Oscar honours Bacall and Willis (not Bruce)
Is handing out honorary Oscars really such a good idea? True, it means that disgracefully overlooked geniuses (Alfred Hitchcock for one) finally get the recognition they deserve. But parading legends up the red carpet can make contemporary stars seem a little like unprepossessing pygmies.
Anyway, the Academy have already announced the recipients of next year’s honorary gongs and it’s a bumper crop. The indomitable Lauren Bacall, now a frisky 84, is to be honoured for performances in such classics as The Big Sleep, Key Largo and Written on the Wind. Gordon Willis, christened the Prince of Darkness for his work on such classics as The Godfather, All the President’s Men, Klute, Annie Hall and Manhattan, will become one of the few cinematographers to be so honoured. And the legendary (for once the word is justified) maestro Roger Corman, who perfected the art of low-budget production, will also finally get what he deserves.
Few will be surprised to read that Corman, director of The Wasp Woman and Attack of the Crab Monsters, has not won before. Many will know that Bacall, twice nominated, has not garnered a statuette. But surely Willis won for The Godfather or its first sequel. The near-unbelievable truth is that he wasn’t even nominated for either gangster epic, both Best Picture winners. Quite bizarre.
Bogie and Baby in The Big Sleep. Bacall gets her Oscar due