Kidman to receive Santa Barbara’s Cinema Vanguard Award

Posted by · 11:24 am · November 21st, 2010

The press release, in part:

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will honor Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman with the Cinema Vanguard Award at the 26th edition of the Fest, which runs January 27 -February 6, 2011, it was announced today by SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling. The Tribute will take place on Saturday, February 5, 2011 at the historic Arlington Theatre.

The Cinema Vanguard Award was created in recognition of an actor who has forged his/her own path – taking artistic risks and making a significant and unique contribution to film. The award has previously been awarded to Christoph Waltz, Vera Farmiga, Stanley Tucci, Peter Sarsgaard, Kristin Scott Thomas and Ryan Gosling.

“Honoring Nicole Kidman is so exciting for us here at SBIFF,” comments Roger Durling. “Her work is immensely diverse and with this year’s heart-wrenching and brilliant performance in ‘Rabbit Hole’ – a project she helped develop as well – it is exactly who we should be celebrating with the 2011 Cinema Vanguard Award.”

[Photo: Lionsgate]

→ 32 Comments Tags: , , , | Filed in: Daily

32 responses so far

  • 1 11-21-2010 at 11:41 am

    Ryan said...

    “…taking artistic risks and making a significant and unique contribution to film.”

    Kidman is definitely worthy of this then.

  • 2 11-21-2010 at 11:46 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Yeah I think it’s a quality pick.

  • 3 11-21-2010 at 1:24 pm

    Robert Hamer said...


  • 4 11-21-2010 at 1:29 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...


  • 5 11-21-2010 at 2:30 pm

    ChrisG said...

    I’m confused. I smell irony in Ryans and Kris’s statement. Enlighten me…

    I love Nicole. It’s been a while since I really enjoyed her in a movie. Looking forward to Rabbit Hole.

  • 6 11-21-2010 at 2:52 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    No irony! Seriously!

  • 7 11-21-2010 at 2:54 pm

    Scott W. said...

    Coincidentally watched Eyes Wide Shut again last night. Forgot how much more captivating she was compared to Cruise (and he’s not bad).

    I’m happy for her. She nearly always seems to find that perfect balance of how find the appropriate emotion of a scene; never bombastically overacting or underacting.

  • 8 11-21-2010 at 4:21 pm

    Kevin said...

    Just wanted to remark how apt this award is for Kidman. A truly fearless and risk-taking actress – we don’t see enough of this sort in Hollywood.

  • 9 11-21-2010 at 4:28 pm

    ChrisG said...

    I’m glad. Well, then I absolutely agree with you, Kris. ^^

  • 10 11-21-2010 at 4:41 pm

    Nick Davis said...

    Certainly agree that Kidman deserves a prize that’s described in these terms, and I understand IC’s mandate to cover this sort of thing.

    Just for the record, though, this kind of utterly specious award that has previously recognized the incredible “lifetime achievements” of Christoph Waltz, and has only to do with publicity shilling and nothing fundamental to do with merit of any kind, is exactly the sort of thing that has made awards season so disheartening for me to read about, and (as we see and read every year) so exhausting for the actual participants, who look beaten down by February but get “difficult” reps if they won’t participate. That Nicole happens to deserve a prize for her creative choices over the years is almost a fluke in relation to the obvious staging of the Santa Barbara “Film Festival” as an empty publicity op for contracted Oscar campaigns. (If there weren’t Rabbit Hole to promote, they of course wouldn’t consider picking her.) I wish there were a way to curtail these events that turn the Academy Award so blatantly into an arms race among publicity campaigns, and I wish it were possible not to cover them. I understand that you have to. I just hate that I’ve become an eager “Oscar watcher” for nine months of the year until the actual pre-season begins, which actually seems less rather than more focused on the artistic work itself for which people deserve to be rewarded.

  • 11 11-21-2010 at 5:15 pm

    jen said...

    No one working in Hollywood has had such diverse a career. Well deserved !

  • 12 11-21-2010 at 5:34 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Nick: First of all, what an annoying comment. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If awards season bugs you so much, don’t follow it.

    But as a friend of the Santa Barbara fest and of Roger Durling, its director, I’ll say this. While there is plenty to be said about publicity sway on proceedings such as these, the award is not “specious.”

    And by the way, Cinema Vanguard is not in recognition for “lifetime achievements.” It’s awarded to those who have taken chances and risks in their particular role for that particular year and it happens to dovetail this year with an actress who has taken some interesting risks throughout her career.

