When Warren Beatty was honored by the Museum of the Moving Image last year, his wife Annette Bening, the star of Mike Mills’ Twentieth Century Women gave a speech. This year, with Annette Bening as tributee, Warren Beatty rose to the occasion, introducing the clip for Bening’s work in his Bugsy, which just happens to be the movie they were making when they fell in love. With a what-the-f--k attitude, Annette Bening wowed the gala crowd with a 23 minute speech, including the story of just how she managed to corral this longtime boulevardier known to consort with many ladies. “He tells it better,” she began, and launched into their dialogue:
That’s all it took.
The tribute attendees—including her co-star Jamie Bell and his wife Kate Mara-- had just seen Bening’s new movie, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, and many were astonished not to see her on every predicted Best Actress list. One Oscar prognosticator ventured to say, the academy takes her for granted. Paraphrasing Michael Barker’s words, Annette Bening is everything the awards wish to celebrate, poise, intelligence, beauty. We predicted last year Bening would receive the Academy Award for Best Actress. She was not even nominated. This year, her movie features her smart, superb performance as Oscar winner Gloria Grahame.
As Bening’s brilliant speech cycled through its paces, with wit and digressions galore. You could see, if she cares about these awards at all, she was not going to show it. In her case, she’s already won.
And yes, said Warren Beatty as the dinner ended, he does tell it better: his version is juicier.