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Adam Driver named one of SBIFF’s “Outstanding Performers of the Year”; fellow winner Scarlett Johansson absent with sickness

Adam Driver SBIFF cropped
Adam Driver is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in "Marriage Story" (Blake Devine/KEYT Photo)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A dynamic Hollywood duo was set to walk the red carpet at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Friday night before a last-minute change.

Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson were honored as the Festival's "Outstanding Performers of the Year," but Johansson sent an apologetic note to SBIFF executive director Roger Durling shortly before Friday night's event at the Arlington Theatre, saying she was in town, but too ill to appear.

“It was sad because this is the first time that I came here to Santa Barbara [for the Festival],” said Ann Peña, a Santa Barbara native and movie fan who now lives in Los Angeles. “It would have been nice to have seen [Johansson] here… she had a good enough reason I’m sure. We’re all human.”

Johansson received her first career Oscar nominations this year. She is a rare double Oscar nominee, up for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the comedy “Jojo Rabbit” and Best Actress for “Marriage Story.”

Driver, Johansson’s “Marriage Story” co-star and fellow Oscar nominee, arrived and wasted no time greeting hundreds of fans outside the Arlington.

He signed pictures and posters before a brief interview with Festival organizers. He then went inside the theatre to accept his award.

Driver plays Kylo Ren in the new Star Wars trilogy. He and Johansson are getting widespread acclaim for “Marriage Story.” The two play a married couple struggling through a bitter divorce.

“My daughter a month ago said, ‘I’m getting a divorce,’” said Irma Duncan, a movie fan from Goleta. “And I said, ‘I’m not gonna say do it or not do it, but watch this movie and then make your decision on that.’ And she didn’t get divorced... It was a wonderful movie.”

Despite the unexpected change, State Street and the red carpet were still buzzing before and after Driver arrived.

“I still had a good time,” said Phil Epstein. “It was exciting. You could feel the excitement in the air. Everyone was having a good time. And I’ll be back next year, I’ll be back every year.”

Article Topic Follows: Entertainment
adam driver
marriage story
Santa Barbara
SBIFF Academy Awards
scarlett johansson

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Ryan Fish

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