What Competition? Hanks, Streep, and McConaughey Kick Off Awards Season Hurling Compliments
With Oscar nominations around the corner, can Hollywood really get along?
If you take Matthew McConaughey's lead, then yes. At the Palm Springs International Film Festival on Saturday, the "Dallas Buyers Club" star brought actors, writers, directors, producers, and studio heads, together while accepting the Desert Palm Achievement Award.
"I think we put out a damn good product," he told the crowd when talking about films this year. "Challenging films. We've got stories of isolation, survival, history, con-man scams, and lot of these films do that combination of two very hard things to have: importance and entertainment. We've got a lot of those. I want to say congratulations to us as an industry on that."
Bruce Dern, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Steve McQueen, Julia Roberts, the cast of "American Hustle," Thomas Newman, Lupita Nyong'o, and Meryl Streep were all fellow nominees this year. And Matthew certainly wasn't the only actor to appreciate his fellow honorees.
"I think it's fascinating that here in 2013-2014 that so many of the films you have chosen tonight are essentially non-fiction stories, people and events that really happened," Hanks said when accepting the Chairman's Award. "'Dallas Buyers Club,' based on fact. 'American Hustle,' a true story. 'Captain Phillips/Saving Mr. Banks,' real people, '12 Years a Slave,' as accurate and honest as a movie could possibly be. 'Nelson Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom,' the same thing. 'Gravity,' fake but oh so real…
"Has it really happened? It could, 'August: Osage County," Tom added with his sly smile. "I grew up in a family like that. That dinner? Had one just like it two weeks ago."
Whether intentional or not, Bullock echoed similar sentiments as her fellow honorees.
[Related: Sandra Bullock: Julia Roberts and I Share Custody of George Clooney]
"I was watching movies," she said about her activities when she wasn't searching herself online. "Lots and lots of movies … I was watching fabulous women who may or may not be over 40 giving groundbreaking performances and breaking my heart. I was watching beautiful stories about people struggling in everyday life in a world they don't think they belong in. I was watching old friends create characters that blow my mind and made me absolutely speechless. And I was also watching heartbreaking stories about our past in this country that make me so proud to be in this business, because one day, they will show my son how far we've come."
Sandra's kissing pal Meryl Streep even agreed.
"I feel so lucky to have gotten so many chances over, and over, and over again," she said. "I feel like I'm an example now … you just can't put those old gals out to pasture. We've got a lot of stuff still. My whole speech was already said by everybody, 'What a rich year, blah blah blah, what good performances,' but it's actually true. I've been so inspired by the work of so many people this year especially, it's quite humbling."
The camaraderie among the stars who will continue to compete against one another for statuettes through early March was evident even when they weren't giving speeches. Throughout the three-course meal, we watched as Bradley Cooper schmoozed with McConaughey and Julia huddled with Sandra.