Santa Barbara Film Fest: 'Elle' Star Isabelle Huppert Tapped for Montecito Award

Elle - Still 5- Isabelle Huppert - H 2016
Guy Ferrandis/SBS Productions, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics

Isabelle Huppert, one of the leading lights of French cinema for the past 40-plus years and the star of France's 2016 Oscar submission Elle, has been tapped to receive the Montecito Award at the 2017 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the fest's organizers announced Friday.

The tribute to the 63-year-old — who recently won the best actress Gotham Award and received a best actress Critics' Choice Award nomination for Paul Verhoeven's Elle, but never has received an Oscar nomination — will take place at Santa Barbara's historic Arlington Theatre on Feb. 8 as part of SBIFF's 32nd edition, which is set to run Feb. 1-11.

"She’s one of the greatest actors ever, and her legacy to cinema is unparalleled," SBIFF executive director Roger Durling said in a statement. "Any film that includes Ms. Huppert is without a doubt immediately worth watching. She elevates any work — she’s elevated cinema. It's overdue to celebrate this giant."

The Montecito Award has been presented annually, since 2005, to "a performer who has given a series of classic and standout performances throughout his or her career and whose style has made a major contribution to film." Previous recipients include Sylvester StalloneOprah WinfreyDaniel Day-LewisGeoffrey RushJulianne MooreKate WinsletJavier BardemNaomi WattsAnnette Bening and Jennifer Aniston.

The fest previously honored Warren Beatty (Rules Don’t Apply) with its Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film, and has announced that it will honor Denzel Washington (Fences) with its Maltin Modern Master Award; Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone (La La Land) with its Outstanding Performers of the Year Award; and Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals), Dev Patel (Lion), Janelle Monae (Hidden Figures and Moonlight), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Ruth Negga (Loving), Simon Helberg (Florence Foster Jenkins) and Stephen McKinley Henderson (Fences) with the Virtuoso Award. Other honors are expected to be announced in the coming days.