I'm always slightly surprised when awards bodies choose to bestow a lifetime achievement honor upon a recipient already firmly in the running for a competitive prize that year. Something about it seems a tad gauche and redundant to me: why not single out a worthy candidate not already being feted throughout the season?
Still, it's a route the Producers' Guild of America has taken for the last few years with their highest career honor, the David O. Selznick Award Achievement Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures. Last year, Steven Spielberg was given the award on top of his Producer of the Year nomination for "War Horse," and his equivalent citation in the animated field for "The Adventures of Tintin." (He won the latter, to boot.) The year before, Scott Rudin received the Selznick Award, just as he was favored by many to take the PGA prize for "The Social Network." (As it turned out, he didn't.)