Octavia Spencer, whose performance in "The Help" has made her a prime contender for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, has been named recipient of the Palm Springs International Film Festival's Breakthrough Performance Award, PSIFF announced on Wednesday.
Octavia Spencer” src=”http://www.thewrap.com/sites/default/wp-content/uploads/files/the-help_octavia-spencer.jpg” style=”width: 200px; height: 301px; margin: 15px; float: left;” title=”” />Spencer will join the previously announced honorees George Clooney, Glenn Close, Michelle Williams and Michel Hazanavicius at the festival's Awards Gala, which will take place on Saturday, January 7 in the desert resort town east of Los Angeles.
“Octavia Spencer is a consummate actress who seamlessly blends her dramatic and comedic talents, creating performances of uncommon depth,” said festival chairman Harold Matzner in a press release announcing the award. “As the irascible Minny in 'The Help,' she captures the essence of a woman who deals with life head on, relishing confrontation and serving as a source of courage and humor for those whom she loves."
Together with the Santa Barbara International Film Festival later in the month, Palm Springs is a festival whose galas and tributes are seen as opportunities for high-profile campaigning.
The 23rd annual Palm Springs International Film Festival will take place from January 5 through January 16.