Jean-Luc Godard, Eli Wallach, and Kevin Brownlow have been selected to receive Honorary Oscars and Francis Ford Coppola will receive this year’s Irving J. Thalberg Award. Of the four recipients, only Coppola is a previous Oscar-winner (he won Best Screenplay for Patton, The Godfather Part I and II, and picked up Best Picture and Best Director for Godfather: Part II). It’s not surprising that Brownlow doesn’t already have an Oscar since he’s actually a film historian, so it’s kind of cool that he’s getting one.
But Honorary Oscars are mostly to prevent the potential embarrassment of letting a great director/actor/writer/etc. die without recognizing their contribution to cinema. Wallach, who I’ll always recognize as Tuco from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, has appeared in over 50 films in a 54-year-career. He’s still working and you’ll see him next in Wall Street: Money Never Sleep. As for Godard, he’s a legend and one of the most influential filmmakers of all-time, so of course the Academy is just now getting around to giving him an Oscar (Fun side note: Godard’s Breathless is now available to watch instantly on Netflix). The Wrap reports that the awards will be handed out at the second Governors Award ceremony on November 13th