Sir Kenneth Branagh will receive the top accolade from the London Film Critics Circle at their awards ceremony in January.
Branagh will be presented with the Dilys Powell Award for Excellence in Film.
Speaking about the award, Branagh said: “As a young filmmaker, I had the privilege of meeting Dilys Powell. She was passionate, rigorous, humane. Her criticism was illuminating, thoughtful and bracing. This recognition in her name is a great honour to me personally and very meaningful. My sincere thanks to the Critics’ Circle.”
Dilys Powell was a British author and film critic who pioneered a new style of cinematic journalism. The British Film Institute famously described her as “open to new directions in cinema … not constrained by the middle class shibboleths of ‘good taste’.” Her final review, of Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon, was published in The Times on the day of her death in June 1995.
Recent Dilys Powell Award honorees include Kristin Scott Thomas, Gary Oldman, Helena Bonham Carter and last year’s recipient Miranda Richardson. The award has been given out annually since 1991, when it was presented to Dirk Bogarde.
Branagh will receive the award at a ceremony at the May Fair Hotel in London on January 17.