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SBIFF honors Renée Zellweger with American Riviera Award

Renee Zellweger SBIFF
Renée Zellweger's Oscar nomination for "Judy" is her first since 2004 (Alex Zauner/KEYT Photo)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Renée Zellweger led off this year’s star-studded list of award recipients at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Fresh off a Golden Globe win for her performance as Judy Garland in Judy,” Zellweger was honored again on Thursday night with this year’s American Riviera Award.

“What esteemed company to be in,” she said on the Arlington Theatre’s red carpet. “I’m flattered.”

Zellweger’s work in Judy also earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.

Acclaimed songwriter Diane Warren predicts Zellweger will take that award home, too.

“She’s a brilliant, brilliant actress,” Warren said Thursday. “Wonderful human being. And her performance in “Judy” was phenomenal. She’s gonna win a much-deserved Oscar for that.”

Even on a cold and rainy night, dozens of movie fans came out to watch.

“It’s so touching,” Zellweger said. “It’s crazy. I thought for sure that it would be like a couple people that I know. [Or] my mom.”

Many still remember “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” the classic romantic comedy that led to Zellweger’s first Oscar nomination back in 2002.

“This time—I usually take a few pictures if I can—but i have a VHS copy of “Bridget Jones’s Diary” with me and i’m hoping to get that signed for a friend,” said Steve Spurlin, visiting the festival from Northern California. 

After three Oscar nominations and one win in the early 2000s, Zellweger says this time around is a bit different, but that the journey is what matters most.

“I have a different perspective on everything, really,” she said. “But the thing that remains true that I’ve always known is that the creative experience is the treasure. No matter what happens, whether or not a film succeeds in the eyes of critics or if it makes money or whatever it is, the journey is always worthwhile.”

Article Topic Follows: News
american riviera award
film festival
renee zellweger
Santa Barbara international film festival

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Ryan Fish

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