Wednesday, August 25, 2010

And The Honorary Oscars Go To...

...Oscar winner Francis Ford Coppola who will receive the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for producing, iconoclast and French new wave legend Jean-Luc Godard (I'm guessing he won't show) and two Emmy winners, actor Eli Wallach and film historian/preservationist Kevin Brownlow.

Perhaps no one is receiving the Jean Hersholt Huminatarian Award this year and all three of those men are just the standard "Honorary Oscar"? Pity that the reports aren't specific on this detail. Brownlow is the name I wasn't familiar with. His career is a mixture of television work, film history, restoration work and documentaries.

...unfortunately you won't get to hear these accomplished men giving speeches about their life's work and the cinema. Again.

The Academy is still operating on that "Keep the old folks away from the stage! Get Miley Cyrus" edict from god knows when. Never mind that The Mileys (i.e. all celebrities who have no real business being at the Oscars because they have precious little to do with the art and glamour of either current movies or legendary ones) didn't turn the Oscar ratings around. The positive spin is that these presentations at the Governor's Awards on November 13th will be more like Oscar nights of old, parties to celebrity peers without those pesky commercial breaks, and merciless 45 second time limits on speeches. But honestly, if they're going to keep making the town's legends celebrate off camera as if they've expired -- what is this Logan's Run? -- they should at least let them collectively present Best Picture each year. Or something. Lord knows Oscar needs a new thinktank when it comes to Best Picture presentations. I mean, even after I gave them a detailed and sound argument that they have no imagination in this realm -- I even helped them with household name suggestions! -- they ignored me and went with Tom Hanks. Again.

I mean just once, Academy, try a legendary Actress. It's been 20 years since you let an Actress do it on her own (Barbra Streisand) and that was even an actress who you've let do it again since with a man. Why are you so stuck and repetitive? And if you're that stuck and you simply must pull from your list of "people who've done it before," pony up and ship Olivia de Havilland over from France for a real shocker.

My longwinded point is this: It better be an actress this year, since you went with all men for your honorary prizes. Here's a helpful reminder of living actresses -- some of them Oscar winners -- who have not presented Best Picture and who the general public would recognize.

That's what's called "scratching the surface"
You're welcome.

I could totally go on. Especially if you were willing to consider people who the public would recognize after a few seconds of "oh, yeah, right her. She's important!"


James T said...

My guess is that they think it's irrelevant who will present it. Which is just inexcusably lazy. And does ti have to be one person? How about:

Dench and M.Smith

Streep and Winslet

Costner and Sarandon

Jolie and Aniston (i kid)

Spielberg and Barrymore

Ang Lee and Emma Thompson

Julia Roberts and Soderberg

Winslet and Lynskey (What? I'd like that)

G. van Sant and Kidman

Minnelli and de Niro

Faroow and Keaton (I.. kind of kid)

Streep and Huppert

Alright, some of them are probably nonsensical but at least they are interesting to people who actually care a lot about the Oscars.

Ryan T. said...

Yes! My first reaction when I saw the list of honorary Oscar recipients was "Well that's a sausage fest."

So I hope you're right about them picking a female presenter for Best Picture. And WHY NOT Meryl? For once she won't be there as a nominee. And at this point, having an Academy Award ceremony without her being present is just somehow wrong.

fan said...

Of those pictured, I think everyone best bow down to La Smith. She is perfection incarnate. Every minor pursing of her lips creates universes. To bathe in the divine light of her glory for even the smallest fraction of the telecast would be a revelation. To touch God's face, to know the omniscient secrets of an unknowable past, to sink one's claws into the very fury of the sun! All are honors that pale in comparison to being humbled by the grace and timeless knowing of her enlightened benevolence. Julia Roberts is a seat-filler in comparison.

Volvagia said...

Um...the timeline wouldn't suggest that Diane would have ANY personal problems with Mia Farrow. (Woody dated Diane, Diane left Woody as their main collaboration winded down in 1979, Diane and Woody went with Warren Beatty and Mia Farrow respectively.)

Michael said...

