Undaunted by the recent Montecito fire-and-mudslide tragedy, the 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival (1.31 to 2.10) will proceed apace. Never say die, and never forget that exec director Roger “Nick the Greek” Durling is regarded as a Dunninger-like seer in the annual Oscar race. Nobody’s perfect, but his tributes are often accurate predictors.
And yet Roger is hedging his bets in the Best Supporting Actor category by giving The Florida Project‘s Willem Dafoe and Three Billboards‘ Sam Rockwell their own separate tributes — a Cinema Vanguard Award for Dafoe on Thursday, 2.1, and an American Riviera Award for Rockwell on Wednesday, 2.7.
I’m not saying that Durling foresaw that Best Actor contender Timothee Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name) would seriously hurt his chances of winning by throwing Woody Allen under the bus a couple of days ago, but Durling’s instinct to give Darkest Hour‘s Gary Oldman the festival’s Maltin Modern Master Award on Friday, 2.2 was a smart one.
The Virtuosos Award, being presented on Saturday, 2.3, will go to Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Hong Chau (Downsizing), John Boyega (Detroit), Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick), Mary J. Blige (Mudbound) and — yes! — Timothée Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name).
Lady Bird‘s Saoirse Ronan will receive the Santa Barbara Award on Sunday, 2.4.
The Variety Artisans Awards will happen on Monday, 2. 5, and will be moderated by Tim Gray. Honorees to be announced.
The Outstanding Directors of the Year Award, sponsored by The Hollywood Reporter, will be Tuesday, 2.6. Honorees to be announced.
All tributes take place at the Arlington Theatre with the exception of the Variety Artisans Award which will be at the Lobero Theatre.
Beginning of a letter sent to press and supporters of the Santa Barbara Film Festival, and written by Roger Durling.