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Watch: Kirk Douglas Presents Namesake Award for Excellence in Film to Robert De Niro at Santa Barbara

Photo of Beth Hanna 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."
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Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro

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.

This article is related to: Awards, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Robert De Niro, Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.