And I'm sure one of these ladies would actually read the names of the ten films nominated for Best Picture, unlike a certain someone last time...

James T said...

OK Volvagia, I was just trying not to dismiss the possibility that there might be something negative between them. Probably a mistake. me pls SOS said...

And, most importantly, no woman in her right might actually gets jealous over Woody Allen. It's not like anybody actually wants to date him.

Alex said...

I'm actually kind of shocked that Meryl's never given it out. Or maybe a director who isn't Steven Spielberg?

I just really want to go back to real actors and actresses hosting the Oscars. Hugh Jackman was a huge leap forward. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin were...well, it it didn't seem like it. Anyone who saw Emma Thompson at Mike Nichols's AFI tribute knows she can do it...

Glenn said...

Meryl's an enema.

Volvagia said...

Not today, no, Ms. SOS. But in the 70s? Of course people could be jealous.

Volvagia said...

And can I say one thing: I think it's weird that the media's selected Angelina Jolie as a "tabloid star" because unless she's next to Brad Pitt, or her name's near the picture, I would find her hard to recognize.

Volvagia said...

In a still picture. Moving? That's a much different story. She may not be the most or best performer when it comes to physicality, but she's certainly much more distinct when seen in motion as opposed to still.

Tia Sparrow said...

I'm fairly certain even starlets in the 70's fucked to get ahead. Nobody wants to fuck their grandpa, and nobody wants to fuck Woody Allen, who has looked like your grandpa since he was 14.


Tia Sparrow -- people still fuck to get ahead, I'm sure. Human nature didn't change, after all.

Volvagia -- i gotta say. I think you're in the minority there. Angelina is definitely one of hte most recognizable women on the planet.

Alex -- agreed. it's too bad they're not brave enough to go with someone like Emma or Streep for hosting duties (not that either would do it). They'd be hilarious and she'd inject class into the evening.

James T -- you know my feelings on duos presenting. I think it's awesome. But even when they do duos they almost always go with something super obvious involving people who've already presented best picture (like Jack & Diane or Babs & Hoffman)

fan -- preach!

Brian Darr said...

You've got treats upon treats in store for you when you begin to explore the wonderful world of Kevin Brownlow! Because of his reels full of interviews with surviving key silent-era players, and because of his uniquely passionate yet distanced stance as a historian, his 10-part documentary Hollywood is still the definitive series on American movie-making in the 1910s and 20s. And his sequel Cinema Europe is just as wonderful, and probably was more instrumental to my own cinephilia than anything else. If a multipart series is daunting, I'd also highly recommend any of his other documentaries on silent-era personalities. I particularly loved his docs on Cecil B. DeMille, Lon Chaney, and Charlie Chaplin- the Unknown Chaplin being absolutely essential for any fan of Chaplin as a performer or director.

His books are tremendously readable and informative as well- the Parade's Gone By is like the Bible for most silent film lovers. And he restores silent films (possibly some you've seen and not known it) and has even made a few unique fiction films himself. I can't recommend his "what if Britain had fallen to fascism" film It Happened Here highly enough!

Guy Lodge said...

Streep presents so rarely at the Oscars that I wonder if it's something she resists doing. Otherwise, it's hard to imagine why she hasn't been invited to present Best Picture in one of the years when she is unnominated and has no film in the running. (For some reason, I hate it when the presenter is tied to one of the nominated films, as has been the case with Jack Nicholson and Michael Douglas in recent years.)

This will be one of Streep's rare years off the circuit -- so if she's willing, for god's sake ask her, Academy.

Anonymous said...

Streep should not only present Best Picture, she should host the damn thing! This "off season" is a rare thing for her, so better time. It seems like such a no-brainer.



Brian -- i love silents so i should totally dive into this. thanks for the recommendations.

MRRIPLEY said...

what about dehavilland & fontaine!!!

Aunt Roberta said...

