5:15 PM “The best recognition I ever had was for the Coens,” says Javier Bardem, who won the Oscar for No Country for Old Men and is nominated for Biutiful. Alice in Wonderland director Tim Burton is letting Helena Bonham Carter do the heavy lifting on the red carpet for her The King’s Speech nomination; she has a Union Jack strapped to one peeking bare leg, and asked Alice costume designer Colleen Atwood (UPDATE who goes on to win the Oscar), to make her black gown, in order to best “cover her bum.”
(Here are soundbites from all the winners: acceptance speeches and backstage interviews.)
5:10 PM True Grit and The Social Network producer Scott Rudin is not here, say The Social Network producers Dana Brunetti (he tweets) and Michael De Luca (he doesn’t). Rudin’s checking on Book of Mormon on Broadway.
5:00 PM Last year’s best actress winner Sandra Bullock says she is feeling no stress this year as a presenter (best actor, per tradition). All she has to do is read the teleprompter. Her son likes red, so she picked a red gown so that he’ll know it’s her, she says.
4:50 PM As he did last year, tall Colin Firth stops to talk to even taller Baz Bamigboye of the London Daily Mail, as do all the Brits. Annette Bening and Warren Beatty, Halle Berry, Harvey Weinstein, Natalie Portman, Gwenyth Paltrow, and Darren Aronofsky speed along. It isn’t that late.
4:45 PM Winter’s Bone Spirit Award-winner John Hawkes still wants to do small movies, he says. Exit Through the Gift Shop‘s wackadoodle artist Mr. Brainwash, who accepted Banksy’s Spirit Award Saturday, is wearing bushy beard and Aviator shades.
4:30 PM Russell Brand, accompanied by his mum, is high on his Arthur remake. He busses Parade’s Jeanne Wolf. (Many of the men flirt with her. Mark Wahlberg calls her “beautiful”). Dale Dickey, who won a supporting actress Spirit Award as a tough Ozark woman in Winter’s Bone, cleans up nice in dangling Piaget earrings. The Social Network‘s Jesse Eisenberg and Armie Hammer stop for a chat farther down the row.
4:15 PM I didn’t recognize the gorgeous and grown-up Mandy Moore, who is singing her Tangled song tonight and put herself together backstage. Jennifer Lawrence just went by in red, Mila Kunis in lacy lavender. As the arrivals bunch up, I am catching some Flip Cam interviews which I will post later.
4:00 PM Melisso Leo stops to talk. She has been shooting HBO’s New Orleans series Treme throughout this Oscar season, and returns Wednesday. She looks stunning in white. She swears she wants someone else to win.
3:55 PM A resplendent Anne Hathaway in red whizzes by. No interviews for us print press in the bleachers.
3:35 PM Director Josh Fox says the gas companies tried to block his doc expose Gasland from getting a nomination–which only served to fuel his determination to fight them. Lee Unkrich of Toy Story 3 is up next. This film took a long time to get made, 11 years, he says. Virginia Madsen is starring in Catherine Hardwicke’s Red Riding Hood, which debuts at SXSW.
3:30 PM Per usual, for the 17th time in a row, puckish chef Wolfgang Puck is feeding over 1500 people at the Academy Governor’s Ball: Latin-flavored vegan paella, coastal seafood, smoked salmon Oscars and gold-dusted chocolate Oscars–he even does orders on demand. L.A.-based Brit David Seidler, 73, screenwriter of The King’s Speech, is recounting his tale of writing the story of his life, first as an unproduced play which director Tom Hooper’s mother saw at a reading. The rest is history, as this sleeper hit is favored to win tonight. He’s been getting many offers to write, but is trying to be picky, he told me at the Weinstein Co. party Saturday.
3:13 PM I’m on the Oscar red carpet. Susanne Bier is talking to the announcer, EW’s Dave Karger, about the Golden Globe win and Oscar nomination for In a Better World. Geoffrey Fletcher, who won the Precious adapted screenplay Oscar last year in a surprise upset (be prepared for more this time around) has been writing non-stop ever since. Black Swan‘s Mila Kunis is up; they’re talking about her dress, natch. The King’s Speech composer Alexandre Desplat has been nominated four times now and never won. He is the favorite tonight.