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Ben Affleck in the Palm Springs spotlight

From left: Alan Arkin, Ben Affleck, Tony Mendez, and Bryan Cranston at the Palm Springs film festival gala.

ALEX GALLARDO/REUTERS

From left: Alan Arkin, Ben Affleck, Tony Mendez, and Bryan Cranston at the Palm Springs film festival gala.

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While Matt Damon was in Pasadena, Calif., promoting his Liberace film for HBO, Ben Affleck was at the Palm Springs International Film Festival Gala to accept the Ensemble Performance Award for “Argo.” The honor was presented to Affleck and costars Alan Arkin and Bryan Cranston by Tony Mendez, the former CIA agent played by Affleck in the drama. Actor Bradley Cooper was also at the festival to pick up the Desert Palm Achievement Award for his performance in “Silver Linings Playbook,” based on the book by Massachusetts writer Matthew Quick. Cooper was joined by his director, David O. Russell, best known around Massachusetts for making “The Fighter.” Yes, Cartier was a festival sponsor.

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