By Xavier Romualdo
Los Angeles, US, Mar 25 (EFE).- Samuel L. Jackson, celebrated as one of the highest-grossing actors in film history, was the star of Friday’s honorary Oscars, which the Hollywood Academy awarded two days before the 94th edition of its most famous awards.
Known as the Governors Awards, the ceremony was a small, intimate event that also paid tribute to Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann, Ingmar Bergman’s muse; and filmmaker Elaine May, one of the first women to direct big-budget movies in Hollywood.
In addition, actor Danny Glover, well known for the “Lethal Weapon” franchise, received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for his civil rights work.
Quentin Tarantino, Bill Murray and Magic Johnson were some of the celebrities at the gala, traditionally more reserved than the Oscars (it is not broadcast live on television) and in which the film community pays tribute to their legends.
This event has not been organized since 2019, is in its 12th edition and normally takes place in November, away from the Hollywood awards season.
But the pandemic forced the celebration to be postponed until Friday, coinciding with Oscars week, so none of the candidates for Sunday’s awards attended.
This event “represents a generosity of spirit that’s not always in the Hollywood spotlight,” Academy President David Rubin said at the start of the event.
Without nerves or disappointments, the event focused on recognizing the honorees, who also received a tribute on stage from artists who worked closely with them throughout their career.
Denzel Washington presented the honorary Oscar for career achievement to his “friend,” Jackson.
“152 movie titles, $27 billion in box office — more than any other actor in history,” said Washington, who also spent several minutes reciting the charities to which the actor has contributed.
Jackson recalled that he fell in love with the seventh art by watching movies in theaters segregated for the African-American population.
“It’s been a real pleasure making indelible impressions on audiences as ‘gang member number two,’ ‘hold-up man’ and ‘unforgettable black guy’ — just to name a few,” joked the star of about his early acting days, now star of such films as “Coming to America,” “Do the Right Thing,” “Jurassic Park” and “Pulp Fiction.”
The Academy also paid tribute to Elaine May, a prolific filmmaker who has worked as an actress, director and screenwriter.
May was one of the first women to get a directing contract with the big Hollywood studios, going on to direct and star in “A New Leaf,” “The Heartbreak Kid” and “Mikey and Nicky.”
Ullman received another award for her ability to approach female roles from complexity, both in Hollywood and in European cinema, as she was Ingmar Bergman’s muse in productions such as “Cries and Whispers” and “Scenes From a Marriage.” EFE