Well, sometimes they get 'em right.
You've read my feelings about the AFI Life Achievement Award here many times. Too often in the past they have chosen recipients whose time was too early. Especially when you consider who hasn't been honored yet. The likes of Tom Hanks, Morgan Freeman and Meryl Streep, despite stellar careers, did not deserve the merit before those who were acting a decade or two before them. And while I am still waiting for the AFI to do the right thing and herald Robert Redford, John Williams, Gene Hackman, Robert Duvall, Woody Allen and Peter O'Toole, I am absolutely thrilled that they chose to honor Shirley MacLaine as this year's choice. It is well-deserved and long overdue.
I've written about why she is so deserving before in my 'Open Letter To the AFI, Part 2' posted on July 1st of this year. In it I chronicled Shirley's amazing accomplishments and six decades of brilliant work. And she's still going strong starring in films on the big screen and small. She is still fit and beautiful too. She's 77 now and still out there performing. And she's always a great talk show guest too. I can't wait to hear what her speech will be when she gets up to accept the award.
The AFI has many months now to get her ceremony together but I can't help think that it would be entirely appropriate if her younger brother Warren Beatty was the master of ceremonies. She sat right next to him when he received the award a few years back as I'm sure he will do this coming year when she receives it. And having the witty and droll Beatty run the emcee chores would be all the more fitting as well as entertaining.
So here's to you, Shirley MacLaine! Long may you reign. And thank you for all you've given the world. And thank you, American Film Institute, for getting this year's selection so spectacularly right.