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Gold Derby nuggets: Helen Mirren feted by Palm Springs fest | MOMI salutes Clint Eastwood | Dave Karger predix NBR picks

December 2, 2009 |  3:00 pm

Helen Mirren The Last Station 2Helen Mirren is the latest honoree at the upcoming 21st edition of the Palm Springs filmfest. As per the announcement the Oscar champ will be feted, "for her large and distinguished body of work." Says fest chair Harold Matzner, "Mirren is one of the most outstanding actresses of her generation and she delivers another fine performance in 'The Last Station.' " Mirren will join previously announced honorees Morgan Freeman, Mariah Carey and Anna Kendrick at the Jan. 5 event. PALM SPRINGS FILM FESTIVAL

• From the sublime to the ridiculous certainly describes the newest DVD screeners received by awards voters this season -- "Precious" and "Bruno."

Todd Martens previews Wednesday night's announcements of the nominations for the 52nd annual Grammy Awards and offers advice on how to keep the recording industry's top honor relevant. Among his suggestions: album of the year to Kanye West for "808s and Heartbreak." Explains Todd, "What West has said and done outside the studio is of no business to Grammy voters. But for what he's done inside it, he has earned this award." POP & HISS

Edna Gunderson sits down with Sir Paul McCartney to talk about "Come Home" -- his potential song nominee from the Robert DeNiro vehicle "Everybody's Fine." Said Paul, "I can very much relate to a guy who's got older children, who happens to have lost his wife, the mother of those children, and is trying to get them all together at Christmas. I understand that." USA TODAY

Clint Eastwood InvictusRoger Friedman reports on Tuesday night's star-studded salute to Clint Eastwood by the Museum of the Moving Image, "which screened his Oscar worthy 'Invictus' for a black tie crowd, then roasted and toasted him at a swanky private dinner on Park Avenue. Clint’s celebrity guests all said nice things about him, from 'Invictus' costars Matt Damon and Morgan Freeman to Marcia Gay Harden, Kevin Bacon (with wife Kyra Sedgwick) and Hilary Swank." SHOWBIZ 411

Scott Feinberg writes up two lively Q&As -- the first a phoner with "Precious" supporting player Paula Patton and the second a post-screening sit-down with "The Hurt Locker" stars Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie. AND THE WINNER IS

Matthew Hemley reports that the BAFTA TV prizes are shifting from April to June next year and adding "two new categories with prizes for best supporting actress and actor introduced. In addition, the award for best comedy performance is to be split into two, giving recognition to both the best female performance in a comedy and the best male performance." THE STAGE

Up in the Air posterDave Karger is predicting "Up in the Air" to win best picture on Thursday from the National Board of Review. Dave reminds us, "Last year they were the first group to single out eventual winners 'Slumdog Millionaire' and Penelope Cruz. Their lead-acting winners almost always go on to earn Oscar nods" and he says, "I’m thinking it’ll be Colin Firth and Meryl Streep this time." ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Pete Hammond reports from Monday's LA premiere of "Up in the Air" that everyone seemed to have already seen the film at least once. As Pete says, " It was a repeat-viewing phenomenon on a scale I have rarely witnessed at one of these events. Usually people who have seen a movie skip the film and just show up for the party. Not this time." NOTES ON A SEASON

Michael Musto thinks the expansion of the best picture slate, "was clearly a way to sneak some wildly popular titles into the category rather than just have five esteemed works no one's seen except a bunch of critics who didn't pay." "Well," says the always sassy Michael, "newsflash, it's backfiring. Thanks to this new rule, they're going to be stuck with 10 obscure art films no one's heard of! Well, eight anyway." As Michael writes, "At least there'll be the very popular 'Up' and the sure-to-be-successful 'Up In The Air.' But the rest of the likely nominees don't have Up in the title or kazillions of people putting money down to see them. We're talking films like 'Precious,' 'An Education,' 'The Hurt Locker,' and on and on until the opening medley is going to be the longest trip to obscurity since the interpretative dance to the music from 'Saving Private Ryan.'" VILLAGE VOICE

Photos: Helen Mirren in "The Last Station" (Sony Pictures Classics); Clint Eastwood on set of "Invictus" (Warner Bros.); "Up in the Air" poster (Paramount)

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