They're called the Governors Awards, and while they won't be televised, the AMPAS website has some photos and background info. Honorary Oscars went to actress Lauren Bacall (pictured), cinematographer Gordon Willis (the Godfather trilogy, Manhattan, All the President's Men), and director/producer Roger Corman (numerous MST3K films). Astonishingly, the legendary Bacall has only received one Oscar nomination in her 65-year career, for The Mirror Has Two Faces. Willis was nominated for The Godfather: Part III and Zelig. Corman, who has directed more than 50 films and produced nearly 400 (!), has never been nominated for an Oscar, probably because all of his movies are terrible. But apparently the Academy is rewarding quantity now, too. So don't give up, Uwe Boll! Just make another 300 movies!
The other award at the special ceremony was the Irving G. Thalberg Award, given to John Calley, who produced The Remains of the Day and Closer and oversaw worldwide production for Warner Bros. throughout the 1970s.
The Governors Awards were also a chance for Oscar telecast producers Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic to drop a few hints about what the big show will be like on March 7. Mechanic said they're not going to repeat the thing the 2009 show did where a coven of five past Oscar winners introduced the acting nominees.
As reported by Pete Hammond at the L.A. Times' blog The Envelope, Mechanic said that instead they'll do the traditional two-person presentations, but the pairings will have "real significance." He's already got Quentin Tarantino and Pedro Almodovar lined up to present the Foreign-Language award; I guess that combination has "real significance" because Almodovar makes foreign-language films and Tarantino, um, likes them. So we're on the right track!
Mechanic also told Hammond that he wants the show to have a lot of comedy, which makes sense given that the hosts are Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. And speaking of Baldwin, he said he's assuming Martin (who has hosted twice before) will do the heavy lifting, so he's not nervous about the show.
Personally, I loved the five-person presenting this year. I liked the one-on-one introductions from past winners to current nominees, like an old king bestowing knighthood on new subjects. But hey, anything keeps the show lively and fun is OK in my book. Mechanic and Shankman are creative, and they've already hired a couple of great co-hosts, so hopefully we'll see something memorable in March.