AMPAS announces film series to celebrate the work of this year’s Honorary Oscar recipients

A few months ago it was announced that Oprah Winfrey, James Earl Jones and makeup artist Dick Smith would be the recipients of Honorary Oscars this year. The awards will be handed out at the Governors Awards on November 12.

This year, however, the Academy has put a spin on the event (which was transitioned to a satellite ceremony two years ago after the awards were previously handed out on the annual Oscar telecast). Pete Hammond reports that there will be an accompanying “Governors Awards Film Series” at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theatre, set for November 9-11, showcasing the recipients’ most significant film accomplishments.

Each night will be dedicated to a different honoree. Wednesday, November 9, a newly restored digital version of the director’s cut of William Friedkin’s “The Exorcist” will be screened, featuring Dick Smith’s transformative, terrifying work on a young Linda Blair. Thursday, November 10 will be all about Oprah Winfrey’s star-making, Oscar-nominated turn in Steven Spielberg’s “The Color Purple,” while Friday, November 11 will be dedicated to James Earl Jones and his performance in “The Great White Hope,” the only film to land him an Oscar nod.

There will also be accompanying special guests at each event with remarks on the honorees’ impact on the medium. Rick Baker, Owen Roizman, Phillip Noyce, Courtney B. Vance and Margaret Avery are scheduled to attend.

This, it goes without saying, is a wonderful idea. It shines an even brighter light on a ceremony many think was ghettoized by being disconnected from the Oscar telecast and it obviously embosses the mission of the Academy: praising and immortalizing the cinema.

Details on the series can be found at the Academy’s official website. The events will be open to the general public and tickets will go on sale November 1.