Christopher Plummer Is a Modern Master, Says Santa Barbara Fest

The festival's top honor will go to the veteran actor and new SAG and Globe nominee for “Beginners”

When Golden Globe and SAG nominee Christopher Plummer comes to town in January for those awards shows, he now knows that he won't leave empty-handed. The Santa Barbara International Film Festival has chosen Plummer to be the recipient of its top honor, the Modern Master Award, will will be presented to the veteran actor on Saturday, Jan. 28 — less than two weeks after the Golden Globes, and the night before the SAG Awards.

Christopher Plummer“My fondest memories of going to the movies and the theatre involve Mr. Plummer and I’m so grateful he’s agreed to this honor,” commented Durling.  “He is one of the greatest and most cherished ones – and he gave us his best in 'Beginners.'”

Plummer's role in that Mike Mills film — in which he plays a man who comes out of the closet in his 70s, after the death of his wife — has made him one of the favorites in this year's Best Supporting Actor race. His onscreen career began with "Stage Struck" in 1958, and has included roles in "The Sound of Music," "The Man Who Would Be King," "The Insider," "A Beautiful Mind" and "The Last Station," for which he received an Oscar nomination.

He also appears in David Fincher's "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and in the filmed one-man show "Barrymore," which has won raves on the festival circuit.

Past recipients of the Modern Master Award include directors Christopher Nolan, Peter Jackson and James Cameron, and actors Anthony Hopkins, Diane Keaton, Sean Penn, Jeff Bridges, Michael Douglas and George Clooney.

Other honorees at this year's festival include Martin Scorsese, Viola Davis and Jean Dujardin and Berenice Bejo from "The Artist."

The award will be presented at the Arlington Theatre during the run of the festival, which begins on Jan. 26 and runs through Feb. 5.