CATEGORIES Movies, Oscars, Awards
Roger Corman, Lauren Bacall, Governor's AwardsIt's a given that the Oscars generally run long, but should honorary Oscars be shuffled off to a smaller ceremony? It allows for a more elegant, intimate gathering than is possible for the main ceremony aired on TV, but it also precludes film fans from watching classic stars and filmmakers receive the kudos they so richly deserve.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences honored four film veterans with Governors Awards at a dinner ceremony held Saturday at the Hollywood and Highland grand ballroom. B-movie producer Roger Corman,'Godfather' cinematographer Gordon Willis, actress Lauren Bacall (pictured, with Corman), and 'The Da Vinci Code' producer John Calley each received standing ovations during a presentation that included testimonials, toasts and clips of their work. Roger Corman, Lauren Bacall, Governor's AwardsIt's a given that the Oscars generally run long, but should honorary Oscars be shuffled off to a smaller ceremony? It allows for a more elegant, intimate gathering than is possible for the main ceremony aired on TV, but it also precludes film fans from watching classic stars and filmmakers receive the kudos they so richly deserve.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences honored four film veterans with Governors Awards at a dinner ceremony held Saturday at the Hollywood and Highland grand ballroom. B-movie producer Roger Corman,'Godfather' cinematographer Gordon Willis, actress Lauren Bacall (pictured, with Corman), and 'The Da Vinci Code' producer John Calley each received standing ovations during a presentation that included testimonials, toasts and clips of their work.

As Calley was absent due to illness, his award, the 35th Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, was honored by having seven former recipients of the prize -- Warren Beatty, Dino De Laurentiis, Norman Jewison, George Lucas, Walter Mirisch, Steven Spielberg and Saul Zaentz - take the stage, with Tom Hanks giving the Oscar to Spielberg, who accepted on Calley's behalf.

At 30 minutes for each honoree, it would be difficult to wrap these presentations into the main Oscars telecast; however, it would be great to air this show separately, so the rest of us have an opportunity to celebrate the recipients' work.

It would also allow us to see the special moments of the event, like Ron Howard calling himself a graduate of the "Roger Corman University of Profitable Cinema," and Tom Hanks showering praise on 'Precious' star Gabourey Sidibe, who told Daily Variety, "I have moments where I stop, look around the room and realize where I am, and freak out. So I try not to have those moments too often."

Annette Bening toasted Bacall, who was also treated to a few words from Kirk Douglas, who reminisced about trying to seduce his acting-school classmate Bacall in Greenwich Village some 60 years ago, "without success." Bacall shared memories of Humphrey Bogart, who "gave me a life, and changed my life," she noted. "I feel very emotional and very grateful, not least of all that I'm still alive. I mean, after all, some of you are surprised, aren't you? Nevertheless, I am, and I'm here to stay, and you'd better get used to the idea."

While there was some debate on whether the separate awards ceremony was the right move, most agreed Saturday that it was, calling it a return to Oscar's intimate, banquet-type ceremonies of yore. Said filmmaker and Corman protege Joe Dante, "You've finally got a situation where people can be honored and they don't have to be rushed off the stage after two minutes."

What are your thoughts on the format of this event? Are you OK with the Governor's Awards being a separate ceremony? Would you watch a separate telecast of the event? Or would you rather it all be wrapped into the main Oscar show?