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October 27, 2009 7:15 AM
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Colin Firth to be Feted at 25th Santa Barbara Film Fest

Colin Firth in a scene from Tom Ford's "A Single Man." Image courtesy of the Weinstein Company.

Colin Firth will be honored with the "Outstanding Performance of the Year Award" at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on February 13. The actor will be recognized for his role in Tom Ford's Toronto '09 feature, "A Single Man," which the Weinstein Company picked up in September.

In the film, Firth portrays 52-year-old British college professor, George, in Los Angeles in 1962 at the height of the Cuban missile crisis who is struggling to find meaning to his life after the death of his longtime partner, Jim [Matthew Goode]. The romantic tale of love interrupted is an adaptation based on a novel by Christopher Isherwood. Firth made his entry into American Cinema in 1989 in Milos Forman's "Valmont" and co-starred in the romantic comedy "Circle of Friends" in 1995. In 2003 he starred in "Love Actually" as well as the period drama, "Girl With a Pearl Earring."

Firth will join an illustrious group of previous SBIFF "Outstanding Performance Award" recipients, including Penelope Cruz (2009), Angelina Jolie (2008), Helen Mirren (2007), Heath Ledger (2006), Kate Winslet (2005) and Charlize Theron (2004).

The Outstanding Performance of the Year Tribute to Colin Firth will take place at the Arlington Theatre on Saturday, February 13, 2010. A Single Man will open December 11 in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles with an expansion on Christmas day. It is considered a major player in this year's awards season.

"Colin Firth grabs on to the best role of his career in 'A Single Man' forcing us to have another look at his incredible list of films up to this point," commented SBIFF executive director Roger Durling in a statement. "He's one of the most enduring performers working in cinema today, and we're so thrilled that we're honoring this most deserving actor at the peak of his game."

The 25th Santa Barbara International Film Festival takes place February 4 - 14.

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