The Oscars don’t always get it right, and that’s why they have the Honorary Award. Countless actors and actresses have contributed greatly to the cinematic medium, but not every impact is deemed “Oscar-worthy.” Until the Academy at large begins embracing all genres and performance, the prize is given to reward a career that has had an influence in film.
The honor was created for achievements not covered by existing competitive categories and has been used for a few “course corrections” or significant milestones worth celebrating. In the past, the special award has been bestowed on artists such as Jackie Chan, Steve Martin, Gena Rowlands, Donald Sutherland and most recently David Lynch, Wes Studi and Lina Wertmüller, (“Seven Beauties”), the first female directing nominee.
There’s no limit to the number of awards that can be handed out each year, and giving suggestions can be tricky. Below are my recommendations for the Academy to consider.
Jamie Lee Curtis
Our favorite “scream queen,” has been a pillar of the industry. It’s time for the Oscars to acknowledge her impact. “True Lies” was also a major miss for AMPAS.
Devine is one of those actors who is always a recognizable and appreciated presence. Her roles in “Waiting to Exhale” and “Crash” are just the tip of the iceberg of her four-decade career.
The voice of Chucky may be the first thing movie lovers recall, but the 70-year-old has starred in two picture nominees (“Mississippi Burning,” “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers”) and two winners (“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “LOTR:
The Return of the King”). The former got him an acting nom. Honoring Dourif would recognize not just the horror genre but an actor with five decades of service.
In pop culture, the 74-year-old may be Lieutenant Murtaugh of the “Lethal Weapon” franchise, but his acting contributions have been plentiful. In addition to his abusive husband in Steven Spielberg’s “The Color Purple” and his underrated turn in Charles Burnett’s “To Sleep With Anger,” Glover has lent his signature presence to “Dreamgirls” and “Beyond the Lights.”
Arguably one of the biggest stars in all of cinema history, the 78-year-old has mustered just one nomination in his career (for “Witness”). He’s had roles in eight best picture nominees, including Indiana Jones in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and Han Solo in “Star Wars.” He has a few snubs to boot, most notably for “The Fugitive.”
“Get away from her, you bitch” is a line that is entrenched in our cinematic psyches. Besides Ripley in “Aliens,” the three-time Oscar nominee is one of only a few actors to win a pair of Golden Globes on the same night (for “Gorillas in the Mist” and “Working Girl”). It’s about time she was given the Oscar spotlight.
Other possibilities or perhaps too soon: Jane Alexander, Ed Harris, Richard Gere, Marsha Mason, Edward James Olmos, Martin Sheen, Liv Ullman, Bruce Willis
Visit THE AWARDS HUB to see the full list of contenders by category.
Academy Awards Predictions (All Categories)
- 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Picture
- 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Director
- 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Actor
- 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Actress
- 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actor
- 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actress
- 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Original Screenplay
- 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Adapted Screenplay
- 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Animated Feature
- 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Production Design
- 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Cinematography
- 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Costume Design
- 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Film Editing
- 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Makeup and Hairstyling
- 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Sound
- 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Visual Effects
- 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Original Score
- 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Original Song
- 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Documentary Feature