Brody is expected to make the trek to the prominent Swiss fest dedicated to indie and cutting-edge fare, where his tribute will include an Aug. 4 screening of Roman Polanski’s “The Pianist,” for which Brody won the Academy Award for best actor in 2003, in the lakeside town’s 8,000-seat Piazza Grande. There will also be a public conversation with the actor.
“Brody gained a lasting place in the collective imagination of the movie-going public when he played composer Wladyslaw Szpilman in ‘The Pianist’ (2002), and has since demonstrated his status as one of the most versatile of actors, appreciated by filmmakers in Hollywood and beyond,” the festival said in a statement. Brody won the Oscar when he was 29 years old.
He made his acting debut as a teenager in Francis Ford Coppola’s “New York Stories” (1989) and went on to work with Steven Soderbergh in “King of the Hill” (1993) and Oliver Stone in “Natural Born Killers” (1994). His performances in Terrence Malick’s “The Thin Red Line” (1998), in Spike Lee’s “Summer of Sam” (1999), and in Ken Loach’s “Bread and Roses” (2000) were other early career milestones.
More recent standout roles in Brody’s almost 30-year career include playing Peter Whitman in Wes Anderson’s “The Darjeeling Limited” (2007) and Dmitri in Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (2014). The many other directors whom Brody has worked with include Barry Levinson in “Liberty Heights” (1999), Paul Haggis in “Third Person” (2013), and Woody Allen in “Midnight in Paris” (2011).
“With a richly varied and still flourishing career, Adrien Brody has worked with some of the great American directors, from Coppola to Wes Anderson, from Malick to Soderbergh, always displaying the adaptability and technical skills that put him at ease in a remarkable spectrum of performing registers,” Locarno artistic director Carlo Chatrian said in the statement.
“All the same, this is also a classic case of a single performance which won him a lasting place in movie-lovers’ hearts; not so much for the Academy Award it brought him, as for the way he brought to life a character who is both a man like all of us and the symbol of a tragedy which we must constantly recall,” Chatrian added.
Previous recipients of the Leopard Club Award include Faye Dunaway (2013), Mia Farrow (2014), Andy Garcia (2015), and Stefania Sandrelli (2016).
The 70th Locarno Festival will run Aug. 2-12. The full lineup will be announced on July 12.