LOS ANGELES — Why the face, George Clooney?
The typically jocular Clooney seemed to be in a less than stellar mood during Sunday’s Oscar ceremony. On more than one occasion, cameras caught Clooney with an expression one might have while watching a pre-flight safety film, not an Oscar ceremony, in which you’re nominated for best actor. So what was his problem?
According to one person close to Clooney, nothing at all.
“He was in a fine mood,” the source said. “Before the show he was basically the only actor to go to the area where fans are corralled, he walked the carpet with (girlfriend) Elisabetta (Canalis) in a totally fine mood, he went to his seat and watched the show, end of story.”
And Clooney’s rep Stan Rosenfield insisted all was well, saying the star “was fine, just under the weather ... happens,” Rosenfield said, adding that Clooney’s grimaces during co-host Alec Baldwin’s opening monologue were part of a planned back and forth between the two.
Earlier theories out there about Clooney being put off about not winning an Oscar didn’t hold up. On the red carpet, he predicted that he and his “Up in the Air” co-stars, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick, who also were nominated, wouldn’t be taking home an award.
“It's probably not going to be Vera or Anna, and it's certainly not going to be me,” he said. “But what you do know is that a nomination for Vera and Anna changes their career. They will suddenly be first on the list to get jobs and that is a tremendous jump in their careers.”
Finally, there was one more theory about Clooney’s mood. “It’s a long show,” said the source. “Believe it or not, these things can get a little boring.”
Explaining the Kanye moment at the Oscars
If there was any tension between two people at the Oscar ceremony, it wasn’t between exes Kathryn Bigelow and James Cameron — it was between the winners in the best documentary short category.
Producer Elinor Burkett and director-producer Roger Ross Williams took to the stage for their acceptance speech for their film “Music by Prudence.” Williams began to do his thanking, but before long, Burkett stepped in to do a Kanye West-esque takeover of the mic and speech. It didn’t matter that the duo were not mainstream celebrities; the behavior was clearly strange and unlike most events of the night, entirely unexpected. As it turns out, there’s a back story here and it involves a huge fight between the two, a lawsuit, and an even an accusation from Burkett that Williams’ mother “took her cane and blocked” her from getting up to receive the Oscar (which Williams denies).
Salon was able to reach both Burkett and Williams after the ceremony, read both sides of their stories here.
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