The San Luis Obispo International Film Festival (March 12-17) has announced that critically acclaimed actor Alfred Molina will be this year’s King Vidor Award honoree.
“It is beyond thrilling to honor an actor like Alfred Molina with so many distinctive performances in so many acclaimed and memorable films, like Alfred Molina,” said SLO Film Fest Director Wendy Eidson. “We could seriously have a film festival comprised of nothing but his films with the major challenge being to decide which ones not to include in the program. However, we will do our best to distill all of that into a single evening’s discussion with the man himself, followed by a screening of just one of those classics. It’s the best kind of problem to have if you are a festival director.”
Presented by BHE Renewables and JUSTIN Vineyards and Winery, the King Vidor Award presentation will take place immediately after the George Sidney Independent Film Awards ceremony on Saturday, March 16 at 7:00PM at the Fremont Theater (1025 Monterey Street). Following the presentation, Turner Classic Movies’ Ben Mankiewicz will host a discussion of Molina’s career including a number of his iconic film roles.
Molina is an accomplished London-born actor whose diverse and distinguished gallery of performances has led to a lengthy and triumphant career. Effortlessly moving between film, TV and theatre, Molina is an authentic artist who is able to morph into a diverse mix of nationalities and personalities.
As a chameleon actor, Molina possesses an uncanny ability to nail character driven roles. Some of his most unforgettable performances include his SAG Award-nominated performance as hedonistic Mexican muralist Diego Rivera in Julie Taymor’s rave reviewed multi-award nominated film FRIDA (2002) opposite Salma Hayek, deranged drug dealer Rahad Jackson in Paul Thomas Anderson’s modern classic BOOGIE NIGHTS (1997), and comic book villain Doc Ock in Sam Raimi’s blockbuster hit sequel SPIDER-MAN 2 (2004).
Molina made his big screen debut in Steven Spielberg’s RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (1981) which led to roles in Richard Donner’s LADYHAWKE (1985), Brian Gilbert’s NOT WITHOUT MY DAUGHTER (1991), and his BAFTA nominated breakout role in Stephen Frears’ PRICK UP YOUR EARS (1987) opposite Gary Oldman and Vanessa Redgrave.
Molina’s career continued to soar in the following decade with roles in Mike Newell’s ENCHANTED APRIL (1992), David Jones’ adaptation of Kafka’s novel THE TRIAL (1993), and Donner’s comic western MAVERICK (1994). Other notable works that followed include Jim Jarmusch’s cult-favorite DEAD MAN (1995) with Johnny Depp, Bernard Rose’s ANNA KARENINA (1997), Jon Amiel’s comic thriller THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO LITTLE (1997), Woody Allen’s CELEBRITY (1998), and Stanley Tucci’s THE IMPOSTERS (1998). In 1999 Molina re-teamed with Anderson for the epic ensemble drama MAGNOLIA, which garnered a SAG nomination for the film’s cast including: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, John C. Reilly, and Juliann Moore.
The next decade found Molina continuing to add a seemingly never-ending stream of distinctive performances in such films as Lasse Hallström’s Oscar-nominated romantic comedy CHOCOLAT (2000), which resulted in a SAG nomination for the film’s cast (including Juliette Binoche and Judi Dench), Ron Howard’s THE DA VINCI CODE (2006). In 2009, Molina appeared in Lone Scherfig’s multi-award nominated AN EDUCATION, receiving a nomination from the BAFTA Awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. He followed the next year by working with mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer on two blockbuster films for Disney, including Mike Newell’s PRINCE OF PERSIA: THE SANDS OF TIME (2010), and Jon Turtletaub;s THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE (2010).
Molina has been recognized by the Creative Coalition with the Spotlight Award for his work in Independent Films at the Sundance debut of Francesca Gregorini’s THE TRUTH ABOUT EMMANUEL (2013) opposite Jessica Biel and also starred opposite John Lithgow in Ira Sach’s critically acclaimed film LOVE IS STRANGE (2014) for which he received a Best Supporting Actor nomination from the Independent Sprit Awards.
Glenn Ficarra and John Requa’s comedy WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT (2016) opposite Tina Fey, and Amber Tamblyn’s directorial debut, PAINT IT BLACK (2016) further continued Molina’s penchant for demonstrating his versatility on the big screen. Most recently, Molina scored both Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for his portrayal of director Robert Aldrich in Ryan Murphy’s FX series “Feud: Bette and Joan” opposite Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon, following that with his portray of Ben Bradlee in Jason Reitman’s THE FRONT RUNNER (2018) last year.
Event tickets and Festival Passes are now on sale and the full film festival schedule and program can be found at https://slofilmfest.org.