Renee Zellweger, winning high critical and audience praise for her role as Judy Garland in the final months of the singer’s life in Judy, has been selected to receive the American Riviera Award from the Santa Barbara Film Festival, which takes place in January. The award tribute will take place at the Arlington Theatre during the 35th edition of the fest, which has become known as a popular stop on the long Oscar campaign trail.
“Ms. Zellweger has always displayed a deep commitment and discipline in her performances which has always made me root for her and admire her deeply. In Judy – she adds a ferocity that solidifies her as one of the greatest actors of her time,” Santa Barbara Film Festival executive director Roger Durling said.
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Judy, from Roadside Attractions and LD Entertainment, first debuted at the Telluride and Toronto film festivals, where Zellweger received repeated standing ovations for taking on the role of the iconic show business legend as she performed her final concerts at the Talk of the Town nightclub in London, just a few months before she would die from an accidental overdose at age 48. Since its debut last month, Zellweger has leaped to the top as a front-runner in the Best Actress Oscar race. She previously received three nominations and won as Best Supporting Actress for Cold Mountain in 2003. Her previous nominations were in the Best Actress category for Chicago in 2002 and Bridget Jones Diary in 2001.
The American Riviera Award was established to recognize actors who have made a significant contribution to American cinema. Zellweger will join a list of previous recipients that includes Viggo Mortenson, Sam Rockwell, Jeff Bridges, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Robert Redford, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese, Annette Bening, Sandra Bullock, Mickey Rourke, Tommy Lee Jones, Forrest Whitaker, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Kevin Bacon and Diane Lane.
The 35th Santa Barbara Film Festival runs January 15-25, 2020.
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