Jean-Luc Godard to skip Oscar honor

Director's companion says his intent isn't to snub Hollywood

Jean-Luc Godard hasn't formally sent the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences his regrets, but according to his companion and producing partner Anne-Marie Mieville, the 79-year old director will not be attending the Governors Awards in Hollywood on Nov. 13 when he is scheduled to be honored with an Honorary Award.

Reached in Switzerland by a reporter for The Australian newspaper, Mieville cited the director's age as reason for his not wanting to make the trip.

Godard acknowledged receiving a letter from the Academy, notifying him of the honor, which was announced last month, but he has not yet directly responded to the Academy.

"We've not formally heard that he's not coming," Academy spokesperson Leslie Unger said Monday. "We certainly hope he can and he will. But if he doesn't, we'll still honor him and have an awards presentation at the event, and we will make sure by appropriate means that the statuette gets to him in due course."

Melville suggested that Godard, who dislikes traveling, had issues with the fact that the honorary Oscar was no longer part of the Oscar telecast.

"He just told me, it's not the Oscars," Mieville said. "At first he thought it was going to be part of the same ceremony, then he realized it was a separate thing in November."

Godard's initial silence sparked speculation he would spurn the honor given the auteur's long-avowed distaste for Hollywood.

But Mieville said Godard will respond to the Academy's letter notifying him of his honor, and raised the possibility that someone from Godard's production team may accept the award in his place.

But if the Academy was hoping to be left with warm and fuzzy feelings, Mieville probably didn't end on that note, saying, "Would you go all that way just for a bit of metal?"