Wednesday, January 30, 2013

SBIFF Virtuoso Awards 2013

There are a lot of things to love about Santa Barbara. Even if you take the weather, the views, and that sparkling blue ocean off the table, it's still a pretty darn awesome place for more reasons than I can list. But one of them is that, as smaller towns often do, SB has a bunch of annual celebrations like Solstice or Fiesta, which of course all the locals complain about.

But not meeeee. I like festivals. I love the energy and excitement. And, you know, I don't live there, so they don't affect my daily life. And I especially like Santa Barbara's International Film Festival, which began last week and is celebrating its 28th year.

Since I first moved to SB when I was 15, I've done something for the film festival almost every year. My first year, I waited on the red carpet and shook Leonardo DiCaprio's hand and got him to sign my program, and I attended Kevin Bacon's afterparty where he winked at me, giving me something I brag about to this day. A couple of years ago my parents actually won platinum passes to the festival, which get you into every event and party for an exorbitant amount of money. That was good times.

This year, there were only a few events that I really wanted to attend, the first of which was last night. Yes, I left work at lunch, drove up to SB for dinner and a show, then drove back, crawling into bed with Tree at midnight.

Worth it!

The event was the Virtuoso Awards, which honors the year's "standout" performances. The honorees were Ann Dowd from Compliance, Elle Fanning from Ginger & Rosa, Ezra Miller from The Perks of Being A Wallflower, Eddie Redmayne from Les Miserables, Omar Sy from The Intouchables, and Quvenzhane Wallis from Beasts of the Southern Wild.

I've attended this event in the past, and this was the best one by far. Every single one of the guests was clearly thrilled to be there, funny and charming, and my mama and I were thoroughly entertained.

Ann Dowd was incredibly hilarious and self-deprecating, as the oldest honoree she mercilessly teased the host for commenting on her "toiling for decades" before getting this sort of recognition. The film looks disturbing and fascinating, and I definitely plan to see it.

Elle Fanning was adorable and sweet, and I was seriously stunned by the clip they showed from her film. She is insanely talented. Funny, I was standing at will call when a car pulled up behind me and I glance over my shoulder and see blonde hair and think, "Who is this bitch getting her car to go around the barricade? Rude." Oh, whoops, that's Elle Fanning...

Ezra Miller was pretty darn funny too, and I was expecting to be irritated by him. Based on what I've heard/read he is a very smart young man who knows he's very smart and takes every opportunity to be pretentious. But on stage he was personable and clever. He made a funny joke about how Omar and Eddie have sexier voices than he does. I still really want to see The Perks of Being A Wallflower, I read the book when I was younger and loved it.

Eddie Redmayne earned himself a place on my fuckable list. I'm sure he's more excited about that honor than the one he was receiving. He sat on his feet, just like I do, which instantly endeared him to me, and he was just sweet and witty in that ever so British way. Waaant.

Omar Sy was the main reason I wanted to attend this event. He was absolutely amazing in that incredible film, and I was so happy that he was being recognized for it. He was clearly thrilled to be there, and while his English isn't perfect he managed to crack a few great jokes. Gorgeous, gorgeous man.

As great as all the other guests were during their one-on-one interviews, Quvenzhane Wallis absolutely stole the show. Nine years old, with  more sass and personality in her pinkie than I have in my whole body. I wish I had written down half the things she said, she was just a riot. Adorable. I wanted to put her in my pocket.

 So. Much. Fun.

I was supposed to go to Leonardo DiCaprio (again!) on Friday, but the jerk cancelled. So I will be attending the Women's Panel on Saturday, then Jennifer Lawrence on Saturday night.

Yeah, you heard me. My girl crush. WOOHOOOOOO!!!!!!

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