Last year Sandra Bullock accepted the Riviera Award, which recognizes "an actor who has had a strong influence on American Cinema," before moving on to win the best actress Oscar. Mickey Rourke also went on to an Oscar nomination for The Wrestler. Other recipients include: Tommy Lee Jones (2008), Forrest Whitaker (2007), Philip Seymour Hoffman (2006), Kevin Bacon (2005) and Diane Lane (2004).
Bening's award ceremony will take place at the Arlington Theatre on Friday, January 28. The fest's 26th edition runs January 27- February 6, 2011. The festival also honored Bening in 2005; her films range from comedic (The American President and American Beauty) to dramatic (Being Julia, Valmont, Bugsy and The Grifters).
Here's my flip cam interview with Bening.