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OTRC: Nicole Kidman to get Cinema Vanguard Award, given for 'artistic risks' and contribution to film

Nicole Kidman appears in a scene from the movie 'Rabbit Hole'. (Jojo Wilden / Lionsgate)

Nicole Kidman is set to be honored on Feb. 5, 2011 at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival with the Cinema Vanguard Award, which is given to actors who have taken "artistic risks" and have made a "significant and unique contribution to film".

The 43-year-old actress, who was raised in Australia, recently filmed the movie "Rabbit Hole", in which she plays a mother struggling to cope with the death of her 4-year-old son following a hit-and-run accident. Kidman, who has three children of her own, has said she found the experience emotionally difficult.

"With each of her performances, Nicole Kidman represents the actor in its finest and most polished form," festival organizers said in a statement. "A woman of many talents, she effortlessly navigates through a diverse range of genres; mastering drama, horror, comedy, romance, and even the musical."

Kidman is also known for films such as "Moulin Rouge!" and "The Others". Festival director Roger Durling said Kidman's work was "immensely diverse", adding: "With this year's heart-wrenching and brilliant performance in 'Rabbit Hole' - a project she helped develop as well - it is exactly who we should be celebrating with the 2011 Cinema Vanguard Award."

Previous recipients of the Cinema Vanguard Award include "Inglourious Basterds" actor Christoph Waltz, "Up in the Air" actress Vera Farmiga, Stanley Tucci of the new film "Burlesque", Peter Sarsgaard, Kristin Scott Thomas and Ryan Gosling.

Meanwhile, Kidman is set to return to Broadway in the fall of 2011. She will play Alexandra Del Lago, a faded and often drunk movie actress, in a revival of the Tennessee Williams play "Sweet Bird of Youth".

The actress made her Broadway debut in 1998, when she starred for one season in the David Hare play "The Blue Room", which featured a much-hyped moment in which she flashes her butt briefly.

The original 1959 production of "Sweet Bird of Youth" starred Geraldine Page as Alexandra and Paul Newman as the gigolo Chance.

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