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Annette Bening to receive tribute from AFI Fest

Annette Bening to receive tribute from AFI Fest
Annette Bening in "20th Century Woman." The film, about three women who explore love and freedom in Southern California during the late 1970s, stars Bening, Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning. (Gunther Gampine/A24)

AFI Fest will honor actress Annette Bening with a tribute and centerpiece gala on Nov. 16. The tribute will include a conversation with the actress followed by a screening of the upcoming "20th Century Women."

In “20th Century Women,” from writer-director Mike Mills (“Beginners”), Bening plays Dorothea Fields, a single mother in her mid-50s raising an adolescent son in 1979 Santa Barbara. The film co-stars Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup and Lucas Jade Zumann. The movie opens Dec. 25.

"Annette Bening is a modern-day icon of American cinema," said Jacqueline Lyanga, director of AFI Fest, in a statement.

"She brings her characters to life with an emotional intelligence that is luminous and powerful. In '20th Century Women' she finds one of her richest roles yet, delivering a strong performance that anchors the film's terrific ensemble cast."

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A four-time Academy Award nominee — for her performances in "The Grifters," "American Beauty," "Being Julia" and "The Kids Are All Right" — Bening has also appeared in such films as "Valmont," "Bugsy," "The American President" and "Ginger & Rosa." Bening also has a supporting role in AFI Fest's opening-night film, "Rules Don't Apply," directed by her husband, Warren Beatty.

Mills’ previous film, “Beginners,” was something of a portrait of his father and garnered an Oscar for actor Christopher Plummer. Mills has already spoken of “20th Century Women” as similarly an abstracted take on his mother, though the season shall see if it nets the same end result for Bening. THe distributor of “20th Century Women” is A24, the company that also released “Room,” which earlier this year earned a Best Actress Oscar for Brie Larson.

AFI Fest runs from November 10-17. Also previously announced was a tribute to actress Isabelle Huppert followed by a centerpiece screening of Paul Verhoeven's "Elle."

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