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Annette Bening & Harrison Ford + Javier Bardem to Receive Film Festival Honors

Annette Bening, a top contender for the 2011 Best Actress Academy Award for her performance as a lesbian mother in The Kids Are All Right, will receive the Santa Barbara International Film Festival's (SBIFF) American Riviera Award.

The ceremony honoring Bening, 52, will take place at the Arlington Theatre on Friday, January 28, 2011, at the Santa Barbara Film Festival's 26th edition, which runs January 27-February 6, 2011.

According to the SBIFF's website, “the American Riviera Award was established to recognize an actor who has had a strong influence on American Cinema.”

Among the three-time Academy Award-nominee Bening's credits are Valmont (1989), The Grifters (1990), Bugsy (1991), Love Affair (1994), American Beauty (1999), Being Julia (2004), Running with Scissors (2006), and Mother and Child (2010).

Previous recipients of the American Riviera Award include Sandra Bullock (10), Mickey Rourke (09), Tommy Lee Jones (08), Forest Whitaker (07), Philip Seymour Hoffman (06), Kevin Bacon (05) and Diane Lane (04).

Bullock, Whitaker, and Hoffman went on to take home Oscars that year. Rourke and Jones were nominated.

Tickets for the American Rivera Award are available now, discounted 20 percent until November 30 and can be purchased through www.sbfilmfestival.org or by calling 805-963-0023.

Photo: The Kids Are All Right (Suzanne Tenner / Focus Features)

Harrison Ford: Santa Barbara Film Festival's Kirk Douglas Award

Harrison Ford, whose Morning Glory opens in the US on Nov. 10, will receive the Santa Barbara International Film Festival's Kirk Douglas Award for Excellent in Film at a black-tie gala dinner, which serves as a fundraiser for SBIFF, at The Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara on Friday, November 19.

“I'm delighted to give this award to Harrison Ford [68],” Kirk Douglas, 94, was quoted as saying. “It's always a pleasure to honor these young actors who do so well.”

Nominated for a Best Actor Academy for Peter Weir's Witness (1985), Ford has also starred in more than 40 features, including Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Mosquito Coast, Working Girl, Regarding Henry, and What Lies Beneath.

Sally Field as Aunt May, Martin Sheen as Uncle Ben: 'Spider-Man'

Sally Field, Forrest Gump

Martin Sheen will play Uncle Ben in Marc Webb's Spider-Man reboot, and now it has been announced that two-time Oscar winner, former Gidget, and former Flying Nun Sally Field (right, as Tom Hanks' mother in Forrest Gump) is “in negotiations” to play Aunt May.

Clearly, Sony wants to surround Andrew Garfield, one of the leads in David Fincher's The Social Network and Mark Romanek's Never Let Me Go, with prestigious names. Also in the new Spider-Man cast: Easy A's Emma Stone and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1's Rhys Ifans.

Meanwhile, on Broadway, Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark will have its opening delayed by three weeks. The official reason is that the Julie Taymor musical, which features song by U2's Bono and The Edge, still needs some technical tweaking to make it play smoothly.

Source: AP

Javier Bardem: Palm Springs International Star Award

Javier Bardem, Biutiful

Javier Bardem, co-winner of the Best Actor award at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival and a likely Oscar contender for his antihero in Alejandro González Iñárritu's drama Biutiful (above), will receive the International Star Award at the 2011 Palm Springs International Film Festival on Jan. 8.

Much like the Santa Barbara Film Festival, which also takes place early in the year, the Palm Springs Film Fest honorees tend to be performers and/or directors who happen to be likely Oscar contenders.

Previously, Bardem was nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award in 2000 for Before Night Falls and took home a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his evil assassin in No Country for Old Men(2007).

He has also won a Best Actor European Film Award and the Spanish Academy's Goya Award for The Sea Inside (2004). Bardem, in fact, has won a total of four Best Actor Goyas.

'TRON: Legacy' preview

Jacques Tati, Mon oncle
Jacques Tati's Mon oncle

AFI FEST 2010 on Wednesday, Nov. 10. Among the highlights are:

A 60-minute presentation by Buzz Hays, Senior Vice President of the Sony 3D Technology Center, which will include a 20-minute preview of TRON: Legacy, featuring Garrett Hedlund and Jeff Bridges; Jean-Luc Godard's Film Socialisme (with “Navajo English subtitles”), about – well, your guess is as good as mine; and John Wells' corporate-downsizing drama The Company Men, which stars Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper, Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, and Rosemary DeWitt.

And finally, Jacques Tati's masterful, Academy Award-winning 1958 classic Mon oncle, in my invariably humble opinion the wittiest, most poetic, most visually arresting “silent” comedy ever made.

Photo: AFI FEST

More on AFI FEST

AFI FEST 2010 on Thursday, Nov. 11. Among the highlights are:

Well, the scheduled highlight of the day is Darren Aronofsky's closing night gala Black Swan. Despite mixed reviews at the Venice Film Festival, this psychological drama/thriller is being touted as a potential Oscar contender in the Best Picture category, and, more likely, in the Best Actress (Natalie Portman) and Best Supporting Actress (Barbara HersheyMila Kunis) categories as well. The film's plot revolves around ballet, competition, and madness.

AFI FEST will also screen four Audience Award winners in various categories. Those will be announced in the coming days.

Photo: Niko Tavernise / Fox Searchlight

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