The Oscar party circuit continued Saturday night with HBO’s Peninsula party, presided over by documentary doyenne Sheila Nevins. (Five out of the eight doc Oscar-nominees are connected to HBO.) Rob Kenner admitted that he’s never been involved with a movie that has done as much publicity as Food Inc., while Roadside Attractions co-heads Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff were crossing their fingers that Oscar predicters are right to place The Cove as the front-runner to win the doc Oscar.
I got a kick out of talking to two of the stars, Paul “Popeye” Hurst and Kathy Day, of Steve Bognar and Julia Reichert’s moving document The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant. Neither has found a new job since the Moraine, Ohio plant closed on December 23, 2008, laying off 2500 workers. (Here’s Oscars Sunday, as will Prudence Mabhena, the disabled star of another doc short, Music by Prudence, who flew in from South Africa on Friday and performed at the party. She was exhausted from jet lag, and clearly had mixed feelings about rolling down the red carpet in her wheelchair Sunday. I’m picking The Last Truck to win.
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The Oscar circuit is exhausting for all who participate, from nominee Mark Boal to the journalists covering. I was spared the Sony Pictures Classics sit-down dinner (no press) and the Weinstein Co. party at Soho House (ironically the site of one of the best ever pre-Oscar parties, for Disney/Miramax, the year of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly). Citing capacity Fire Marshall regulations, the black-dressed young women manning the barricades were only ushering through red-carpet-worthy celebs, from Mira Sorvino and Les Moonves to Anjelica and Danny Huston, to others who waited for a half hour or more to be plucked from the queue, including press agent Peggy Siegal and The Carpetbagger Melena Ryzik (who tweeted that Quentin Tarantino had bailed by the time she got in). While I had a fine time waiting for things to open up at Boa round the corner with Mark Gill and Hanna Weg and IFC’s Arianna Bocco, Gawker snuck in through the service elevator. We eventually all went home.
Here are some random Oscar pieces worth perusing:
A gallery of Art Streiber’s fabulous backstage Oscar shots, which he started doing when I was at Premiere.