“The Wrestler” star Mickey Rourke will be honored with the American Riviera Award at the 24th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival, organizers unveiled Thursday. Fox Searchlight will release “Wrestler,” directed by Darren Aronofsky December 17. “America is all about second chances,” commented SBIFF executive director Roger Durling in a statement. “And so it’s appropriate that the American Riviera Award that always goes to a U.S. actor should be given this year to Mickey Rourke – who has shown us with his performance in ‘The Wrestler’ to never underestimate a true artist and his power to reinvent himself.” Past recipients include Tommy Lee Jones, Forrest Whitaker, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kevin Bacon and Diane Lane. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place in tne picturesque California seaside community January 22 – February 1. [Brian Brooks]
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