  • 13 11-21-2010 at 5:54 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Happy for the Kidman. She’s a great, diverse actress; and I can’t wait to see ‘Rabbit Hole’.

  • 14 11-21-2010 at 6:19 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    @ Kris: Sheesh, talk about the pot calling the kettle black. As if you haven’t criticized elements of the awards season before (“Proof that the Oscar season is an echo-chamber,” “Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean people aren’t trying to kill the movie,” “”AMPAS brass debating moving Oscars to January?”).

    Telling Nick not to follow the awards season if he has complaints about it is no different than the people who trot out the “America: Love it or leave it” argument when debating politics.

  • 15 11-21-2010 at 6:33 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    This struck a nerve because Nick is painting with a broad brush and being quite insulting to a group of people I know well enough to know he’s out of line in generalizing.

    By the way, I don’t think the “Just because…” or “AMPAS brass…” columns have anything to do with the price of tea in China here, while my “echo-chamber” commentary was hardly as crude as Nick’s comments here (and, indeed, was a presentation of something tangible).

    Although I have to ask, what’s with the instant recollection? You must really file things away for a rainy day or something.

    And it’s really not a “love awards season or leave it” kind of thing for me. I don’t mean to give that impression. Obviously the season ought to be criticized for plenty. But the comment had this winded “why do you cover it” vibe that just grates my nerves.

  • 16 11-21-2010 at 7:13 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    Finding three random articles of you contradicting your own lectures to your readership aren’t nearly as hard to find as you might think. A good memory and Google did the rest.

    Just for the sake of argument, I’ll set aside “Just because…” and “AMPAS brass…” and focus on “Echo-Chamber.” First of all, why would it even matter if his comment was “crude” (which it wasn’t) or not? Are you honestly telling me that he would have been more credible if he sugar-coated his points?

    Second, your accusations were NOT at something tangible in that article. It was pure, unfounded speculation about the motivations of the Independent Spirit Awards. In fact, (not to bring up past disagreements, though I’m sure you’ll read it as just that) I remember refuting one of your specific attacks on the Spirits.

    It’s obvious, to me at least, that you weren’t at odds with the overall message that Nick was trying to convey so much as offended that he would question the credibility of your friends. I can’t think of any other reason why would write something as jaw-droppingly absurd as “don’t follow the awards season if you have problems with it.”

  • 17 11-21-2010 at 7:16 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    Whoops, I didn’t see that last paragraph you added in. Disregard my final point, though I would add that I don’t think Nick was coming at you with a “why did you cover it” vibe so much as a general observation about the awards season.

  • 18 11-21-2010 at 7:24 pm

    Nick Davis said...

    Okay, you’re right: it’s an annoying comment, and it was out of line. To the extent it implicates people you know well, and whom I don’t know at all, I apologize for offending you. I was sincere in recognizing that it’s your job to cover these things, and you do it scrupulously.

    It just feels like more and more actors (and editors and pundits) become more and more vocal about how overlong and over-scheduled and over-politicked the awards season becomes… but then it’s hard to talk about what could go, in order to ease up on the pace and echoing chatter, and keep the season meaningful and the big events special. From outside the circuit, it’s very hard to see some of these Southern California events as more than publicity ops. They publicize their “achievement awards” much more than any other aspect of being a “film festival” in a real way, and their selections seem so unfailingly in line with the established grooves of Oscar buzz that it leaves a bad taste. Maybe I shouldn’t have picked this site to express that feeling, though, and I certainly didn’t mean any insult to you or the work you do.

    And whatever, if it helps promote Rabbit Hole, which can use the push, and in which Kidman’s very good, all the better. I certainly wasn’t questioning that Kidman is a major artist. Anyway, sincere apologies, Kris, for indulging my own annoyance with stuff like this in a way that came across as petty and insulting. Next time I’ll just send a charitable donation to my favorite trendsetter Mo’Nique, or save my bile for my own site.

  • 19 11-21-2010 at 7:28 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    You know what? Disreagard *everything* I wrote on this thread (other than my first “joke” comment, of course). I probably shouldn’t have even inserted myself into this.

  • 20 11-21-2010 at 7:37 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    “I probably shouldn’t have even inserted myself into this.”


    “From outside the circuit, it’s very hard to see some of these Southern California events as more than publicity ops.”

    I’d argue the whole of Oscar season, including and especially the Oscars themselves, is nothing more than a publicity op.

