‘Argo’ Actors Get a Palm Springs Honor to Go With Their Oscar Buzz

Palm Springs Film Fest gala singles out Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin and other members of the "Argo" team for Ensemble Performance Award

The cast of "Argo" will receive the Ensemble Performance Award at the 2013 Palm Springs International Film Festival's Awards Gala, PSIFF organizers announced on Wednesday.

The festival release promised that cast members Ben Affleck (who also directed the film), Alan Arkin and Bryan Cranston will attend the gala; the film's cast also includes John Goodman, Victor Garber, Tate Donovan, Scoot McNairy, Kyle Chandler, Clea DuVall and others.

"'Argo'Argo features a plethora of colorful characters brought to life by an outstanding acting ensemble,” said festival chairman Harold Matzner in a press release announcing the award. 

With the Palm Springs honor, Affleck has completed a January film-festival double-play; he is also being honored at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the other early-year fest that pays tribute to the past year's accomplishments and tries to assemble a lineup of potential Oscar nominees.

"Argo" has been considered an Oscar frontrunner since it began screening at the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals, though in recent weeks it has been overshadowed by more recent contenders like "Lincoln," "Les Miserables" and "Zero Dark Thirty."

The story of a CIA and Canadian rescue operation that used a phony Hollywood movie production to supply cover identities and smuggle six Americans out of Iran during the hostage crisis of 1980, the film has been a slow, steady success at the box office, climbing over the $100 million mark in U.S. grosses in the past week.

Palm Springs has previously announced honors to actresses Naomi Watts and Helen Hunt and director Robert Zemeckis.

The Awards Gala will be held on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013. It typically takes place in the final days of Oscar nomination voting – but due to the Academy's accelerated schedule, this year's gala will fall two days after the close of voting.