Octavia Spencer

The 2012 Palm Springs International Film Festival, which runs January 5-16th , annouced earlier today that Octavia Spencer will be the recipient of the Breakthrough Performance Award at the Black Tie awards gala on Saturday, January 7 in the desert resort town east of Los Angeles. At the event, which will serve as an opportunity for awards campaigning, Spencer will join previous honorees George Clooney, Glenn Close, Michelle Williams and Michel Hazanavicius. In the past, the Breakthrough Performance honor has been awarded to the likes of Carey Mulligan, Marion Cotillard and Mariah Carey.

At the press release, festival chairman Harold Matzner said the following regarding the season's possible Supporting Actress Oscar nominee/winner (via Reuters):

“Octavia Spencer is a consummate actress who seamlessly blends her dramatic and comedic talents, creating performances of uncommon depth. As the irascible Minny in 'The Help,' she captures the essence of a woman who deals with life head on, relishing confrontation and serving as a source of courage and humor for those whom she loves."

Spencer seems to be well on the road to at least an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress, which, most of us, if not all, hope it happens. Spencer can be seen next in James Ponsoldt's Smashed as a casino card dealer, which is set to premiere at Sundance this upcoming January.