Santa Barbara Fest names Jennifer Lawrence Outstanding Performer of the Year

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11:00 am EST, November 29, 2012

by Jason

Continuing her run on what looks to be another profitable awards season, Jennifer Lawrence was named Outstanding Performer of the Year by the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Tuesday.

The actress was given the award for her work this year on both The Silver Linings Playbook and The Hunger Games (although the snub for her work on the brilliant House at the End of the Street may provide catalyst for a Citizen Kane-esque uproar in the industry). Past recipients of the honor include Colin Firth, Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet, Heath Ledger and Viola Davis. The award has been noted in past years to be given to actors with a balanced amount of commercial and critical success, and Lawrence is continuing the tradition quite well.

Lawrence is widely considered the frontrunner this year for Best Actress (partly due to lack of major competition; ironically there was so much of it last year that had their films been released a year later the likes of Viola Davis, Michelle Williams and Glenn Close could certainly be walking away with an Oscar next February) although also facing some heat (albeit a considerably small amount) from Mary Elizabeth-Winstead, Keira Knightley and Naomi Watts.

Do you think Lawrence can win an Oscar this year?

Festival director Roger Durling stated that “Ms. Lawrence impressed us earlier this year in The Hunger Games, but has now left us moonstruck with her career-defining performance in Silver Linings Playbook – recalling classic turns by Lombard, Stanwyck and Colbert. Naming her our Outstanding Performer of the Year is an understatement.”

Most awards committees seem eager to add Lawrence to the repertoire because of her level of box office success and praise among critics. In addition to being the second youngest person to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress, the Academy governors also had her co-present the Oscar nominees back in January, further associating her among the gold.

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