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Oscar Mystery Answered: Sean Penn's Actress Was Robin Wright

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 10, 2010 at 2:25AM

I finally got hold of Sean Penn's publicist Mara Buxbaum to explain which overlooked actress he was referring to before he presented the best actress Oscar to Sandra Bullock Sunday night. "I never became an official member of the Academy," he said that night, "but the Academy and I do have in common that we neglected to acknowledge the same actress in our own ways two years running. So, I'm going to start fresh with the Academy and acknowledge these wonderful actresses."
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Thompson on Hollywood

I finally got hold of Sean Penn's publicist Mara Buxbaum to explain which overlooked actress he was referring to before he presented the best actress Oscar to Sandra Bullock Sunday night. "I never became an official member of the Academy," he said that night, "but the Academy and I do have in common that we neglected to acknowledge the same actress in our own ways two years running. So, I'm going to start fresh with the Academy and acknowledge these wonderful actresses."

Here's the answer:

It would be a reasonable assumption to say he was referring to Robin Wright since he didn't thank her last year in his acceptance speech, and the Academy failed to nominate her this year for The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.

This article is related to: Awards, Oscars


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.