Oscars 2010: Academy Awards after parties

Jen Chaney and Amy Argetsinger
Washington Post Staff Writers
Monday, March 8, 2010; 2:00 PM

Want to know what really happened behind the scenes at the Oscars? Which celebs shined and which were behaving badly?

From the red carpet to backstage to the after-parties, online movies editor Jen Chaney and Amy Argetsinger of the Reliable Source have the scoop on what really went down during Hollywood's biggest night.

They were online Monday, March 8, at 2 p.m. ET to answer your questions and dish on all the Oscar dirt.

Full Coverage: 2010 Academy Awards


Jen Chaney: We're here. Or as here as we can be in the fog of the day after the Oscars. I was on the red carpet for, roughly, 87 hours yesterday, then in the press room, then at the Governor's Ball and, finally, getting rebuffed from the Elton John party by some rude L.A. snot that didn't seem to realize The Washington Post has been on the list for that party since the beginning of time.

And now, I'm ready to take your questions. As is Amy -- over to you, my equally hard-working friend.

Amy Argetsinger: Yeah, what she said. I had better luck than Jen last night -- but that meant that my already-long day got extended into 5 a.m. PST. So, you all lead the way, please!


And the Oscar Goes To...: "I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar?"

Whose moronic idea was it to break out into THAT song?

Amy Argetsinger: I know, I know. Just as Kathryn Bigelow becomes the first woman to win Best Director. And while Barbra Streisand, the presenter, was making a big deal of this first, Bigelow notably did not.

At the backstage press conference, reporters drew her out on her thoughts about being a woman director, and she said, "I like to be thought of as just a filmmaker. I long for the day when modifier can be a moot point."

But onstage, she pointedly did not bring it up, which Natalie Portman thought was pretty cool. (Or so I overheard her telling someone in the ladies room at the Vanity Fair party.)


So, what's the deal: On Sandra Bullock's mother? Is she no longer with us? Why did talking about her make her cry? As an adoptive mom, though, I appreciated her comments honoring those of us to choose to mother someone else's child -- even though I don't see that child as being "someone else's." Do you think she was referring to step-parents, and thus herself?

Jen Chaney: Yes, her mother died back in 2000, so I'm sure that was where some of the emotional response came from. I actually teared up while sitting in the press room. You know, because I'm a jackass.

And when she referenced someone else's child, I think she was talking about Leigh Tuohy, the character she played, but also stepparents, adoptive parents, etc. I thought it was a very nice, composed speech and appreciated that she -- like most of our winners last night, actually -- gave it without whipping out a piece of paper.


I don't get it....: Why did so many people talk about how lovely Gabourey Sidibe looked? She looked better at the Golden Globes! Her dress did not even look comfortable.

Jen Chaney: I thought she looked fine. I only saw her from afar yesterday, but I thought the dress was a pretty color.

Amy Argetsinger: She looked a little weary by the time I saw her early this a.m. But you know, she's got a real presence, a definite charisma. Will be interesting to see how her career fares from here.


Meryl Streep: You said you met her after the awards ceremony. Was she friendly, gracious, funny or perfunctory?

Jen Chaney: She was all of the above. I talked to her very, very briefly, just long enough to say hello and that I admire her work, and for her to tell me about the martini she drank.

Which is another way of saying that now we're the closest of friends and will be lunching together later today.

(Yeah, right.)


My favorite joke of the night: Other than "damn Helen Mirren" was when Steve Martin said that he and the star of "Precious" had both been "born a poor black child" -- to get that, you had to be old enough to have seen the Steve Martin movie, "The Jerk." Too funny! And, yes, I have had to explain it to several people.

Jen Chaney: I burst out laughing in the press room at that one, too. Guess that makes me an Oldy McOlderson, too.

Amy Argetsinger: He was definitely rewarding the long-time fans with that one. Always nice when they throw in a joke that makes you feel smart to have gotten it.


