Gary Oldman, who is getting critical acclaim and Oscar buzz for his role as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, is set to receive the Maltin Modern Master Award at the 33rd annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Oldman will be honored for his longstanding contributions to the film industry and Leonard Maltin, for whom the award was recently renamed after, will return for his 27th year to moderate the evening. The event takes place on Friday, February 2, at the Arlington Theatre.
“Gary Oldman has dazzled audiences for decades with an array of brilliant performances,” states Maltin. “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 film takes place during the early days of World War II, as the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (Oldman), who must decide whether to negotiate with Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds. Directed by Joe Wright from a screenplay by Anthony McCarten, the film also stars Ben Mendelsohn, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily James and Stephen Dillane.
The Modern Master Award was established in 1995 and is the highest accolade presented by SBIFF. Created to honor an individual who has enriched our culture through accomplishments in the motion picture industry, it was re-named the Maltin Modern Master Award in 2015 in honor of long-time SBIFF moderator and renowned film critic Leonard Maltin. Past recipients include Denzel Washington, Michael Keaton, Bruce Dern, Ben Affleck, Christopher Plummer, Christopher Nolan, James Cameron, Clint Eastwood, Cate Blanchett, Will Smith, George Clooney and Peter Jackson.
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Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on December 19, 2017.