It was my first time at the Oscars as a guest—I had gone once before, years ago, as a seat filler which is a lousy way to go to the Oscars, believe me. This was different, so exciting! Naturally, I had to get all gussied up for the event and I brought my iPhone so I could sneak a few shots of the proceedings. My brother, who works for the Academy, invited me as his guest so I couldn't get too obnoxious.
Driving up Hollywood Blvd was crazy though. The street was not only closed off to all but Oscar traffic but ugly cyclone fencing had been put up along the sidewalks making sure no pedestrians went running into the road so they could get run over by George Clooney's limo. I guess. I'm not really sure why that was necessary. Not exactly glamorous, is it? Lots of cops. Lots of valet parkers.
As we pulled up, the valets helped us out of the car and led us to the red carpet which ran down the middle of Hollywood Blvd for about a half block before it arrived at Hollywood and Highland.We were surprised to see Jennifer Lopez get out of the car ahead of us. It wasn't a limo, just some high-end SUV. She looked gorgeous from behind, her gown was stunning if a teensy bit see-thru. I tried to get a shot but it was really awkward trying for a picture of her butt. She was equally gorgeous as she turned and we saw her face.There was an unbelievable amount of cheering from the crowd gathered at the corner, screaming, yelling J Lo, J Lo. As we joined the throng going through security we saw Meryl Streep, Michael Fassbender. Went through security and it was much like going on an airplane except we didn't have to remove our shoes, and we all got electronically frisked! Even JLo, even Fassbender, even Meryl Streep!
On the carpet itself we saw Cameron Diaz, Gwyneth Paltrow, Natalie Portman, Colin Firth, Christopher Lloyd, Michael Moore, Octavia Spencer, George Clooney and Stacy Kiebler. The crowd called out Steven Spielberg's name with just as much fervor as they did George Clooney's. George. GEORGE. GEORGE! GEORGE!!
How we can expect our stars to stay humble when they are treated this way, I really don't know.
As we made our way along the red carpet and upstairs to the "Formerly known as" Kodak theatre - I realized I had dropped my ticket along the way. Even though I'd had to show it to get this far, they wouldn't allow us in so we had to go back and get a duplicate ticket - thank heavens the folks in charge of security knew my bro!
Along the way we saw Viola Davis limping slowly up the stairs - her gold 5 inch heels were def cramping her style and she had to be helped along. Then we saw Sandy Bullock, rushing in late, and she tripped and almost fell flat on her face. She still looked dazzling though!
As we ran back, the red carpet was empty except for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie who were taking their time and talking to all the reporters. Brad (and earlier Octavia Spencer) were the only stars I saw walk across the carpet to greet their screaming fans in the grandstands!
It was an amazing night! We made it back in time to arrive before they closed the doors - I really wasn't worried because I knew Brad and Angie were behind us and no way the Academy would start the show without this Hollywood royalty couple in their first row seats. They entered at the last moment and were seated right in front of Martin Scoresese who they talked quite a bit with throughout the evening. George and Stacy were on the other end of the first row flanked by Sandra Bullock on one side, Michelle Williams on the other.
And there they stayed, Clooney and Pitt both remained planted in their seats and didn't hit the bar once! We went a couple of times but with the exception of Christopher Lloyd didn't see any famous faces. If any of the writers were there, I didn't recognize them!
I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the show though, from Billy Crystal's opening to the amazing Cirque de Soleil act and even The Artist stealing Best Picture from my beloved Hugo. Oh well! I was happy to see that the Best Adapted Screenplay winner matched with the results of my tiny poll, with The Descendants winning it and Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, taking the stage. We all thought Angelina was hilarious striking her leg forward pose, Faxon and Rash duplicating it were funny too. So happy to hear Alexander Payne give a shout out to novelist Kaui Hart Hemmings!
On the way out, I stopped by the womens' room where I saw Owen Wilson waiting for his mother. That made me smile, that he took his mother to the Academy Awards and that like any other son, he had to wait for her before going to the party. Even if in this case the party was the very glamorous Governor's Ball.
I saw their little group ride down the elevator together. I was a happy camper as I gave Oscar's tush a love pat goodbye.Thank you, big brother, for taking me to the Oscars. I had the time of my life!