Near the White House: George Clooney looked you IN THE EYE? I would have gone home then. Nothing could top that.

Jen Chaney: At the risk of sounding braggy (which is almost impossible when you talk about meeting Clooney), this was the third time I've met him. So he's looked me in the eye before. (I've even been *touched* by him. Yes, I have since washed.)

So last night, it was still thrilling but I didn't think I was going to pass out or anything.


DC: Am I the only one who thought Demi Moore looked EXACTLY like Jennifer Connelly? Even now, looking at next day photos, she just doesn't look like herself. What up with that?

Amy Argetsinger: Because she was wearing a sort of droopy flesh-colored dress? Like Jennifer Connelly did when she won in 2002? I wonder if that's one of those infamous Oscar dresses that look amazing in the room but horrifying on camera under bright lights. I'm thinking of that droopy see-through gothy black dress Gwyneth wore, possibly the same year.


Speaking of Meryl Streep: She said during one of her red carpet interviews that she was glad to see "all of my friends, cleaned up". She is actually very funny.

Jen Chaney: That's what Sandra Bullock was saying to us on the red carpet. After, of course, she said that she and Streep plan to star in a lesbian comedy together.

I'd pay money to watch that.


Bernie Taupin: If this helps me you feel any better, Elton's totally forgotten me, too.

Jen Chaney: Okay, that made me laugh out loud.

Actually, going to that party didn't hold a candle in the wind to being able to go back to my hotel at midnight and sit the hell down. The bottoms of my feet have blisters that have blisters that are, in turn, beginning to form callouses. It's not pretty.


Appalled in VA: What's going on with Suzy Amis (James Cameron's wife)? Not only was she dangerously thin, but her teeth were off color and her hair was unhealthy looking. Seriously, is she ill?

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, I'm fascinated with Suzy Amis. Didn't get to see her in person last night -- Cameron skipped the VF party -- but I think she's pretty great looking. AND, I think she hasn't had any work done whatsoever. If you saw her walking down the street in Virginia, you wouldn't think she looked bad -- you'd think she was an attractive earthy-crunchy 48-year-old. But our frame of reference for her is shiny, tight, buffed up Hollywood people... so her appearance is somewhat jarring.

Can you tell that I do nothing but think about cosmetic surgery when I'm in L.A.? The few who haven't done it just stand out so dramatically these days. Last year I could not stop staring at Melissa Leo, all the lines on her face. And last night, well, seeing Jeremy Renner and Sean Penn together -- horizontal forehead lines are SO HOT. In part because they're so rare to see here.


NOT ALONE on the Demi-Jennifer Connolly thing: I said the same thing to the guests at my party -- it's weird, all the subtle plastic surgery is morphing her into J.C.

Amy Argetsinger: Demi Moore is 10 months younger than Suzy Amis.


Purcellville, Va.: I thought Molly Ringwald looked ageless, and not just in comparison to the other stars of John Hughes films. (And not "zaftig" as one Post writer called her.) But is she in poor health? It was noticeable that she needed help with getting up or down one or two steps during the tribute.

Jen Chaney: You know, watching the telecast from the press room puts you at a disadvantage in terms of seeing the show, because winners are often coming in to answer questions from the press. And since you're working and listening to all of that, you often miss what's happening on stage.

So I only saw portions of the Hughes tribute (I am praying my DVR recorded). But from what I saw of Ringwald, she did look decent. Know who's also ageless? Her "Pretty in Pink" co-star, Jon Cryer, who I spoke to during the Governor's Ball.


Ashland, Ore.: Was it just me, or did Barbra seem kind of annoyed that Bigelow had the nerve to go up on stage and steal Bab's Big Moment?

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, I don't think so. I think she was genuinely happy for Bigelow -- and if anything, Bigelow's win draws attention back to Barbra and her own career. (It was considered a snub back in the day when she wasn't nominated for directing Yentl or The Prince of Tides.)


