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Tidbits and tales from Oscar night

Directors share a laugh; Leo's eco-conscious ride; the biggest Oscar loser
/ Source: The Associated Press

Mexican directors Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Alfonso Cuaron shook up Oscar night with an incredible 16 nominations between them, leading some to compare the group to another trio of renowned filmmakers: Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas and John Ford.

Del Toro, for one, wasn’t buying it.

“I was thinking more like Larry, Curly and Moe,” joked the director, whose film “Pan’s Labyrinth” garnered six nominations, including foreign-language film and screenplay.

“We need like six of us for one Scorsese,” Alfonso said. “The great thing is to be sharing this moment together.” His film, “Children of Men,” was nominated for three Oscars.

Inarritu was up against Scorsese in the best director category for his film “Babel,” which was nominated in six other categories, including best picture.

Baby, you can drive my carNo gas-guzzling stretch limo for Leonardo DiCaprio.

The environmental activist rolled up to Oscar’s red-carpet frenzy Sunday in an eco-friendly — and very trendy — hybrid car, the Toyota Prius. The “plug-in hybrid” can travel more than 100 miles on a gallon of fuel, according to the environmental group Global Green.

DiCaprio, nominated for a best-actor Oscar for his role in the drama “Blood Diamond,” was among several celebs who arrived at Sunday night’s Oscar show in low-emission vehicles.

“We need our leaders in Washington to listen to the growing chorus of scientists and experts saying that we must put in place binding emission reductions to combat global warming,” DiCaprio said in a statement to The Associated Press.

Other stars taking part in Global Green’s fifth annual “Red Carpet-Green Cars” campaign included Penelope Cruz, Forest Whitaker, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ryan Gosling and former vice president-turned filmmaker Al Gore and his wife, Tipper.

Oscar trade-offDavis Guggenheim played the dutiful date 10 years ago when his wife, Elisabeth Shue, was Oscar-nominated for “Leaving Las Vegas.”

His payback came Sunday.

“Now she’s my date, so it’s kind of fun,” said Guggenheim, who directed “An Inconvenient Truth,” the story of former Vice President Al Gore’s commitment to reversing the effects of global climate change. It was nominated for a documentary feature Oscar.

“I told him to just try to stay in the present and keep reminding himself that he’s actually here,” Shue said.

The biggest loserSound engineer Kevin O’Connell didn’t take home an Oscar on Sunday night but he did put his name in the record book for most Oscar losses — 19 — without a win.

“I’m already checked into therapy tomorrow,” the good-natured engineer said as he arrived for the show.

O’Connell and two other engineers were nominated in the sound mixing category for “Apocalypto.” They lost to the engineering team that worked on “Dreamgirls.”

O’Connell said before the show his 83-year-old mother planned to watch from a San Fernando Valley hospital.

“I would like this to happen while she’s still around. I’m sure she’d like it to happen while she’s still around,” O’Connell said.

Still, he managed to find a silver lining in nearly two dozen losses.

“I’ve definitely gotten more mileage out of losing than winning,” he said. “Everybody kids me, then they all say, ‘We really want you to win.’ I think they’re tired of looking at my mug on TV.”