I think most people would be pretty happy to get an Oscar, even an honorary one. Considering that many great filmmakers never win best picture but get lifetime achievement Oscars, it’s still pretty noteworthy. Then again, Jean-Luc Godard isn’t most people. The pioneer of the French New Wave, known for films like Breathless (1960), has little interest in small trinkets like Oscars.
The Academy was set to present Godard with an honorary Oscar at the Governor’s Awards on November 13, but after two months of begging him to come, they have finally accepted that he won’t be showing up for the ceremonies and issued a statement acknowledging the situation. The A.V. Club notes that Godard will still get the award, but it seems rather low-key, just the way he might like it. At least he congratulated fellow Oscar recipients Kevin Brownlow, Francis Ford Coppola, and Eli Wallach for their achievements, calling them “the three other musketeers.”
Personally, I’d make a point to show up for any significant award like this, but it’s well known how much Godard dislikes Hollywood, so it’s to be expected. It does make the normally powerful Academy look like they’re grasping for recognition of their legitimacy.