Woody Allen never does awards shows. When he popped up at the Oscars in 2002 in the wake of 9/11, it was a huge surprise, and a welcome one. He eschews this kind of stuff and has never been in attendance to accept any of the four Oscars or two Golden Globes he’s received throughout his career.
So it’s a little bit of a surprise that he’s been bestowed — however deservedly — with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Cecil B. DeMille Award. After all, the organization would surely like him to be on hand to actually accept the lifetime achievement honor. It would be a little strange for a big fete without the guy in the wings to accept and give a speech, etc. Nevertheless, whether he shows up or not, it’s an inarguable tip of the hat.
“There is no one more worthy of this award than Woody Allen,” HFPA president Theo Kingma said via press release. “His contributions to filmmaking have been phenomenal and he truly is an international treasure.”
The award is chosen annually by the HFPA Board of Directors. Recent recipients have included Jodie Foster, Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Warren Beatty, Anthony Hopkins, Michael Douglas, Gene Hackman, Harrison Ford, Al Pacino and Barbra Streisand.
Allen’s “Blue Jasmine” is in the thick of the awards conversation this year, particularly for Cate Blanchett’s leading performance, a frontrunner to win the Oscar until someone else comes along to knock her off the perch, in fact. Allen is also in the hunt for original screenplay recognition for the film, which itself could be a Best Picture play for Sony Pictures Classics.
Most recently Allen won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for 2011’s “Midnight in Paris.” He has won two Golden Globes for writing throughout his career, for that film and 1985’s “The Purple Rose of Cairo.”
The 71st annual Golden Globe Awards will be held on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014.