Irma P. Hall awarded special honor at Cannes Film Festival

Irma P. Hall awarded special honor at Cannes Film Festival

Irma P. Hall received a special jury prize at the recent 57th Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, for her role in The Ladykillers.

The special Cannes Jury Prize was given to two awardees this year. The other honor was handed to Tropical Malady, the first Thai film ever to compete for the prize.

Hall was unable to attend the event because of illness. In January she was involved in a head-on car collision and suffered broken ribs that punctured her aorta (JET, Feb. 16). The injury required emergency open heart surgery. She also suffered a crushed left leg and a broken right arm. Hall has completed two months of rehabilitation and is using a walker for assistance.

The 69-year-old actress was making plans to attend the Cannes Film Festival when she was hospitalized again for complications from the accident, Harrise Davidson, Hall’s longtime manager, told JET.

“She’s alert, but on heavy pain medication,” says Davidson. “She was very disappointed about not getting to go to Cannes. The award really cheered her up and brightened her day a lot. She was thrilled to have received it.”

Hall portrays Marva Munson, an elderly Southern woman who halts a casino robbery and manages not to get killed, in the Joel and Ethan Coen remake of the 1955 film. Hall’s movie co-star, Oscar winner Tom Hanks, has shown her much moral support.

“Tom Hanks sent flowers weekly while she was in the hospital,” says Davidson. “From Cannes he Federal Expressed a little note saying sorry she was not there with him. The Coen brothers have also been in constant contact with her. Tom Cruise sent her flowers and Robin Williams and his wife also sent flowers.”

Hall and Cruise worked on the up-coming movie Collateral, to be released this summer. Williams worked with Hall in the 1998 film Patch Adams.

A former high school Spanish and French teacher for 27 years, Hall is best known for her role as Momma Joe or “Big Momma” in the film Soul Food. She also appeared in the movies A Family Thing and A Lesson Before Dying.

“She is a very strong lady,” explains Davidson, “and she will be back doing films in another six months.”

At JET press time, according to Davidson, Hall was notified to receive an award at the Chicago International Film Festival in October.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Johnson Publishing Co.

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