Is it me?: Or did George Clooney seem to have "an attitude"? He looked like he did not want to be there, as well as a bad sport for the jokes etc. He looks a little too full of himself these days...maybe he knew he was not going to win.

Amy Argetsinger: Jen had a very special encounter with Mr. Clooney that she'd like to tell you about. She's in a better position than me to testify to his mood yesterday.

Jen Chaney: I honestly think all that 'tude during the show was supposed to be a joke. He seemed in a perfectly jovial mood, from what I could tell.

And as for the special encounter Amy mentions, I think she's referring to his answer to the question I posed on the red carpet: does this Oscars feel different from the previous ones you've attended, or are they all a blur?

His response: "It feels a little different because you're here."

Weirdly, it also felt really different to me because I was there.


Who did you see last night: who looked like they just didn't belong? Why? (Don't say yourselves or other "working" folks!)

Amy Argetsinger: Kid Rock. Standing in a corner at the VF party, smoking a cigarette, looking shy.

Jen Chaney: Kathy Ireland. I know she was there to host some pre-Oscar show, but I didn't know that when I first spotted her on the red carpet.

She looked great, but I was just like: huh?


Annapolis, Md.: Whatever happened to glib? To clever, meaningful little speeches that weren't lists of names or "whoo-hoos"? It's getting worse and worse.

Amy Argetsinger: I was unimpressed by the speeches. I found myself with fingers hovering over the keyboard whenever someone got up to talk -- and then just not typing anything because no one said anything memorable. Jen?

Jen Chaney: Maybe I'm too forgiving, but I thought there were a few decent speeches. I liked that Mo'Nique kept it brief and to the point. I thought Bullock's was nice. Michael Giacchino's also was sweet.

Jeff Bridges rambled a bit, but that's his thing, man.


New Market, Va.: Did I actually hear James Camerson "WHOOP" when Kathryn Bigelow won for best director? In the same vein, so glad she sank his boat with Hurt Locker.

Amy Argetsinger: I think he's genuinely happy for her. Their breakup was more or less amicable (it's been nearly two decades since they were married for about two years), and they've been mutually supportive of each other's careers. And remember -- he already got his directing Oscar.

Having said that -- maybe we're projecting, but we assume he had to be disappointed that "Avatar" only walked away with three Oscars. It wasn't a huge surprise that it didn't win picture or director, but I think we all figured it would vacuum up all the technical nominations.


Best Actor Speech: Seriously, Jeff Bridges a man of the 70s or higher than a kite during that speech?

Jen Chaney: Man of the '70s. Mos def.


Kristen Stewart: Bad posture. No stage presence. Did you notice the cough over the shoulder thing when she was presenting? Has no one taught the girl to cover her mouth when she cough? What a nothing burger.

Jen Chaney: The cough was definitely odd. She always seems a little uncomfortable with herself at events like this. Her publicist didn't bring her over to us on the red carpet, and perhaps that was by design.


Jeremy Renner -- short?: So in the all the actors on stage Jeremy Renner looked little. Funny because he seemed way larger than life in the movie. Is he short for real? And he has the most charming smile. Just saying.

Amy Argetsinger: He is a little shorter than I expected, and I expected short, and he had a grimy little soul patch going on -- but he was easily the most attractive man in the room.


Gabourey Sidibe: We all know she is a big girl...hey I am too...but how tall is she...does she look as big in person as she does on screen. She looks nice considering the options for women of size.

Jen Chaney: She looks like a big girl, but I would say not as big as she does in "Precious."

She's a sweet girl, not always super-polished when taking press questions. But that's actually what I like about her.

Amy Argetsinger: She's not tall. Taller than me by a couple inches, but not tall.


Silver Spring: Best moment hands down -- Ben Stiller's use of the Hebrew blassing over wine in his Na'avi speech. And everyone missed it!

Amy Argetsinger: Jen, did you get this? The thing about covering the Oscars is that you barely get to see the Oscars. It's the most disorienting experience. There's so much going on in the filing center, and then when one of the winners walks in for their press conference, they turn down the sound on the broadcast, and you have to decide whether to listen to the person in the room or listen to the show in earphones, or both at once...


