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Oscar Watch: Santa Barbara Film Festival To Give Bening American Riviera Award

Oscar Watch: Santa Barbara Film Festival To Give Bening American Riviera Award

Thompson on Hollywood

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) will bestow the American Riviera Award to The Kids Are All Right star Annette Bening, who has been nominated for three Academy Awards and is considered a top contender for the best actress Oscar this year. She also earned strong reviews for Mother and Child.

Last year Sandra Bullock accepted the Riviera Award, which recognizes “an actor who has had a strong influence on American Cinema,” before moving on to win the best actress Oscar. Mickey Rourke also went on to an Oscar nomination for The Wrestler. Other recipients include: Tommy Lee Jones (2008), Forrest Whitaker (2007), Philip Seymour Hoffman (2006), Kevin Bacon (2005) and Diane Lane (2004).

Bening’s award ceremony will take place at the Arlington Theatre on Friday, January 28. The fest’s 26th edition runs January 27- February 6, 2011. The festival also honored Bening in 2005; her films range from comedic (The American President and American Beauty) to dramatic (Being Julia, Valmont, Bugsy and The Grifters).

Here’s my flip cam interview with Bening.

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One can arguably make a case for Tommy Lee Jones or Mickey Rourke, but how have Bening, Bullock, Whitaker, Hoffman, Bacon or Lane exerted “a strong influence on American cinema?” I’m not saying they haven’t, only that I can’t see it.

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