Actors, directors of Golden Globe-nominated films kick off awards season at Palm Springs film fest

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Dozens of stars from Golden Globe-nominated films including “A Star Is Born,” “Green Book” and “BlacKkKlansman” descended on the red carpet Thursday at the 2019 Palm Springs International Film Festival, taking photos with fans and signing autographs before attending an awards gala.

Hundreds of fans lined up across the street and braved chilly nighttime temperatures in hopes of seeing their favorite stars, which included “A Star Is Born” actor and director Bradley Cooper, who arrived to chants of “Bradley! Bradley! Bradley!” and “Happy Birthday,” since he turns 44 on Saturday.

The first big star to arrive on the red carpet was Mahershala Ali, who starred alongside Viggo Mortensen in “Green Book.”

The cast – including director Peter Farrelly – spoke about the chemistry between the film’s two main characters.

“It could have been difficult and maybe even boring, two guys in a car, talking a lot of the time,” Mortensen said. “But actually it really – it’s true that it’s a really nice dynamic there.”

Like Mortensen, “BlacKkKlansman” director Spike Lee spoke extensively to the media. Lee, who received the Career Achievement Award, said he used some ugly words in his film for a simple reason: “It’s truthful.”

“Everybody in the crew and the cast understood what we were doing and the actors were portraying characters,” he said. “We knew that whatever words were being said were not in the heart of whoever’s saying it.”

Inside the gala, presenters largely praised their colleagues and the experience of working with them on set.

But some, including Jim Carrey and Farrelly, discussed current events, earning applause from the crowd.

Carrey began by asking the audience to close their eyes and meditate on 2018, but only a few seconds passed before he started screaming.

“Thank God it’s 2019,” he said. “I love the illusion of newness.”

Carrey, who worked with Farrelly on the 1994 comedy “Dumb and Dumber,” mentioned the film’s 25th anniversary.

“A movie about two people – two guys who when put in a modern context really don’t seem all that dumb” Carrey said.

In his remarks, Farrelly spoke about the state of the nation.

“We’re in a bad time,” he said. “The world is screwed up. The country is screwed up.”

“As far away as we may get, all that matters is that we talk to each other,” he added.

He also referenced a previous Palm Springs slogan he saw on bumper stickers – “PS I Love You” – and talked about a possible change for it.

“I think it should be PS de resistance because that’s what this place is,” he said.

One of the night’s main honorees, Rami Malek, described watching early performance footage of Freddie Mercury to prepare for his role in “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

“It’s wild to think of Freddie Mercury without the mustache and the long hair and the black fingernails, that 1970s glam rock look,” he said. “I went from being a Queen fan to an absolute fanatic.”

One look that dominated the red carpet was jumpers and pantsuits. Glenn Close, who snagged this year’s Icon Award for her performance in “The Wife,” wore a black silk pantsuit with a belt tying it together at her waist and self-described sensible low heels.

“It’s become more – what is the word? – stressful,” Close said of red carpet appearances. “You just don’t want your feet to be aching at the end of the red carpet, because then you’ll have a miserable night.”

Emma Stone, slated to present an award to Olivia Colman for her role in “The Favourite,” wore bright, flower-patterned pants with a strapless top.

Emily Blunt, who starred in “Mary Poppins Returns,” sported blond hair and a striking red, floor-length, one-shoulder dress.

While some actors briskly walked past a line of photographers and reporters, the three youngsters from “Mary Poppins Returns” – Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh and Joel Dawson – chatted about palm trees and their trip to the U.S.

Davies stood out in her gold, ballerina tutu-like skirt with a glittery gold top and matching glittery gold ankle boots.

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