Well, the Academy governors have chosen their Lifetime Achievement recipients for this year, or next year, however you look at it.
They include two directors, David Lynch and Lina Wertmuller, who have unarguably changed cinema and have been huge influences. You can’t argue with those choices. If you just counted “Blue Velvet” and “Seven Beauties,” respectively, they deserve it.
They chose Geena Davis, who has an Oscar and hasn’t worked so much in years, for the Humanitarian Award. I’m sure that’s lovely but really, if that’s what they were looking for, Sean Penn has been on the ground in Haiti for years. Why not him? But welcome to 2019: Geena Davis, according to the press release, is the founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, which I’ve never heard of. So there’s that. (And PS, the Institute has no 501 c3, it’s listed as a project of Mount St. Mary’s University with no public records or transparency.)
Frankly, with “Rocketman” out, and Elton John having scored a number of movies, the rock star could have gotten the award for his Elton John AIDS Foundation. Now, that would have been a smart choice.
The other choice is Native American actor Wes Studi, whose career began in 1988. He has no Oscars and has never been nominated for one, but he’s been a leader for Native Americans in movies. He’s been a role model and a trail blazer. That’s all great, but I would have gone with Graham Greene, whose career is longer, has an Oscar nomination, and a more comprehensive CV.
The governors passed over Robert Evans, a Hollywood fixture, who I guess many thought would get the honor this year. Another disappointment was Catherine Deneuve, the great French actress who absolutely deserves the award. This group of honorees doesn’t include an African American. I guess Studi is supposed to cover all minorities.
The Governors Awards will be given October 27th in Hollywood, a month or more earlier than usual because of the early Oscars date next year, February 9th.