The WTF moments: So your colleague Hornaday gave a link to the behind the scenes scoop of "Prudence".

The story behind Oscar's "Kanye moment" (Slate, March 8)

But was there any more discussion behind the actual scenes of what happened?

And did Clooney or Baldwin or anyone ever clarify if that awkward staring/mean contest was a flat joke or some real animosity?

Jen Chaney: I think it was Liz Kelly who linked to the "Prudence" explainer, but no matter.

I agree that was totally a Kanye moment and came off as incredibly rude. She was also very pushy backstage when they came back to answer questions, though I didn't catch all of what they were saying. I don't think anyone asked about the lawsuit but I may have missed it while I was tweeting, e-mailing, listening to the telecast, etc. Lord, what a mess.

Re: Clooney, I just can't imagine that was real animosity. Perhaps I am naive, but it seems more in character for him to effectively pretend to be annoyed as a joke.


Toss It On the Pile: What was the reaction to Sandy "I Already Have Two of These" Powell's speech?

Jen Chaney: A couple of our press colleagues remarked on how that didn't come across quite right.

The thing is, she also said something very similar at the BAFTAs, I think it was. She probably didn't mean it that way, but it did seem a little, um, arrogant.


Leesburg, Va.: Looking at the dresses in "The Year of the Train," I couldn't help wondering how J.Lo and Zoe Saldana could manage sitting down in them without seriously encroaching on their neighbor's space. And didn't they need a wide berth to navigate the after parties?

Amy Argetsinger: One way to identify celebrities at the after-parties is by the size of the dress. If you see someone from a distance who is taking up enough space for four people, you know it's a famous actress who was on stage a few hours earlier. I didn't see Saldana or J.Lo later, but it's not unusual for some of the stars to change into something lighter and smaller before the parties.


"feet have blisters that have blisters...": Does anyone shake off the tyranny of the crazy heels and just say "ENOUGH" and switch over to flats after a couple of hours?

Jen Chaney: Smart people do. I actually saw a number of ladies wearing fancy flats or more comfortable sandals than the strappy ones I had on. I also had to walk 5,000 miles (or so it felt) to get to the red carpet because of security checkpoints, even though my hotel is only a block and a half away. So I had blisters before things even got started.

If I ever do this again, I'm wearing bedazzled flip-flops or something.


Washington, DC: Robert Downey, Jr.: H-O-T in his bowtie. Also hilarious at Jimmy Kimmel afterwards. Anything to dish about him?

Amy Argetsinger: Dan Zak spotted him stooping to kiss his wife's belly at the VF party, which I guess is the kind of thing you do if you want people to speculate about a pregnancy. Link to follow.


washingtonpost.com: Partying with the stars at Vanity Fair's post-Oscar bash

Amy Argetsinger: Enjoy!


About Kathy Ireland ...: She was there to co-host ABC's pre-show, so being on the same network, it's understandable she stuck around. But ... did she look pregnant to you? If not, her gown was doing her no favors during the pre-show.

Jen Chaney: I saw that woman from the side, and hell to the no, she did not look pregnant. Not even remotely.


BE OUR EYES AND EARS! Who looks better/worse/strange in person?: What was the most interesting conversation snippet you heard all night?

Amy Argetsinger: Conversational snippet -- I think that would have to be the one Dan reported in the aforementioned story: Nick Jonas saying "Don't tell me about that. You weren't there for 9/11." Wha?

Honestly, they all look pretty amazing in person, once you get over your hangup about horizontal forehead lines, or lack thereof.


Party Crasher: Maybe the Salahis arrived at Elton John's party before you, and got in by claiming they were from the Washington Post?

Jen Chaney: Ah, there's the explanation!

Actually, another journalist on the red carpet remarked that there was no way the Salahis could get into the Oscars given the tight security. And I think he's right. You need to show badges at every turn.

