Santa Barbara Film Fest: Gary Oldman to Receive Modern Master Award

The fest's highest honor is annually presented to "an individual who has enriched our culture through his/her multifaceted accomplishments in the motion picture industry."
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Gary Oldman

Gary Oldman will receive the Maltin Modern Master Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the fest announced Wednesday.

The 59-year-old actor, who was nominated for the best actor Oscar for his performance in 2011's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and now is regarded as the prohibitive frontrunner to win it for his massively acclaimed portrayal of Winston Churchill in Joe Wright's Darkest Hour, will be honored Feb. 2 at Santa Barbara's historic Arlington Theatre as part of the festival's 33rd edition, running Jan. 31-Feb. 10, 2018.

SBIFF's Modern Master Award, the fest's highest honor, was created in 1995 to celebrate "an individual who has enriched our culture through his/her multifaceted accomplishments in the motion picture industry." In 2015, it was renamed after film critic Leonard Maltin, who has moderated its presentation since its inception.

Previous recipients include Denzel Washington, Johnny Depp, Michael Keaton, Bruce Dern, Ben Affleck, Christopher Nolan, Michael Douglas, Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Diane Keaton, Sean Penn, Jeff Bridges, Peter Jackson, George Clooney, Will Smith, Cate Blanchett, Clint Eastwood, Christopher Plummer and James Cameron.

"Gary Oldman has dazzled audiences for decades with an array of brilliant performances," Maltin said in a statement. "With Darkest Hour, he has once again proven that he is a force to be reckoned with, and a true master of his craft."

The fest previously announced honors for Victoria and Abdul's Judi Dench and The Florida Project's Willem Dafoe. It will announce other honorees in the coming days and weeks.

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