Willem Dafoe will be honored with the Icon Award for his performance in the film, The Florida Project, at the 29th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival Awards Gala Jan. 2. Dafoe joins previously announced 2018 honorees Mary J. Blige, Timothée Chalamet, Jessica Chastain, Gal Gadot, Holly Hunter, Allison Janney, Gary Oldman, Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan and The Shape of Water.
The Film Awards Gala, hosted by Mary Hart, will be held at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs Jan. 2–15, 2018.
“Willem Dafoe is a versatile actor who has appeared in over one hundred films in his stellar career,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In The Florida Project, Dafoe delivers a career defining performance, as a hotel manager overseeing his sometimes unruly residents, which has received numerous critical accolades.”
Past recipients of the Icon Award include Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall, Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep.
Set on a stretch of highway just outside the imagined utopia of Disney World, The Florida Project follows 6-year-old Moonee (Brooklynn Prince) and her rag-tag gang of friends. Moonee and her rebellious mother Halley (Bria Vinaite) live week to week at “The Magic Castle,” a budget motel managed by Bobby (Dafoe), whose stern exterior hides a deep reservoir of kindness and compassion. From A24, the film is directed by Sean Baker.
For his performance in the film Dafoe received Best Supporting Actor recognition from the New York Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics, National Board of Review and several other critics organizations. He has received a Best Supporting Actor nomination from the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild, Broadcast Film Critics’ Association, and Satellite Awards.
Dafoe has been recognized with two Academy Award nominations: Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Platoon as well as Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Shadow Of The Vampire, for which he also received Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild nominations. Among his nominations and awards, he has received a Los Angeles Film Critics Award as well as Independent Spirit Award.
His other film credits include To Live and Die in L.A., The Last Temptation of Christ, Mississippi Burning, Born on the Fourth of July, White Sands, Wild at Heart, Tom & Viv, Clear and Present Danger, The English Patient, American Psycho, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Inside Man, John Wick, Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Death Note, The Boondock Saints, and Murder on the Orient Express. His upcoming films include James Wan’s Aquaman and Julain Schnabel’s At Eternity’s Gate.
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