Security was very nice and accommodating, though. As of Saturday afternoon, I was petrified that this would be a Soup Nazi situation and that if I made one inappropriate move, they'd be all: "No Clooney soup for you!"


SF: If you were Hillary Swank, why would you wear that dress?

Amy Argetsinger: You mean, the dress cut to the navel in the front? (Actually, with a swath of nude mesh holding it all together, like a figure skating costume -- creepy.) I guess because she can. Curious to see how it looked in photos -- I saw it in the room, and I was distracted by that nude mesh.


Zoe & JLo: Zoe Saldana looked like muppets were rioting around her lower legs. JLo looked good - so much better than that New Year's Eve Catsuit she wore!

Amy Argetsinger: I thought Saldana's hemline looked like some kind of magical sea cucumber from moon Pandora, invented by James Cameron's team of CGI crypto-botanists. That line may or may not have made it into our red carpet story; too tired to know anymore.


Does anyone hang at the Governors Ball for fun?: Or is it just food and waiting for the limos to pull up?

Jen Chaney: No, people were definitely hanging out at their tables. I talked to the "Hurt Locker" guys, and they were all giddy and saying "We don't even know what we're doing yet."

So people do settle in to decompress, but then they take off by 11 or so.

I'll have a post on the Governor's Ball in Celebritology 2.0 later this afternoon, BTW, for those seeking more details.


Another Dead Ringer: I couldn't figure out why Daniel Day Lewis was being so jolly, smiling and laughing at the monologue jokes. Then they did the best supporting actor category and I realized that he was Christopher Waltz.

Amy Argetsinger: Ha! He's kind of a cutie when he's not being a Nazi.


What's the best party? And what's the hardest to get into?: And are they one in the same?

Amy Argetsinger: Dan and I had to pass through three checkpoints to get into the super-exclusive Vanity Fair party -- and even then, they held him at the door for half an hour because they staggered the arrivals and he wasn't supposed to be there until midnight. So we get into this amazingly exclusive, star-clogged party... to realize that we're overhearing everyone saying, "Are you going to Madonna's?" And then suddenly at 1 a.m., they've vanished.


Hughes's tribute: Man that was depressing... not just his passing, but rolling out the cast of so many of the movies I grew up with... everybody except Bueller looked OLD OLD OLD... ahhh! Shoot it through a 1980s filter next time please!!!

Amy Argetsinger: No, that was the best part! Seeing how everyone's aged, filled out, whatever.


New Market, Va: Okay, if backstage was chaos: Tell us about the parties, or what you actually DID see.

Jen Chaney: So much of this is a just a swirl of famous faces. At the Governor's Ball, I saw John Travolta talking on his cell phone. I saw Bradley Cooper speaking to Ryan Reynolds at a table, where they were seated across from Robin Williams. I saw Jeremy Renner dancing a little bit before sitting down to tuck into some food.

I saw Harvey Weinstein and James Cameron and Steve Martin in a huddle, no doubt accepting accolades for his hosting, which struck me as pretty solid.

Again, I'll have more in both that Governor's Ball post, and a post I just finished on my red carpet experience, over at




Wshington, D.C.: There seems speculation why Robert Downey Jr. wasn't included in the John Hughes tribute. Any word on that?

Amy Argetsinger: Well, I don't think we really associated RDJr. with John Hughes, do we? Was he in any Hughes movie other than "Weird Science"? And he wasn't one of the leads in that.


Laurel: Hope you ladies enjoyed yourselves as you worked. I would like to know if Jason Reitman, the director/co-writer of "Up in the Air," showed up to the after-parties? His movie didn't win any of the awards it was nominated for, and he didn't win Best Adapted Screenplay, like many thought he would.

He strikes me in interviews as a bit smug, and I wondered if that or the way he treated his co-writer at earlier ceremonies (Jason ran up to the stage so the other writer, who was many tables back in the room, couldn't get there in time to talk) may have factored into his loss and the rest of the movie's losses last night?

