We already know four Oscar winners! Sure, it’s not the winners of Best Actor or Best Cinematography, but we do know who won the Honorary Academy Awards, the special ones given to older Hollywood types who haven’t or won’t win for their other works. It’s how Steve Martin won an “Oscar,” it’s how Oprah won her “Oscar,” and now, we have a new recipient who allows us the ability to utter the greatest sentence known to man: “Academy Award winner Jackie Chan.”
Yes, Jackie Chan leads the class of this year’s Honorary Oscar winners. I’m sure that this will catch many people off guard, who think of Chan as the actor in Rush Hour and The Tuxedo, but that’s selling Chan short. He’s also a talented musician, and his style of kung fu is revolutionary-and highly underrated. Many people think he is an average kung fu master and a decent physical comedian, but what is often overlooked is the fact that he has successfully blended the two. He helped to perfect, if not create, the “Drunken Monkey” style, using improvised stupidity as a means to win his battles. He’s so skilled at it, he was an unlisted choreographer and director of his Hong Kong films, including their action masterpieces Drunken Master, the superior Drunken Master II: The Legend of the Drunken Master, and the Police Story series. While Chan will never win a competitive Oscar, this acknowledgment of his contribution to film is well deserved.
Another recipient is Anne V. Coates, the editor of classic epics Lawrence of Arabia, Becket, Murder on the Orient Express, The Elephant Man, and Erin Brockovich. It’s ironic that they are awarding an editor for a series of the longest films known to man, but credit where it’s due, those films are all incredible, and editing is a large part of that.
Meanwhile, Lynne Stalmaster, the casting director who put together the casts of In the Heat of the Night, The Right Stuff and The Untouchables.
The final recipient is Frederick Wiseman, the documentarian who made the philosophical and sociological studies In Jackson Heights, La Danse, High School and Hospital.
These awards will be given out in November, instead of during the show, but we will see clips of the Governor’s Awards during the ceremony on February 26, 2017.