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    Oscar Showdown: Swank vs. Bening...Again?

    Hilary Swank, Annette Bening Focus Features; Fox Searchlight

    It's bound to happen.

    Hilary Swank and Annette Bening will probably be up against each other for the third time at this year's Oscars. Swank is wowing critics in the soon-to-be released Conviction, and Bening captured the same praise for The Kids Are All Right.

    But get this...

    PHOTOS: Movie Premiere Pandemonium

    Swank has yet to see Bening's much buzzed-about film.

    "I can't wait to see her performance," Swank told us last night at the premiere of Conviction at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Beverly Hills. "I haven't seen it yet. I'm a huge fan of Annette's. She inspires me and moves me, so to be compared in any way leaves me speechless."

    The actresses battled it out twice before with Swank winning both times for Best Actress in 1999 for Boys Don't Cry and again five years later for Million Dollar Baby.

    In Conviction, Swank plays Betty Anne Waters, a real-life small town Massachusetts woman who earned her GED and then put herself through college and law school to help exonerate her brother, Kenny,  who spent 18 years in prison after being framed and wrongfully convicted of a gruesome murder.

    The modest Swank insists that it's not about the awards. "Honestly, it's a great honor to be part of a movie like this," she told reporters. "I'm an actor to tell stories like this. This is why I became an actor, so for me to be here with Betty Anne and seven exonerees, that's my cherry on top."

    Following last night's screening, director Tony Goldwyn brought eight men to the stage. All had been sent to jail for crimes they didn't committ, but were eventually exonerated with the help of the Innocence Project. One man spent 26 years behind bars.

    Needless to say, but by the end of the evening, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

    PHOTOS: Twitpics: Marc Malkin

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