The First Annual Governors Awards

When the announcement was made several months ago that the Academy was upping the Best Picture nominees to 10 and removing the honorary and career awards from the telecast, I died a little on the inside. As a huge film nerd, I live for the lifetime achievement portion of any awards show, sometimes more than the actual awards themselves. Why? Because in a few years I won’t care what movie won Best Picture (unless it’s Crash; I’m still bitter about that) but I’ll always care about Blake Edwards, Robert Altman and Ennio Morricone – to name a few recent recipients – receiving an honorary statuette.

With the honorary awards bumped from the live telecast, the Governors Awards banquet has been created. Last night, Nov. 14, was the first such banquet. Lauren Bacall, Roger Corman, Gordon Willis and John Calley were honored.

But because there was no television coverage and limited press coverage, something remarkable has happened. These four honorees received a tribute equivalent (in time, at the very least) to the entire Academy Awards ceremony. (This NY Times blog post highlights the event much better than I can.)

Although these awards won’t been shown in full at the telecast, the honorees are finally receiving the respect they deserve from the industry in the form a semi-private affair. Finally the Academy is making something work out right.

Now about those 10 nominees for Best Picture…

Update: Cynical me has been proven wrong again. You can watch the acceptance speeches on the Oscars web site here.

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