Dear Gossips,   

After a crush of award shows in January, we have a little break—on the film side, anyway—until the end of February, when the BAFTAs and the SAG Awards open and close the week of February 18th.


That does not mean, however, that awards season is quiet. It is not, and one ongoing event is the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, which caters to the LA expat community and Academy voters who can’t be buggered to take a helicopter to Los Angeles for guild Q&As. The official dates of SBIFF are February 7-17, but they already gave Ryan Gosling the Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film two weeks ago and I continue to not know what time is.

Next up, they’re giving Annette Bening the newly invented Arlington Award—so named after the venue where SBIFF holds all their awards-season events. It’s the first new award SBIFF has created in 20 years, and it’s made to honor an artist who is greatly admired and who has demonstrated an incomparable commitment to film and its craft”, according to SBIFF executive director Roger Durling. The gala honoring Bening will include a conversation with Bening “covering her entire career”.


In case you thought Annette Bening wasn’t campaigning hard, don’t worry, she is. And she’s playing the “it’s my time” card (she has four previous nominations, three for Best Actress and one for Best Supporting Actress). Among this year’s crop of Best Actress nominees, she’s the only one who can reasonably say “it’s my time” (though Emma Stone is giving it her best). Bening has not won a major award yet on the trophy trail, but she has been nominated for several leading up to the Oscars, including a Golden Globe and a SAG Award, and now she’s doing a career retrospective at a gala honoring, essentially, her body of work contribution to cinema, and she’s doing it in front of a crowd that skews older, toward the people most likely to nod along to “it’s my time.”


The Oscars are rarely a sure thing. Unpredictable results happen all the time. If there’s going to be an upset in the actress race this year, it’s going to be Annette Bening. The Academy loves icons and ingenues when it comes to actresses, and this year, there are no ingenues, and only one icon—Annette Bening. Will they be able to resist? 

Also, last weekend SNL made a joke about Lily Gladstone’s nomination, saying that it’s a “historic moment her fellow nominees are calling ‘please don’t let us win.’” I don’t think that memo has reached her fellow nominees. 

Live long and gossip,