This would be a nice set of Oscar presenters for next year:

Meryl Streep

Kathryn Bigelow

Sandra Bullock

Jeff Bridges


Christoph Waltz

Anne Hathaway

Kevin Spacey

Sean Penn

George Clooney & Julia Roberts

Keira Knightley

Annette Bening & Julianne Moore

Paul Rudd & Reese Witherspoon

Robert Pattinson

James Franco

Mark Wahlberg

Justin Timberlake

Marion Cotillard

Leonardo Di Caprio

Ben Stiller

Emma Thompson

Hugh Jackman


you had me at Hugh Jackman host :)

kin said...

I am sorry I have to do this, but who is to the left of Winslet?

And I am going to go ahead and replace Angelina Jolie with Helen Mirren.

cinema adventures said...

My dream Oscar night would have Jane Fonda presenting Best Picture. Making me explode.

Faye Dunaway would be next. Maybe with Nicholson!


kin -- that's Mia Farrow.

cal roth said...

Vote Brangelina for Best Picture.


that would be awesome too. my dream couples to present

Bridges & Pfeiffer
Bonnie & Clyde
DiCaprio & Winslet
Costner & Sarandon (good one James)
Sarandon & Davis (I'd die)
Woody & Diane
DeHavilland & Fontaine (omg)
Warren & Shirley
Deneuve & Huppert (!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Burning Reels said...

It has to be Meryl really, if, as Glen states, she's willing.

I didn't care for how they treated Bacall et al at the Kodak but I did enjoy watching the little dinner speeches more than I anticipated.

The Coppola one should be great, as hopefully the whole crazily talented family will get shipped out - Sofia, Talia, Nicolas, Jason etc

More of a Truffaut guy myself but gotta respect Godard - what an 'ideas man'!

dinasztie said...

Cinema Adventurer: Let's start a Facebook campaign! I want Jane Fonda to present sooooooooooooooooo badly!

Kev said...

Godard so isn't showing up for that. They can't even reach him to notify him of his win. LOL!! It's hilarious really. Keep up the good fight, you difficult French genius!

Anonymous said...

Eli Wallach before Doris Day? Tsk, tsk, Academy.

Volvagia said...

Anonymous 11:47: What's wrong with Eli Wallach before Doris Day? Eli Wallach: Baby Doll, The Misfits, The Magnificent Seven and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Doris Day: The Man Who Knew Too Much and...(?)Pillow Talk. Wallach's great films may be spaced over only 10 years of a 54 year career, but at least there's an easy case to be made for their worth. And he looks to have a good year, so it's a perfect time to reward him.

Sam said...

I like the idea of Ann-Margret and Tina Turner presenting score or song. If Tina won't come, get Elton John. Oh hell, let them do Best Picture.

Anonymous said...


I can play that game and list Doris Day's film credits too, but I'm not, b/c you can go to and type in "Doris Day" as easily as anyone else. She's just as worthy for this as anyone, and I would have preferred her over Eli Wallach. Is that alright with you?

Volvagia said...

I looked at her (comparatively scant) 20 year career and that's all I could come up with. Sorry, but a dumped should be legend (like Wallach or Christian Slater) is always better than...just the Sandra Bullock of her time. Not that that's bad, and something like While You Were Sleeping would have probably been a more honest "Lead Actress" pick than Sharon Stone in Casino, but...darker than dark comedies (Like Dr. Strangelove), dramas, horrors, and dramedies produce better acting.

Peggy Sue said...

Meryl Streep and Robert Redford would be an amazing couple to present Best Picture. I can hear the music... Jane Fonda would be another great choice.

I'm so happy for Eli Wallach!


volvagia... did you just call christian slater a legend? I think we've entered the bizarro universe now.

Anonymous said...

Doris Day wasn't the "Sandra Bullock" of her time. She would have been a great receipent of this honorary Oscar.

jimmy said...

i would love to see Shirley Temple give the Best Picture Oscar.

Like Eli Wallach.....but please, what about Doris Day or Angela Lansbury - they did soooomuch more than he did in film.

John T said...

Nathaniel, you're going to have to update your list soon, as Eli Wallach is 95, and will be one of the oldest living Oscar-winners come this fall.