Also, what was up with George Clooney's girlfriend? She was in the front row looking bored out of her mind, and George had to prompt her a couple of times to get out of her seat when everybody else was giving actresses a standing ovation? Does she really not speak English like George said on the red carpet? I find that hard to believe because supposedly she is auditioning for some acting roles while she is staying in LA. (I must note that George didn't look too great himself!)

Jen Chaney: I like Jason Reitman. I understand where you get the smug impression because he can be a little blunt at times, but I've interviewed him a couple of times and I think he's a pretty nice guy.

I really wanted to talk to him last night myself. I was really, really disappointed that "Up in the Air" didn't win anything. The only award I really expected it to get was screenplay, given the momentum behind "The Hurt Locker" and other acting nominees, but I was hoping it would at least get that.

I saw his father, Ivan, at the Governor's Ball. I looked for Jason and didn't see him anywhere.

As for Clooney's girlfriend, I can't really say because I didn't get to talk to her.


Re: Sandra Bullock: In her speech, I actually thought she was referencing her own custody battle with Jesse James's ex.

Jen Chaney: I am sure that was part of it, too. But again, I think she was speaking in broader terms than just that.


More on the John Hughes tribute: I thought they looked pretty good, especially Anthony Michael Hall who has aged into a good-looking guy from being an uber-geek.

Amy Argetsinger: I know! Fascinating, isn't it? Would you ever recognize him?


Downingtown, PA: Is there drinking going on during the show?

Amy Argetsinger: For the stars, yes -- I believe there's a bar somewhere in the Kodak Theater complex.


Silver Spring, MD: Who was the lady that took over the speech for Best Short Documentary? She seemed to be babbling. Was she a winner too or did she just barge up on the stage? I felt bad for the gentleman who started the acceptance speech - it seemed like a Kanye/Taylor Swift moment.

washingtonpost.com: Love those unscripted Oscar moments (Achenblog)

Amy Argetsinger: Yep, what you said. That was about the best moment of the night. Totally Kanyesque.


Mo'Nique acceptance speech: Did I hear her thank her attorneys? Pretty close to the beginning of her speech? Also, how peeved will the academy be about her getting all mavericky at the press conference?

Jen Chaney: I didn't catch the attorney thing. And I don't know if the Academy will be peeved or not, but Mo'Nique was easily the most entertaining part of being in the press room.

The way it works is that an Academy rep calls out the assigned numbers held up by reporters who want to ask something. Then the winners answer the questions the Academy person tells them to, in the order they tell them to.

But Mo'Nique doesn't play that. She was like, "I'm going to answer 117 now, baby." It was great.


D.C.: While I loved Mo'nique's Golden Globes acceptance speech and I generally enjoy her brashness, I was surprised by her speech last night -- and not in a good way. That whole first line about rewarding performance over politics? Wasn't that just a huge swipe at the other nominees? I mean, she was basically saying that anyone else who won would only be doing so because she had played the game, not because she had actually acted well. Hrm.

Amy Argetsinger: It was interesting, and I addressed this in the main story today. I assumed originally that she was talking about the politics of the movie -- the criticism that it was exploitative or sensationalistic. But she explained later she was talking about Oscar politics. Early in the season she was criticized in some quarters for not going to all the dinners, screenings, etc., that are part of lobbying for the prize. But you know, that's such an insider thing -- I'd think that if you were having your big moment before a worldwide audience, you'd rather not get into such miniscule stuff.


Did you gals partake in the In-n-Out burger deliciousness?: I wish we had them back east!

Amy Argetsinger: I always make a point of having an In-n-Out burger while I'm out here. Did I have one last night? Probably. I was eating everything at the VF party.


Did you see any fights or scandalous hookups?: i.e. canoodling?

Amy Argetsinger: Sigh, no. Looked like Tim Robbins was flirting a lot, though.


