Oscar weekend is upon us, and your intrepid reporter is sharpening her stilettos and dusting off the same white Ralph Lauren pantsuit that takes her through the gauntlet of cocktail parties, shindigs, ceremonies and champagne receptions every darn year, all in the service of you, faithful reader. I have this to say about ye olde pantsuit: it cleans up great. Also this: no one, truly no one, is looking at what the reporter is wearing.
To give you all some idea of the grand glamour of Oscar night for a daily newspaper reporter: imagine a subway car at rush hour, filled with passengers pressed one up against the other, in gowns and tuxedos. The train is moving, but the passengers are already late. They are trying to take notes on the lurching train while watching a monitor where important events are unfolding. Meanwhile the conductor boards and begins to make a speech about a life-threatening emergency. It is an evening when the East coast-based reporter ages about a year per ceremony. (By that count I’d be well over 50 by now, so perhaps I ought to revise that.) Fun for the winners, stress for the reporters.
This year there is precious little banter over the battle for the Oscar; without Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Katzenberg to nasty up the fight, Oscar campaigning no longer seems like a blood sport. The word on the street for Best Picture is that “The Departed” is up against “Little Miss Sunshine,” which on its face seems like a rather absurd competition. The “Sunshine” people have been trying hard to appear like the dark horse candidate; though that’s not working out. “The Departed” camp is trying not to want it too badly, since a loss for Martin Scorsese — who does seems poised to win Best Director — would be one Academy humiliation too many.
I’ll try to keep you posted as the events fly by. (Note to my male readers: Women do not actually sharpen their stilettos.)