Robert Zemeckis has given us Marty McFly, Forrest Gump, Roger Rabbit, and Wilson the volleyball.
The addiction plagued airline pilot Captain Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) in his latest film, Flight, is giving the director his best shot at awards recognition in a decade.
Zemeckis’ return to live action filmmaking has a stalwart contingent of supporters among Hollywood’s award season voters, and the film gets a nice boost from news that the Palm Springs International Film Festival will give him the Director of the Year award for Flight, where he’ll join the ranks of previous honorees and current awards contenders Ang Lee and David O. Russell.
This is Zemeckis’ second honor for Flight. He won the Founder’s Award at the Chicago International Film Festival earlier this year. Zemeckis hasn’t been a serious awards contender since Forrest Gump (1994), and, until Flight’s release this year, had been exclusively making motion-capture animated features such as Beowulf, The Polar Express, and A Christmas Carol for over a decade.
Two other awards hopefuls, Helen Hunt (The Sessions) and Naomi Watts (The Impossible), will also receive honors at the Festival’s Awards Gala, which will be held on January 5.