Melissa McCarthy, the comedy star who recently dipped her toes into drama with her role in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, is set to receive the coveted Spotlight Award during the Film Awards Gala portion of the 30th annual Palm Spring International Film Festival. The award will be presented by McCarthy's co-star, Richard E. Grant, according to Entertainment Tonight.
Festival Chairman Harold Matzner released a statement on Monday regarding McCarthy's nomination for the award. He explained that her role in Can You Ever Forgive Me? is "captivating" and "deserving" of the Spotlight Award.
"Melissa McCarthy delivers a heartbreaking performance as author Lee Israel, perfectly portraying Israel's loneliness as she struggles with her own relevance in society," Matzner said.
Receiving this award could be McCarthy's first step to receiving an Oscar nomination for her performance. Many past recipients of the Spotlight Award, such as Julia Roberts, J.K. Simmons, Allison Janney, Andrew Garfield, and Helen Hunt, have gone on to receive Oscar nominations. Janney ended up taking home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, while Simmons received the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
McCarthy could also receive an Academy Award nomination for this role. In 2012, McCarthy was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Bridesmaids.McCarthy also recently received the People's Choice Award for People's Icon, as well as the People's Choice Award for the Comedy Movie Star of the Year, thanks to her role in Life of the Party.
In Can You Ever Forgive Me?, McCarthy stars as real-life celebrity biographer Lee Israel, who begins forging and embellishing letters from famous writers when she finds herself struggling financially, according to the Wrap. Israel's friend Jack, played by Grant, learns about her schemes and joins in.
Previously announced Film Awards Gala honorees include Glenn Close, who will receive the Icon Award for her role as Joan Castleman in The Wife, and Rami Malek, who will receive the Breakthrough Performance Award for his role as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody. More honorees will be announced over time.
The Film Awards Gala, which kicks off the Palm Springs International Film Festival, will be hosted by Mary Hart and Entertainment Tonight at the Palm Springs Convention Center on January 3, 2019. The Palm Springs International Film Society will then present a number of film screenings and events over the following 12 days. According to the festival's website, the Palm Springs International Film Festival is one of the largest film fests in America, with over 135,000 attendees each year.