It’s been a nail-biter of an award season with Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” and Ben Affleck’s “Argo” running neck-and-neck like thoroughbreds on derby day. “Lincoln” continues to rake in the awards, especially for best actor Daniel Day-Lewis. But Ben Affleck, who was shut out on the Oscar’s Best Directors list, is coming on strong. He most recently won the British Academy of Film and Television Arts award for his Iran hostage thriller, picking up both the best picture and the best director prize. He’s also edged out Spielberg in other prestigious areas, including the Golden Globes and the Directors Guild Awards. The big test comes on Sunday when Affleck, Spielberg, Day-Lewis and many more walk the most famous red carpet in the world. To top it all off, look for a special performance from Malibu’s legendary songbird Barbra Streisand.
It’s become a tradition to say “’ello mate” at G’Day USA. Longtime local Olivia Newton-John nearly makes the scene. This year she was joined by neighbor Mel Gibson, along with fellow Aussies of note, including everyone from Hugh Jackman to Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman, to actress Naomi Watts, to supermodel Elle Macpherson at LA’s JW Marriott Hotel. Heartthrob Hugh knows what kind a crowd he likes to hang with and quipped, “This is the only LA event where you won’t run out of Diet Coke.”
It was a celebration of all things Down Under, from kangaroos to didgeridoos accompanied by Aussie wines and eats.
After making the rounds Jackman presented the Australian Icon award to Paul Hogan, who was the force behind the “Crocodile Dundee” flicks.
Olivia gave a hearty round of applause to her “Grease” pal John Travolta, who was recognized as this year’s goodwill ambassador. It’s always a blast, so good on ya!
Costume designers will be honored at the upcoming Academy Awards Ceremony, but first comes the Costume Designers Guild Awards. The 15th Annual Costume Designers Guild Award nominees are always presented in Beverly Hills a few days before Oscar time. As you can imagine, this year’s competition was fierce, with Jacqueline Durran for “Anna Karenina,” Paco Delgado for “Les Miserables,” Joanna Johnston for “Lincoln,” Jacqueline West for “Argo” and Kasia Walicka-Maimone for “Moonrise Kingdom.” And that’s just for period films.
Excellence in contemporary film included “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” “Zero Dark Thirty” and “Skyfall.”
Fantasy is a whole other category, with Kym Barrett and Pierre Yves Gayraund, who put together the costumes for Malibu’s Tom Hanks and Halle Berry in “Cloud Atlas.” You also had creations from “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Mirror, Mirror” and “Snow White and the Huntsman.” Who will be the fairest of all on Oscar night? Stay tuned.