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Breakthrough Award a Perfect Set-Up for Recipient Dustin Hoffman

We’re going to make our first official prediction relating to 2012 film awards season. Dustin Hoffman will go to town at the Hollywood Film Festival when he accepts this year’s Breakthrough Director Award.

Hoffman is technically, yes, a first-time feature film helmer. But he’s also a 74-year-old two-time Academy Award winner who’s been wowing critics since the late 1960s. Giving Hoffman a “breakthrough” prize is a little like bestowing a Lifetime Achievement Award on a guy who is just 32 (that happened at the Santa Barbara Film Festival with Leonardo DiCaprio).

Hoffman loves to goof around on awards show stages, usually going off on some sort of randy, giggly tangent. When his name is called at the Beverly Hilton later this month, expect an obligatory Straight Time reference, the 1977 drama for which the actor did some uncredited work behind the camera. From there, the actor-director will likely launch into a very funny acceptance speech.

Hoffman’s directorial effort Quartet, which debuted in Toronto and is due in theaters December 28, stars Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly and Michael Gambon. It’s based on the play by Ronald Harwood about four elderly opera singers trying to prevent the closure of their retirement home.

[Photo: s_bukley/Shutterstock.com]

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