The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. announced Friday that awards-adverse Woody Allen will be on hand to receive their highest honor — the Cecil B. DeMille Award — at the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards on January 12, 2014. The news is doubly surprising in that the announcement of the honoree was not expected until November 6.
“There is no one more worthy of this award than Woody Allen,” said HFPA president Theo Kingma. “His contributions to filmmaking have been phenomenal and he is an international treasure.” He will most likely have a film in contention at the next Golden Globes: “Blue Jasmine,” starring probable nominee Cate Blanchett.
Over a career that spans 55 films, Allen has won two Golden Globes for his screenplays (“The Purple Rose of Cairo,” 1985; “Midnight in Paris,” 2011). Of his other 11 bids, five were for directing, four for screenplays, and two for acting.
Allen won Oscars for scripting and directing 1977 Best Picture champ “Annie Hall” as well as for his original screenplays for “Hannah and Her Sisters” (1987) and “Midnight in Paris.” In addition, he has earned one nod for acting, six for directing, and 12 others for writing.
Despite his success, Allen has never deigned to accept any of these awards in person. He did make a surprising appearance to thunderous applause at the 2002 Oscars to introduce a clip package about films set in New York. That event was held a few months after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11.
“Fame has many drawbacks and many advantages and it’s close, but the advantages just outweigh the drawbacks,” he told HFPA members when he met them recently. “Believe it or not, there are many terrible things about being famous and many wonderful things, too. In the end, the good things are better than the bad, so if you have the chance, it’s better to be famous.”
The most recent recipient of the DeMille life achievement award was Jodie Foster this past January. Other directors receiving the honor have included Warren Beatty, Clint Eastwood, Alfred Hitchcock, Robert Redford, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Barbra Streisand.