Michael J. Fox Receives Emotional Honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards
Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images
LOS ANGELES – On a star-studded night for the 13th Governors Awards the one that shone the most was Michael J Fox, the "Back to the Future" actor given a decade to live by doctors when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's at age 29. Tonight, at 61 years old, received an honorary Oscar as recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Film Academy.
“He turned a chilling diagnosis into a courageous mission. Michael J. Fox never asked for the role of an activist against Parkinson's, but it has been the best performance of him ”said Woody Harrelson in the award presentation speech, which was followed by honorary Oscars to recognize the careers of the Australian director Peter Weirthe composer Diane Warren and the pioneering filmmaker from Martinique Euzhan Palcy.
The Governors Awards, which were held at the Fairmont Century Plaza hotel in Los Angeles, brought together more than 700 people at a gala that recovered the glamor and festive spirit prior to the pandemic. Many of those present were actors and directors who aspire to be nominated in the awards season, which, with these awards, begins.
The afternoon began with a cocktail to which Michael J. Fox was one of the first to arrive, accompanied by his wife Tracy Pollan and their children. The actor and activist got up from his wheelchair to pose in front of a huge photo of himself that covered one of the hotel's columns.
Soon after, it was all familiar faces coming out of the brief red carpet: Jude Law dressed in a black tuxedo, Tom Hanks, Jessica Chastain in bright red, Cate Blanchett gorgeous in black and white, Ana de Armas Seeking a nomination for their portrayal of Marilyn Monroe in "Blonde," the cast of "Top Gun: Maverick" without Tom Cruise but led by Jennifer Connelly, Monica Barbaro and Danny Ramirezthe young man Jeremy Pope (up for nominations for his starring role in “The Inspection”) talking animatedly with eddie redmaynethe brazilian Wagner Moura (the Pablo Escobar of “Narcos”), the most popular director in India, HH Rajamouliwho has been campaigning for weeks for the amazing action film “RRR”… There was no shortage of Mexicans Alejandro González Iñárritu and Daniel Giménez Cachodirector and protagonist of “Bardo”.
Governors Awards: emotional speeches and a lot of humor
After two hours of cocktail, he went to the lounge where the guests dined -arugula salad, pear in wine and goat cheese for the first course, and balacao for the second- while the tributes to the four winners took place.
Woody Harrelson presented the award to Michael J. Fox after reviewing the career of the Canadian-born actor and telling funny anecdotes about their friendship, which started in the 80s.
"We made a mess," replied Fox, who gave a thank you speech as emotional as it was funny, in which he stressed that the best role of his life has been to be an activist in the fight against Parkinson's. His foundation has already raised $1.5 billion for research against the disease.
Cher then presented Diane Warren's honorary award.Californian composer who has created songs for more than 100 films and who is the woman with the most nominations in the history of the Oscars without having won: 13.
"I've waited 34 years to say this: I want to thank the Academy," Warren said onstage after receiving the honorary Oscar.
Actor Jeff Bridges was in charge of presenting the award to Australian director Peter Weir, responsible for films such as “Dead Poets Society” or “Witness”. Bridges, who worked under Weir's direction on "Fearless," recalled how it was the late Robin Williams who introduced them.
“I would give anything to have Robin Williams here for 5 minutes,” Weir said during his speech, thanking all the film crews he worked with. “I always thought of the whole team as the crewthey were in front of or behind the cameras”, he assured.
“My team knew it wasn't about my ego or their ego, it was about the movie's ego,” he added.
Filmmaker Euzhan Palcy received the last honorary Oscar of the night. It was the actress Viola Davis who summed up her career and presented the award.
Palcy, a native of Martinique, thanked the Governors of the Academy and recalled how Robert Redford opened the doors of Hollywood for her in 1985. Doors that she later voluntarily closed when the big studios did not want to give the green light to the projects she wanted to do. , but only to films with white protagonists.
"They told me that blacks and women were not profitable," he said in his speech, loaded with claims to inclusiveness in a room with African-American stars like Davis herself or the entire cast of "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."
"But today here we have the proof: black and women is profitable."
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