Benedict Cumberbatch, Allen Leech, Matthew Beard and Alex Lawther, were presented with the Ensemble Performance award.

Reese Witherspoon was honoured with the Chairman's award for her role in Wild and Julianne Moore got the Desert Palm Achievement award for best actress for her performance in Still Alice.

There was love on the red carpet as Eddie posed for photographers with his new wife, public-relations executive Hannah Bagshawe, while Benedict arrived arm-in-arm with his fiancee, theatre director Sophie Hunter.

Other winners at t he first film-award ceremony of the new year included Whiplash star JK Simmons (Spotlight award), Birdman filmmaker Alejandro G Inarritu (director of the year), director Richard Linklater (Sonny Bono Visionary award) and Robert Duvall, who was given the Icon award.

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