It appears that Ryan Gosling is Ken-ough for the 39th annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The two-time Oscar nominee has been tapped to receive the Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film, coming off the heels of his universally-praised comic turn in Greta Gerwig’s billion-dollar blockbuster “Barbie.”
“Ryan Gosling has long been both a dramatic and comedic force in front of the camera. This year, thanks to his universally hailed, triumphant performance as Ken in ‘Barbie’ — a film that truly demanded the attention of critics and moviegoers around the world — he has become a true cinematic powerhouse,” SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling said.
Gosling is riding high on Oscar buzz for the candy-colored treatise on the Mattel legend, with many expecting him to earn a slot in the hotly contested Best Supporting Actor race this year. Gosling has been nominated twice before in the Leading Actor category: for 2006’s indie drama “Half Nelson” and for the almost-Best Picture-d 2016 film “La La Land.” The latter netted his costar Emma Stone an Oscar — she might also be a major force in this year’s awards sprint for her heralded performance in Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Poor Things.”
Gosling joins some elite company, as the annual Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film has previously gone to honorees such as Michelle Yeoh, Martin Scorsese, Hugh Jackman, Judi Dench, Warren Beatty, Jane Fonda, Jessica Lange, Forest Whitaker, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford, Quentin Tarantino, Ed Harris and John Travolta.
The 39th Santa Barbara International Film Festival will take place Feb. 7—17, 2024. For pass and screening info, visit sbiff.org.