Washington DC: Are most stars tiny: Watching stars talk to Ryan Seacrest last night, I was struck by how short many of them are. Matt Damon, for example, was no taller than Ryan, of whom Joel McHale on "The Soup" is always saying things like, "Hold him upside down by his ankles and he'll tell you where his pot of gold is." The one exception to this was Queen Latifah. Even accounting for heels, she must be 6 feet tall.

Amy Argetsinger: I wrote my doctoral dissertation on stars and their height relative to our expectations, and there are many theories on this. One is that, yes, stars are actually short -- that the camera favors petite women and by extension short men who will fit in the same frame with them. The other theory is that stars are normal sized (they're just like US!), but that we always assume they're much bigger because, well, they fill up the whole frame, so when we see them in person we perceive that they're shorter than they are.

But you had a question about Seacrest. Here's Jen.

Jen Chaney: Amy's on the nose here. Stars do seem bigger on the big screen, which makes sense. But then occasionally, you meet a Warren Beatty who just seems taller than you could have previously imagined.

Re: Seacrest, I met him while heading from the red carpet to the press room and I can confirm that he is a diminutive man. He's small-framed and he's not that much taller than I am. And I'm only a hare over 5'0.

He was very polished and pleasant. So don't bust on him just because he's short. (I feel compelled to stand up for the rights of the vertically challenged here.)


Washington, DC: Years ago, my parents & little sister were staying at the Hilton during the WH Press Correspondents Dinner. When we came back from Saturday Mass, we walked right into Clooney and his then-girlfriend. My sister -- then 13 or so, got up the nerve to ask Clooney for his autograph. He was nothing but sweet and gracious, and it made my sister's night (year?). His girlfriend, however, was a total sourpuss. Wonder if it's a trend.

Jen Chaney: Perhaps.

I know it seems over-the-top gushy, but he has been gracious every time I've met him. And I've heard similar stories from other people as well.

It gives you a little faith in movie stars. A *little.*


Badges: You shoulda tried the "We don't need no stinkin' badges" line.

Jen Chaney: Yeah, I think that would have gone over just huge.


Amy Argetsinger: Oh, no wait -- I did see Zac Efron rubbing Vanessa Hudgens's back. And Natalie Portman fondling the upper hamstring of whoever the guy she's dating is.


drinking during the show: Yep, there's a bar. I read a live blog last night in which Woody Harrelson and some of the other Supporting Actor nominees were spotted there, saying they weren't going back inside the theater. And Jeremy Renner ordered a beer, then realized he hadn't brought any money; the bartender gave it to him.

Jen Chaney: Nice detail. People definitely imbibe a bit. It's a celebration, not to mention a long night.

According to Eli Roth and Tarantino, everyone from "Basterds" went to Tarantino's beforehand for pizza and booze and the spinning of '70s vinyl.


Tuscaloosa, Ala.: I thoroughly enjoyed Sandra Bullock's acceptance speech. It was heartfelt and gracious, and, she seems to have a close personal connection with everybody in Hollywood, which brings me to my questions.

First, what was that awkward move towards Meryl Streep about? At first, it appeared almost hostile or rude, but after having heard her speak, I second-guessed that analysis, which brings me to my second question.

What was Sandra talking about when she referred to kissing Meryl? Was this in a movie, for the press, or was she referring to that awkward approach towards the stage, last night?

Amy Argetsinger: At one of the early awards shows -- the Globes, I think -- Sandra Bullock kissed Meryl Streep full-on the lips. So I guess that's the inside joke we're all supposed to know.


Rockville, MD: Some of the women looked downright scary, in how thin they were. Cameron's wife, obviously, but also Sarah Jessica Parker and Zoe Saldana. They all looked as though they might not have the strength to get through the show. Is anyone around them telling them that they actually look GOOD?

Amy Argetsinger: People are really boney out here, and sometimes no one notices it until they're in a backless, frontless evening gown.


Logan Circle, DC: Hey guys,

Why oh why was the insufferable dance interpretation brought back to the Oscar telecast???? I though we had finally ridden ourselves of that nonsense years ago!!

