Santa Barbara Film Fest: Steve Carell Named Year's Outstanding Performer for 'Foxcatcher'


Tatum stars as Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz in Foxcatcher, based on the true story of the bizarre relationship between Schultz, John du Pont (Steve Carrell) and older brother Dave Schultz (Mark Ruffalo) … one that ultimately leads to murder. The film made its debut at the Cannes Film Festival, and will be released November 14 in the United States. THR hailed the screeplay as “superb … making some very diverse characters psychologically plausible.” As for Tatum: “[He is] a smoldering, festering piece of emotional raw meat.… You feel his pain.”

Steve Carell, the star of last weekend's critically acclaimed art house hit Foxcatcher, will be presented with the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the fest announced on Monday. The 52-year-old, who portrays the reclusive and eccentric millionaire John du Pont in Bennett Miller's harrowing drama, which is based on a true story, will be honored Feb. 6 at Santa Barbara's historic Arlington Theatre as part of the festival's 30th edition, which runs Jan. 27 through Feb. 7.

Previous recipients of SBIFF's Outstanding Performer of the Year Award include Blue Jasmine's Cate Blanchett (2014), Silver Linings Playbook's Jennifer Lawrence (2013), The Help's Viola Davis (2012), 127 Hours' James Franco (2011), A Single Man's Colin Firth (2010), Vicky Cristina Barcelona's Penelope Cruz (2009), A Mighty Heart's Angelina Jolie (2008), The Queen's Helen Mirren (2007), Brokeback Mountain's Heath Ledger (2006), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind's Kate Winslet (2005) and Monster's Charlize Theron (2004). Every one of those performances except Jolie's went on to be recognized with an Oscar nomination; those given by Blanchett, Lawrence, Cruz, Mirren and Theron won.

"He's made us laugh for so many years with his great comedic abilities, but he shows this year that his range and artistry runs deep with his career-changing performance in Foxcatcher," SBIFF festival director Roger Durling said of Carell in a statement. "He is unrecognizable physically and emotionally."

SBIFF previously announced that it will be presenting its Modern Master Award to Birdman's Michael Keaton (who also was just recognized with the career achievement award at the Hollywood Film Awards). The fest is expected to announce its other honorees over the coming days and weeks.

Twitter: @ScottFeinberg