Jean-Luc Godard Honorary Oscar: Filmmaker Missing in Action?

Jean-Luc Godard

Oct. 25 update: Shocking news.

Jean-Luc Godard has “regretfully” notified Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Tom Sherak that he will not pick up his Honorary Award in person at the Governors Awards on Nov. 13.

The notification followed “a two-month-long cordial exchange of correspondence” between Godard and Sherak.

According to Sherak, Godard “reiterated his thanks for the award, and also sent his good wishes to the other individuals being honored the same night – Kevin Brownlow, Francis Ford Coppola and Eli Wallach – who he refers to as ‘the three other musketeers.'"

The Nov. 13 dinner ceremony, which is being produced by former Academy president Sid Ganis and Don Mischer, will pay tribute to Godard through film clips and commentary by his “admirers.”

None of Godard's movies ever received a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nomination. In the last five decades, Godard himself has been totally ignored by the Academy.

Well, until now.

Godard's Honorary Oscar will be accepted on his behalf by the Academy, which will later send the statuette to the filmmaker in Switzerland.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images.

Previous post (Sep. 7)

Jean-Luc Godard has “graciously thanked” the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences by way of a “cordial, hand-written note” sent to Academy president Tom Sherak last week.

A couple of weeks ago, the Academy's Board of Governors had voted Godard an Honorary Oscar, along with film historian/preservationist Kevin Brownlow and actor Eli Wallach. Producer/director Francis Ford Coppola will be given the Irving G. Thalberg Award.

In his note, Godard called himself “the fourth musketeer” – Wallach, Brownlow, and Coppola being the other three, of course – and “indicated that, schedule permitting, he would come to Los Angeles for the November 13 Governors Awards event.”

The Academy shouldn't count on it, though stranger things have happened.

Photo: Getty Images Entertainment.

Previous post (Aug. 26)

Jean-Luc Godard Missing

Jean-Luc Godard, who'll turn 80 next December, is “missing,” announces Juli Weiner in a clever Vanity Fair piece.

“So missing, in fact,” explains Weiner, “that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has been unable to inform Godard that he is the recipient of an Honorary Academy Award.”

That's serious.

“We've been attempting to reach him since 7 o'clock Tuesday evening and we have as yet had no confirmation,” AMPAS executive director Bruce Davis told The Hollywood Reporter.

In other words, no one knows whether or not Godard will show up to pick up his Oscar statuette at the Nov. 13 Governors Awards ceremony to be held in Hollywood.

Being realistic here, the Academy probably shouldn't count on his presence.

As mentioned elsewhere in this post, the New Wave filmmaker was a no-show at the 2007 European Film Awards ceremony, in which he was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Also, last May he was absent from the premiere of his latest effort, Film Socialisme, at the Cannes Film Festival – for “no official reason, just that he's not here,” according to a Cannes spokesperson.

Even if Godard is found – has anyone bothered to ask Jean-Paul Belmondo about his Breathless director's whereabouts? – and agrees to hobnob with Hollywoodites and sit through an all but inevitable hymn of praise by Quentin Tarantino at the Governors Awards, that doesn't mean he will be there when the time comes.

Godard had been expected to attend the European Film Awards ceremony, but eager expectations turned out to be just that.

And at the time of the Cannes film smorgasbord, the director declared: “I'd walk to the ends of the earth for the [Cannes] festival. But alas I will not be taking a single step further.”

Note the “Made in U.S.A.” notice on the poster. That's the title of a 1966 Godard movie starring then-wife Anna Karina.

Previous post

Jean-Luc Godard, the acclaimed New Wave filmmaker and one of the three just-named recipients of the 2011 Honorary Academy Awards, was supposed to have showed up in person to receive the 2007 European Film Academy's Lifetime Achievement Award. At the last minute, however, Godard opted to stay home.

“I say at the same time 'thank you' and 'no, thank you,'” Godard remarked during an interview on the eve of the European Film Awards ceremony. “When someone says I have created a life's work, I have to accept this. But it is my way of criticism not to go there. I don't have the impression that I have made a career. In French, the word also means 'quarry' and in this sense I can accept it.”

Will Godard show up at the Governors Awards dinner to accept his 'quarry' Oscar? Who knows?

The Academy's Governors Awards dinner will be held on Nov. 13, 2010, at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center. Godard's fellow Honorary Award recipients are actor Eli Wallach and silent film historian/preservationist Kevin Brownlow. Also at the ceremony, filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola will be handed the Irving G. Thalberg Award.

Quote: CBC News

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