“Elle” star Isabelle Huppert will receive the Montecito Award for her role in the Paul Verhoeven film at February’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the festival announced Friday.
The honor is awarded to an individual in the entertainment industry who has “made a great contribution to film” and will be presented to Huppert on February 8 at the Arlington Theater.
“She’s one of the greatest actors ever, and her legacy to cinema is unparalleled,” SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling said in a statement announcing the award. “Any film that includes Ms. Huppert is without a doubt immediately worth watching. She elevates any work — she’s elevated cinema. It’s overdue to celebrate this giant.”
Huppert currently stars in “Elle,” a French-German-Belgian thriller about a businesswoman who is sexually assaulted in her home and stalks her assailant. Huppert has already won best actress honors for the film at this year’s Gotham Awards, and she was named best actress at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and New York Film Critics Circle for her roles in “Elle” and “Things to Come.”
She has acted in more than 100 film and television productions since her first appearance in 1971’s “Le Prussien.” Huppert received her César nomination for 1975’s “Aloïse” and won the BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer for The Lacemaker in 1977. She has been nominated for 15 César awards — the most of anyone — and won in 1995 for “La Cérémonie.”
The Montecito Award is named after one of Santa Barbara’s ritziest neighborhoods, home of ultra-exclusive resorts such as San Ysidro Ranch — and Oprah Winfrey. Previous recipients of the award include Sylvester Stallone, Jennifer Aniston, Oprah Winfrey, Daniel Day-Lewis, Geoffrey Rush, Julianne Moore, Kate Winslet, Javier Bardem, Bill Condon, and Naomi Watts.