    By the way, these honors are decided upon as early as August. So it’s not as opportunistic of the moment as you might think, though perhaps there’s a bit of prognostication in there. Mainly, SB sees the accomplishments of an awards season as an opportunity to recognize talent. If you were to sit at the Arlington Theatre and see the classy, well-attended fetes they put on year after year, your perspective might soften a bit.

  • 21 11-21-2010 at 8:05 pm

    Nick Davis said...

    I have no doubt they are classy tributes, and I’m sure the honorees are pleased to be thought so highly of. The “taking artistic risks and making a significant and unique contribution to film” language in the SBIFF’s own press release suggests something much closer to a body-of-work honor, so your comments help elucidate what kind of event this really is. Thanks for that. And it obviously makes practical sense to invite someone who has a current project to support. I don’t think having a major, competitive prize voted to you by your peers is quite the same thing as having a fête staged in your honor just when you happen to have a film and a campaign to publicize (as would certainly be clear by August), but I see your point. It is obvious from the press release that Durling feels he’s got an especially auspicious honoree lined up for this year, and indeed she is, so good for him and good for her.

    In any case, I won’t chime in more about this. (I apparently can’t stop hitting reload, or continuing to talk, even when I’ve already got some crow and some of my own foot in my mouth.)

  • 22 11-21-2010 at 8:11 pm

    Robert Hamer said...

    @ Nick: You and me both.

  • 23 11-21-2010 at 8:18 pm

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    Hugs and kisses for all.

  • 24 11-21-2010 at 10:21 pm

    Roger Durling said...

    Nick, come to SBIFF this year. I cannot offer housing but definitely I will give you a pass so you can have priority access to everything and criticize from experience. Let me know, and I will make it happen.

  • 25 11-22-2010 at 1:22 am

    Chris said...

    On what now seems like another note, YAY FOR KIDMAN!

  • 26 11-22-2010 at 8:31 am

    Ivan said...

    Vanguard is the right word for this actress.
    Let see her choices for directors to work with…

    Gus Van Sant / Lars Von Trier / Stanley Kubrick
    John Cameron Mitchell / Jonathan Glazer / Baz Luhrman / Jane Campion / Stephen Daldry / Aleandro Amenabar / Noah Baumbach

    and the list continues…
    Anthony Minghella / Phillip Noyce / Steven Shainberg / Robert Benton / Sydney Pollack / Rob Marshall / Olivier Hirschbiegel

  • 27 11-22-2010 at 9:36 am

    Nick Davis said...

    @Roger: Your comment and offer are especially humbling, considering how I started all this. I wouldn’t feel right accepting, even if I were able, but boy do you set a classy example. In return, I posted a longer, open letter of apology to you on my own site:

  • 28 11-22-2010 at 2:49 pm

    Mimi Rogers said...

    Love Nicole Kidman finally getting recognized. She’s a brilliant role model for young actors. The Aussies keep churning out new talents year after year. There must be something in the water ;-)

  • 29 11-22-2010 at 7:30 pm

    ninja said...

    She`s a great actress but a terrible boxoffice. She killed New Line Cinema which is actually a good thing cause they didn`t pay people salaries and bonuses. So point ofr Kidman. Anyway, string of high-profile bombs turned people off because it looked like she`s cast in everything and nobody cared. Grated, her picks of roles were horrid or just blah. But it`s time for a comeback. She was all kinds of awesome back in 2001 with Moulin Rouge/The Others double whammy. What incredible performances!

  • 30 11-22-2010 at 8:17 pm

    Glenn said...

    Ninja, she didn’t destroy New Line, New Line destroyed themselves. They were foolish enough to somehow destroy the billion dollars of profits they got from “Lord of the Rings” and squander them on big budget projects that didn’t have the slightest bit of marketability. And you Americans are alone in your (“your” as in “general audiences”) weird hatred of Nicole Kidman. Notice “The Golden Compass” and “Australia” both did exceptionally well internationally? Both of those movies have their fans.


  • 31 11-23-2010 at 6:26 am

    Drew said...

    I agree with Glenn. ” Golden Compass” and ” Australia” turned a profit with the International Market as did many of Nicole’s mid 00s movies. She is a huge International star. Only in the United States is she considered box office poison.

  • 32 11-23-2010 at 3:12 pm

    Bia said...

    Makes sense, she really does dare to take risks. And she’s worked with some of the most respected directors in the world. She’s the one young actresses should be looking up to when it comes to having an interesting career.