Not so much of a surprise. The Academy has officially confirmed that Jean-Luc Godard won’t be attending the Governors Award to accept his honorary Oscar, capping off a particularly tragi-comic tale.
Earlier this summer, Godard’s name was announced alongside Francis Ford Coppola, silent film historian Kevin Brownlow and 94-year-old actor Eli Wallach as recipients of this year’s honorary Oscar awards. There was just one problem, they couldn’t reach the guy. Bruce Davis, the Academy’s executive director, said at the time, “We have tried by telephone, by fax, by emails to various friends and associates. We have sent a formal letter by FedEx. But we have certainly not been told he will show up at this point.” Well, eventually he found out and declined to attend and then later changed his mind saying he would come “schedule permitting.” That’s kind of answer you give somebody you don’t really want to see, but also don’t want to hurt their feelings.
At any rate, with the dinner and awards to take place in just a few weeks on November 13th, it’s now official that he won’t be coming because he’s probably too busy being post-modern and reading Balzac somewhere. The Academy will make arrangements to deliver the statue to Switzerland, where he resides.