Greta Gerwig has a way with words.
The Little Women filmmaker, 36, delivered a moving speech while presenting Quentin Tarantino with the Director of the Year award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala on Thursday.
“Quentin Tarantino makes movies as if movies could save the world,” she said, according to IndieWire, before referencing some of his most famous movies, including Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, the film he was being honored for.
“Movies can kill Hitler, free slaves, and give Sharon Tate one more summer,” Gerwig, 36, continued. “He makes movies like movies themselves matter, like they are both high art — which they are — and that they are populist art — which they are. They’re speaking the most profound truths to the biggest crowds with the bravado that comes with the confidence that collectively everybody will be changed for the better by the experience.”
Continuing to praise Tarantino, 56, she said, “He’s one of the ones we all measure ourselves against.”
Following the speech, Tarantino was seen wiping away tears, according to the Associated Press.
“She literally said about me how I can only imagine somebody could ever talk about me in my wildest self-possessed dreams,” the acclaimed director said, according to IndieWire. “Thank you. I mean my god, thank you so much. I joke that when people are going to talk about me, I say, ‘Speak about me as if I were dead.’ And they never do. And you did!”
Among the evening’s other big winners were Joaquin Phoenix (Chairman’s Award for Joker), Laura Dern (Career Achievement Award for Marriage Story and Little Women), Jennifer Lopez (Spotlight Award, Actress for Hustlers), Charlize Theron (International Star Award, Actress for Bombshell) and Adam Driver (Desert Palm Achievement Award, Actor forMarriage Story).
The Gala kicks off the Palm Springs International Film Festival, which runs for 14 days and screens over 500 films.