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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Let the 83rd Annual Academy Awards begin!

Like millions of other viewers I will be watching it from home. But if I were to cover the Academy Awards, I would definitely want to check out the Governors Ball.

Matt Petit/@A.M.P.A.S.
A view of the beautiful table setting that awaits the guests attending the official Governors Ball.
"The Governors Ball is the perfect finale to the Oscar season," said Jeffrey Kurland, an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences governor and Oscar-nominated costume designer ("Bullets over Broadway," 1994). "Our guests will be able to relax with one another as they toast and celebrate the achievements of the past year in film."

The menu for this year's soiree was created by Wolfgang Puck with Chef Partner Matt Bencivenga & executive pastry chef Sherry Yard. Just to give you an idea of how busy they have been: the kitchen staff will roll out 5,000 Oscar-shaped pieces of flat bread, 200 pounds of sticky rice, 1,600 whole Dover sole, 100 pounds of black farm-raised mussels, 1,000 spiny lobsters, 15 pounds of edible gold dust, 4,000 miniature chocolate Oscars and for toasting -- 1,200 bottles of Moet & Chandon champagne.

The Ball's 1,500 guests, who include Academy Award winners and nominees will be escorted into the Grand Ballroom on the top level of the Hollywood & Highland Center for a celebration geared around the early days of Hollywood. The room will sparkle with 250 strands of Swarovski crystal featuring some 10,000 individual crystals of eight different shapes and sizes, a ceiling covered with 28,000 square feet of shimmering fabric, gold taffeta and theatrical lighting fixtures.

Guests will be entertained by three musical acts performing on two stages. Of course this is just one of several celebrations immediately following the 83rd Academy Awards presentation. There's also the 19th Annual Academy Awards Viewing Party to benefit the Elton John Aids Foundation at the Pacific Design Center (hosted by Sir Elton John and David Furnish) as well as a party presented by Demi Moore and Madonna. Prince is expected to entertain guests here.
Matt Petit/@A.M.P.A.S.

But alas, I am covering the Oscars from a red comfy chair rather than the red carpet. And so, without further ado, here are my armchair predictions:
Best Picture: "The King's Speech"
Best Director: David Fincher, "The Social Network"
Best Actor: Colin Firth, "The King's Speech"
Best Actress: Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"
Supporting Actor: Geoffrey Rush, "The King's Speech"
Supporting Actress: Hailee Steinfeld, "True Grit"
Animated Feature: "Toy Story 3"

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