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February 19, 2009

Modest parties, exhibitionist Oscar nominees


The viewing audience -- what's left of it -- may be in for a ginormous spectacle at the Oscars on Sunday night, but the soirees leading up to the "81st Annual Academy Awards" are decidedly less glam this year. 

There's a recession and all, and it seems that Hollywood doesn't want to let its crass flag fly. Not this year, when California's unemployment is edging toward 10% and the state's lawmakers are trying to close a $42 billion budget gap.

Check out Baguette's roundup of the more modest shindigs happening over the next few days. What, no gift bags? Maybe the Economic Armageddon will be over by awards season next year?

In other kibbles and bits today...

Rest in peace, little Loki. Defamer has a Loki retrospective and figures that Oscar nominee Mickey Rourke's beloved 18-year-old Chihuahua died too close to the kudocast to make it into the "In Memoriam" montage. Still, she's immortalized in a scad of red carpet snaps.

These actresses are naked. Naked! In case you didn't know that Marisa Tomei and Kate Winslet bare more than their acting chops in "The Wrestler" and "The Reader," respectively, the L.A. Times is here to give you a titillating backgrounder on the matter and on why young actresses don't want to take their clothes off but 40-somethings do.

We already knew that Tomei feels free enough to show off her smokin' hot bod as an aging stripper in her Oscar nominated role, but now, courtesy of this unnecessary piece of reportage, we see that she's creating new words to describe it.

"It was fast and furious and there was no room for being shy or for niceties. (The character's) comfortability has to become my comfortability."

Huh? Anyway, she was great.


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I know, this entry was well over a year ago, but just in the way of a reminder:

Back in 2005, the IRS went to AMPAS and let them know that the gift bag thing was not kosher, because for tax purposes, they weren't actually gifts, they were taxable income for the recipients. The Academy took it upon themselves to pay the back taxes for the most recent years, required the recipients that year to sign tax forms if they chose to take the gift bags, and phased the gift bags out completely the next year.

Not the economy, the tax men.

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Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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