By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood December 10, 2012 at 1:50PM
On December 8, Robert De Niro received the Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film in Santa Barbara. Nonagenarian Kirk Douglas himself presented De Niro with the statuette, riffing on the Fockers and saying "I'm looking at you." Douglas noted, "De Niro doesn't simply play a character, he becomes a character." Watch below.
While the Santa Barbara International Film Festival doesn't officially start for another month (January 24 - February 3), it kicked off its season of feting Oscar contenders by honoring the actor.
Guests included "Silver Linings Playbook" director David O. Russell and star Bradley Cooper, along with Roger Corman, Cheryl Ladd, Carol Burnett and Anthony Zerbe, who presented throughout the evening, reminding the audience of De Niro's four-decade acting career.