Glenn Close will be this year's recipient of the Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award at the 59th San Sebastian International Film Festival, which runs September 16 to 24. The Sept. 18 award ceremony will help to publicize the European premiere of the Close's latest project, the period drama Albert Nobbs.
Directed by Colombian filmmaker Rodrigo García (son of Gabriel García Márquez), Albert Nobbs stars Close as a 19th-century female Dubliner who passes herself off as a man in order to eke out a living. Based on a short story by George Moore, Albert Nobbs was adapted for the screen by Close, Gabriella Prekop, and novelist John Banville.
Albert Nobbs' world premiere will be held at the Toronto Film Festival in early September. Also in the film's cast: Mia Wasikowska, Aaron Johnson, Janet McTeer, Pauline Collins, Brenda Fricker, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Brendan Gleeson.
Glenn Close has been nominated for five Academy Awards, but she has never won. The last time was in the Best Actress category for Stephen Frears' Dangerous Liaisons back in 1988; she lost to Jodie Foster in The Accused. According to Oscar pundits, Close and The Iron Lady's Meryl Streep will wage a fierce battle for the 2012 Best Actress Oscar. For the record, Close's other Oscar nods were for The World According to Garp (1982, supporting), The Big Chill (1983, supporting), The Natural (1984, supporting), and Fatal Attraction (1987, lead).
Past recipients of the Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award include the aforementioned Meryl Streep, in addition to Gregory Peck, Catherine Deneuve, Bette Davis, Susan Sarandon, Richard Gere, Jeanne Moreau, Max von Sydow, Glenn Ford, Claudette Colbert, Julie Andrews, Warren Beatty, and Woody Allen. Last year's winner was Julia Roberts. The fact that nearly every winner of San Sebastian's Donostia award has been a Hollywood celebrity is no mere coincidence. How else will international film festivals get the mainstream media and the vast majority of bloggers to notice their existence?