Melissa McCarthy will receive this year’s Spotlight Award at the 30th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival in recognition of her dramatic turn in this year’s “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Richard E. Grant, McCarthy’s co-star in the film, will present the award. McCarthy joins Glenn Close and Rami Malek as the other honorees of this year’s festival.
Previous recipients of the Spotlight Award include Amy Adams, Jessica Chastain, Bryan Cranston, Andrew Garfield, Helen Hunt, Allison Janney, Rooney Mara, Julia Roberts and J.K. Simmons.
McCarthy is a contender for Best Actress for her work as real-life author Lee Israel in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?,” and all of the previous recipients of the Spotlight Award have gone on to receive Academy Award nominations in the year they were honored, with Simmons winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and Janney receiving an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in their respective years.
“Melissa McCarthy delivers a heartbreaking performance as author Lee Israel, perfectly portraying Israel’s loneliness as she struggles with her own relevance in society,” said Festival chairman Harold Matzner in a statement. “McCarthy’s dramatic turn is truly captivating and deserving of awards recognition. It is our honor to present this year’s Spotlight Award to Melissa McCarthy.”
In the film, McCarthy stars as Lee Israel, a celebrity biographer who turns to forging letters from literary legends after falling on hard financial times. Dolly Wells, Jane Curtin, Ben Falcone, Anna Deavere Smith and Stephen Spinella co-star in Marielle Heller’s film.
The Palm Springs International Film Festival is in its 30th year. The Film Awards Gala, hosted by Mary Hart and Entertainment Tonight and presented by American Express, will be held on Thursday, Jan. 3 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The festival runs Jan. 3-14.