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Emma Thompson Is a Master, Says Santa Barbara Fest

Star of ”Saving Mr. Banks“ will receive Modern Master Award at film festival in February


Emma Thompson will receive the Modern Master Award from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, SBIFF organizers announced on Tuesday.

The award, which comes as Thompson is receiving Oscar buzz for her role as “Mary Poppins” author P.L. Travers in John Lee Hancock’s “Saving Mr. Banks,” will be presented at a tribute on Feb. 8, 2014 at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara.

Past winners of the award include Ben Affleck, Christopher Nolan, Anthony Hopkins, Diane Keaton, Sean Penn, Jeff Bridges, Peter Jackson and George Clooney.

Also read: ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ Review: Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks Are Spit-Spot-On in This Hollywood Valentine

The Modern Master Award is considered the most prestigious of the honors handed out by SBIFF, which typically bestows a number of awards during the crucial period between the announcement of Oscar nominations and the beginning of voting.

The 2014 festival has previously announced that honors will go to Cate Blanchett and Oprah Winfrey.

Thompson is the only person to win Oscars as an actress and a screenwriter. She was named Best Actress for 1992’s “Howard’s End,” and won the Best Adapted Screenplay award for writing 1995’s “Sense and Sensibility.”

Although she won her two Oscars and was nominated five times in a four-year stretch between 1992 and 1995, she has not been nominated since then. Her career has included “Love Actually,” “Primary Colors,” “Nanny McPhee,” “Men in Black 3,” a voiceover performance in Pixar’s “Brave” and the HBO films “Wit” and “Angels in America.”

Also read: ‘Saving Mr. Banks’ Opens AFI Fest With a Spoonful of Oscar Hopes

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival will run from Jan. 30 through Feb. 9 in the coastal town north of Los Angeles.