Angela Bassett receives honorary Oscars at starry, untelevised event


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mel Brooks received his second Oscar Tuesday night at a private dinner in the heart of Hollywood. The event, the 14th Governors Awards, was untelevised but the crowd was as starry as they come with the likes of Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, Leonardo DiCaprio, Penélope Cruz, Natalie Portman, Bradley Cooper and Jon Batiste in the audience.

“I promise not to sell this one,” Brooks said.

Hollywood’s awards season can start to feel a little gratuitously self-congratulatory, but the Governors Awards is a bit of a respite from the horse race and a chance to celebrate some of the industry’s living legends, including Brooks, Angela Bassett and film editor Carol Littleton, who all collected honorary Oscars at the Ray Dolby Auditorium, just steps from where the Academy Awards will be broadcast in March. Michelle Satter, a founding director of the Sundance Institute, also received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

The evening produced both laughs and tears, with heartfelt tributes to the honorees and acknowledgement of recent, tragic losses. Matthew Broderick and Nathan Lane serenaded Brooks with a medley, urging the crowd to join in for “Springtime for Hitler.” Regina King toasted her “Boyz N the Hood” co-star for being “excellence in human form.” Glenn Close thanked Littleton for making her look like a “really good dancer” in her second film, “The Big Chill.” And Ryan Coogler and Chloé Zhao told Satter how much her guidance meant to them when they were just starting out.

John Mulaney hosted the proceedings and got things off to a lively start.

“It’s such an honor for me to be hosting this,” Mulaney said. “Growing up, as a boy, I would always watch the non-televised Governors Awards even though they only started 14 years ago. We would all gather in front of the turned off TV. It was the only time I ever saw my dad smile.”



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