Entertainment & Arts

Honorary Oscar for British 'trailblazer' editor Anne V Coates

Anne V Coates, Jackie Chan, Frederick Wiseman and Lynn Stalmaster Image copyright AFP
Image caption Anne V Coates, Jackie Chan, Frederick Wiseman and Lynn Stalmaster receiving honorary Oscars

British film editor Anne V Coates has been given an honorary Oscar, 53 years after her first Academy Award.

The 90-year-old previously won an Oscar for Lawrence of Arabia in 1963.

She was hailed as "a trailblazer" by Nicole Kidman at the Governors Awards, the Academy's dedicated ceremony for honorary awards.

Her career has spanned the 1952 adaptation of Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers and last year's Fifty Shades of Grey.

Accepting the award, Coates said: "Can you imagine a job where you're actually paid to look into the eyes of George Clooney, Peter O'Toole, Richard Burton, Peter Finch, Sean Connery, Albert Finney, Clint Eastwood, Richard Gere, Daniel Craig, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Fifty Shades Of Grey himself Jamie Dornan?"

'The greatest'

Stars paid tribute to Coates at the ceremony, including Richard Gere, who appeared in the 2002 film Unfaithful, which she edited.

He hailed her as "one of the great giants of our industry" and "the greatest of the great, great, great film editors".

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Richard Gere presents Anne V Coates with her award

Australian star Kidman said: "Anne V. Coates is not a great female editor, she is a great, great editor. She's not trailblazer for women, she's a trailblazer for all of us.

"Anne has left her mark on some of the greatest films of all time."

Anne V Coates: A life in film

  • She began her career working on religious films before getting a job at Pinewood Studios by slightly exaggerating her experience
  • After winning the Oscar for best editing in 1963, she was nominated four more times, for Becket, The Elephant Man, In the Line of Fire and Out of Sight.
  • She also worked on the 1974 movie of Murder on the Orient Express, Richard Attenborough's Chaplin and Erin Brockovich.
  • She was also nominated for Bafta Film Awards four times, and in 2007 received a Bafta Academy Fellowship.

Born in Reigate in Surrey in 1925, Coates has continued to work up until last year, when she edited the film adaptation of EL James's racy international bestseller, Fifty Shades of Grey.

She told the LA Times last week that she had tried to make the film more raunchy.

"They were worried they wouldn't get the R rating. I would have had her trussed up like a suitcase and hoisted to the ceiling," she said.

Lifetime achievement

Also honoured at the ceremony on Saturday night were the documentary film maker Frederick Wiseman, casting director Lynn Stalmaster and the martial arts star Jackie Chan.

Chan made his film debut at the age of eight, before starring in more than 30 films in Hong Kong.

He achieved worldwide fame after Rumble in the Bronx in 1995, going on to star in Hollywood films including the Rush Hour trilogy, Shanghai Noon and The Karate Kid in 2010.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Jackie Chan receives his award from Sylvester Stallone

"It's a dream," Chan said on stage. "Friends, fans around the world, because of you I have a reason to continue making movies, jumping out windows, kicking and punching and breaking my bones."

The Governors Awards, which were attended by stars such as Sylvester Stallone, Don Cheadle and Helen Mirren, were launched in 2009 to provide more time to celebrate honorary awards than the televised Oscar ceremony in February allows.

They are intended to recognise lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to cinema and outstanding service to the Academy.

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