Amy Argetsinger: I just glimpsed that while trying to write the story, and indeed, I was thinking, did they bring Debbie Allen back this year?


Clooney's "annoyed" face: Anyone who's watched his work, specifically on "Facts of Life", knows that was acting and he wasn't really annoyed. He looked more uncomfortable during the "tribute" monologue for his category. He clearly does not like that sort of attention.

Jen Chaney: Actually, I think his work on "Roseanne" says more about why that was just acting.

And I think you're right about the tribute. He doesn't seem to like people gushing to his face too much. But then again, most folks probably feel a little uncomfortable about that.


Did King Cameron make the party rounds after the lost big for Avatar?: (also, does his wife looks as scary-skinny in real life as she did on TV?)

Amy Argetsinger: He went to the Governor's Ball, but not the Vanity Fair party... I'm assuming his studio must have had a special Avatar party somewhere.


Woodbridge, Va.: Is it true that Ben Stiller wore the Avatar makeup the whole rest of the night and that he's just devastated that movie didn't win best picture? Also, I heard that some type of alien spaceship landed on the roof just towards the end of the Oscars and that a bunch of little green men went to one of the big after parties. Did you guys see any of that stuff go down?

Jen Chaney: Yes. You can read all about it on my top secret, non-Post-sanctioned blog, Area51Oscars.blogspot.com.


Snubbing spouses:: Sean Penn seemed to acknowledge his faux pas last year but then didn't seal the deal and thank Robin Wright. It was weird. Any thoughts on that or Mo'Nique and Sandra Bullock, both of whom did not mention their spouses by name? They should take a lesson from Sean Penn and Hilary Swank. Are their marriages doomed?

Amy Argetsinger: Mo'Nique did mention her husband by name. Did Bullock not? I swear, at that point in the evening, we're already way past deadline, you just don't get to listen to anything anymore.


Competition: Hi gals - Thanks for showing up today in your "Oscar day after state."

This year was the first year in about 6 -- that I wasn't part of an Oscar competition with friends/family. It made it easier for me to click to/from Oscars and "The Big Race/Big Love," etc.

I know it is your job -- but how much do you think that competition between folks plays a part in the amount of people who watch?

It was a very laid back/quite/stress free Sunday evening...

Still stayed up till the end -- will see all the after shows tonight -- read all the washpost.com blogs....etc.

Jen Chaney: I think competition is certainly part of it for some. But I think for others, it's just as much about seeing the stars and what they're wearing.

And for people like me, who are both movie buffs and get a kick out of all the pomp and circumstance, it's a bit of both.


The fancy party food chain: So Oscar night is about movies, and A-listers, but up and comers, also rans, and plus ones are also in attendance. Do the lesser actors who come as guests get ignored at the VF parties and such? (Examples Jon Hamm's date Jennifer Westfeldt, Anna Paquin's fiance Stephen Moyer, etc.)

Amy Argetsinger: Oh, I don't think so. You see, at these parties, there are so many people who are yet further down the food chain than the stars' significant others -- agents, PR folk, less famous actors, and heck, don't forget US. They get plenty of attention.


Jen and Amy: So, what did you wear? Photos, please!

Amy Argetsinger: Link to follow of mine. Old photo, but gives you the idea.


And while Barbra Streisand, the presenter, was making a big deal of this first, Bigelow notably did not.: Yeah, well if it's not a big deal, why is it the first time in 82 years that a woman has won?

Jen Chaney: As a woman, I think it's a big deal. But I think the point here is that Bigelow was honored because she's a fine filmmaker period, not solely because she's female.


washingtonpost.com: What they wore: Amy Argetsinger


Amy Argetsinger: Thanks so much for joining us today. Time to move on and start planning our Oscar dresses for next year.

Jen Chaney: Thanks for all your great questions.

See you when Oscar season and speculation starts again in about, oh, five minutes.



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