This is very good news!
Director Robert Altman is joining the likes of Alfred Hitchcock, Sidney Lumet, Blake Edwards, Cary Grant, Arthur Miller, and Greta Garbo. Like these other legends he is receiving his lifetime achievement award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences without having ever won a competitve Oscar. (Don’t even get me start on this topic!)
The ballot was cast Tuesday night by the Academy’s board of governors and Altman was informed on Wednesday. In a statement to the press, Academy President Sid Ganis declared that Altman is a “master filmmaker [who] well deserves this honor.”
M*A*S*H, Nashville, The Player, Short Cuts and Gosford Park are the five films that have earned Altman seven Oscar nominations, five for Best Director. It was 1970’s M*A*S*H, a black comedy set during the Korean War, that established Altman as a top-notch director. But it was 2001’s Gosford Park that became Altman’s most accessible and successful films at the box office. At age 80, Altman is still working with A Prarie Home Companion, starring Meryl Streep and Lindsay Lohan (it can’t get much better than that) due out later this year.