A season ago, Omicron’s surge of COVID forced the postponement of the Governors’ Oscars until the Friday before the Oscars on Sunday, outside of the pre-Oscar nomination voting window in which it traditionally stands, and hardly anyone other than the winners and their table guests were present.
The Special Oscars ceremony returned in this window on Saturday night for its 13th edition, and—surprise, surprise! – just about everyone with a prayer for a name made their way to the ballroom at the Fairmount Century Plaza – to celebrate the winners Michael J. Fox, Diane Warren, Peter Weir and Eujan Palcysure, but not incidentally to pose for photos next to the Oscars logo on the red carpet and rub shoulders with Academy members and the awards press inside.
Studios pay a pretty penny to get tables at the Governors Awards so they can then offer their ponies places in the Oscar derby, and they clearly had no problem filling them up this year. Indeed, I’ve been covering these award shows in Hollywood for many years now, and rarely have I seen such a star-studded venue. We couldn’t turn around without bumping into, say, Adam Sandler (Hustle) Where Jennifer Lawrence (Pavement) Where tom hank (Elvis) Where Cate Blanchett (Warehouse).
A few big names were there to play an official role in the proceedings. Thirteen times best original song Oscar bridesmaid Warren was not only a guest of honor, but is also a candidate for a 14th nomination for “Applause” from say it like a woman. More, Woody Harrelson (triangle of sadness) presented to Fox, Viola Davis (The female king) presented to Palcy and was seated at his table, as was Ruth E. Carter (Governor of the academy and costume designer of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) and both Keke Palmer and Jordan Pele (Nope). But most were not.
And I think attendance has surely been boosted by the fact that this year’s image and actor categories still seem so open. Everyone’s still in the game, so to speak – even people from projects that might not look like traditional Oscar bait, like a cannibal movie (eg. bones and allthe main actress of Taylor Russell), an R-rated comedy (e.g. Brothersco-writer/star of Billy Eichner) and non-English blockbusters (RRRco-writer/director of SS Rajamouli) — so it was worth showing up, even if we couldn’t stay long in town.
For instance, Ana de Armas (Blond) told me she was shooting a movie in Europe and couldn’t get back to LA until February, but she made sure she was in town for it. Florence Poug (Wonder) also toured overseas Dune: part twobut she was in the room with Emma Corrin (Lady Chatterley’s Lover). And Eddie Redmayne (The good nurse) arrived from London. And that’s just the talent of Netflix projects!
It certainly doesn’t discourage attendance that many high profile media opportunities – THRthe round tables of actors, Variety‘s Actors on Actors, GameSpot’s Contenders, and more — not to mention The Guild’s Q&A and the like — are now scheduled around Governors Awards weekend.
Many of this year’s attendees were rookies who were really excited to be there. For example, earlier on Saturday, I was talking about the event with the top actor contestants. Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrel (The Banshees of Inisherin), Brendan Fraser (The whale), Jeremy Pope (Inspection) and Ke Huy Quan (Everything everywhere all at once), who has made plans with Sandler (a former participant of Uncut Gems) to get together for a drink once there.
As the Governors Awards enter their teens, they’ve become one of the coolest stops on the campaign trail — and, yes, even more star-studded than the Oscars themselves.
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Governors Awards: Oscar hopefuls return in droves as Academy event turns 13 – CNET – ApparelGeek