The Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s recipients of the 2016 Virtuosos Award, created to recognize a select group of actors who have distinguished themselves through performances in film this past year, will include: Elizabeth Banks (Love & Mercy), Paul Dano (Youth, Love & Mercy), Joel Edgerton (Black Mass), O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Straight Outta Compton), Géza Röhrig (Son of Saul), Jacob Tremblay (Room) and Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl, Ex Machina). The Award presentation will take place on Saturday, February 6th at the Arlington Theatre at the 31st edition of the festival, which runs February 3 to February 13, 2016.
“These performers have used their craft and respective roles to transport us through the varied lives of their characters,” stated Durling, “We have followed them along their artistic pursuits and are excited to join them in next steps of their journeys.”
The diverse and talented group will be recognized for their overall career as well as their breakthrough roles this past year. After a turn behind the camera directing the mega-hit Pitch Perfect 2, Elizabeth Banks returned to the front of the camera in her role as Brian Wilson’s wife, Melinda Ledbetter, in the Beach Boy’s biopic Love & Mercy. Following his directorial debut in The Gift, which he wrote and starred in, Joel Egerton mesmerized audiences in his transformative performance in Black Mass as John Connolly, the childhood friend-turned-FBI agent to notorious gangster Whitey Bulger. Paul Dano’s breathtaking performance in the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy as the Beach Boy’s founder has garnered critical acclaim as well in his supporting role in Paolo Sorrentino’s upcoming dramedy Youth. Breaking onto the scene in a raw and stripped down performance, Jacob Tremblay portrays a boy born and raised in confinement in Room. Alicia Vikander has had a banner year with searing performances in the adventurous period drama Testament of Youth and the cerebral thriller Ex Machina as well as the emotional portrayal of Gerda Wegener in The Danish Girl. Bursting onto the scene as his real-life father, O’Shea Jackson Jr. blends sensitivity with a seething ferocity seamlessly in Straight Outta Compton. As an Auschwitz prisoner in late 1944, Géza Röhrig gives a mesmerizing and powerful performance in Son of Saul, in which he exhibits the disengaged weight of his world in a flawless manner.
Past recipients for this award include Chadwick Boseman, Ellar Coltrane, Logan Lerman, David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, J.K. Simmons, Jenny Slate, Ann Dowd, Elle Fanning, Ezra Miller, Eddie Redmayne, Omar Sy, Quvenzhane Wallis, Demian Bichir, Rooney Mara, Melissa McCarthy, Shailene Woodley, Andy Serkis, Patton Oswalt, Andrew Garfield, John Hawkes, Lesley Manville, Hailee Steinfeld, Jacki Weaver, Emily Blunt, Carey Mulligan, Saoirse Ronan, Gabourey Sidibe, Michael Stuhlbarg, Casey Affleck, Marion Cotillard, Viola Davis, Rosemarie DeWitt, Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Melissa Leo, James McAvoy, Ellen Page, Amy Ryan, Michael Shannon, Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, Jared Leto, and June Squibb.