Actor Gary Oldman crushed it last night at the historic Arlington Theater in Santa Barbara, California. Oldman was in town to receive the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s (SBIFF) Maltin Modern Master Award. The Modern Master Award was established in 1995 and re-named the Maltin Modern Master Award in 2015 in honor of long-time SBIFF moderator and renowned film critic Leonard Maltin. The Modern Master Award is the highest accolade presented by SBIFF and was created to honor an individual who has enriched our culture through accomplishments in the motion picture industry.
“Gary Oldman has dazzled audiences for decades with an array of brilliant performances,” stated Leonard 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.
Words such as shapeshifter and chameleon were thrown out as ways to describe Oldman’s acting as Maltin stated “actor just doesn’t quite encompass his transcendence in becoming his character.” A montage of Oldman’s acting characters filled the screen and flashed to a catchy rock ‘n roll beat. Maltin then introduced Oldman
The audience responded quickly to Oldman’s charm after Oldman related his first acting audition at the age of 16. “The casting director asked me if I had anything to fall back on. Well I was sixteen years old at the time. Of course I didn’t have anything to fall back on…Then, I was told to think about something else to do.” Oldman never did. Like the character he portrayed in Darkest Hour, Oldman never gave up. Numerous clips were shown and discussed in a manner befitting a fireside chat.
Oldman’s friend and fellow actor Ben Mendelsohn presented the 2018 SBIFF Maltin Modern Master Award with words of praise, gratitude and awe for Oldman’s friendship and formidable acting.