In last month's poll question: "Which actor most deserves a posthumous Academy Award for lifetime achievement?" William Powell treated his tough guy competitors to a butt kicking:
William Powell32 (43%)
Robert Mitchum 19 (25%) Glenn Ford 9 (12%) Tyrone Power 8 (10%) Leslie Howard 4 (5%) Dana Andrews 2 (2%)
When thinking of who to select, I would definitely think of how each actor would've given their speech. Based on that reason alone, I would've voted Mitchum. He'd be amused by the whole thing and not moved at all. However, this is a posthumous award, so we'd have to take a more dewey and sentimental look at an after-the-fact Oscar. If Powell were to actually get an honorary Oscar, most of today's young dopes--and that includes a number of middle-aged dopes--wouldn't even know who William Powell even was. They'd probably think he was a former Secretary of State or something. Maybe copious clips of Bill with Myrna and Asta in their great Thin Man movies together would still have some effect--just as long as they don't attempt to remake those beloved films---we'd end up with Tom Hanks and Julianne Moore as Nick and Nora. Moore's Nora would have to have "six-pack abs" and "kick ass" ability while Hanks' Nick would be weak-willed and have to demonstrate "regret" and "torment" over his chronic drinking "problem."
In an era where smoking cigarettes on screen can earn a film an "R" rating and the only time class and romanticism is possible is through the lens of the past, a Thin Man remake is a reminder that we don't have elegant, suave, men-of-action and charming wit like William Powell anymore and it's a shame that he'll never receive any kind of honor from plastic surgery-obssessed, CGI-dependent, bad-comic-book movie Hollywood where the likes of Shia Lebeouf and Ben Affleck are considered the leading lights of cinema...Hey, this turned into a rant! :D