My pals in the Academy are filling out their ballots. One costume designer has already sent hers in. Ira Deutchman, in New York, anxiously hopes that his mailed ballot gets to PricewaterhouseCoopers on time, by 5 PM Friday, January 14 (nominations will be announced January 25). Which raises the question: why doesn't the Academy have online Oscar voting? I voted for the Broadcast Critics Choice Awards easily and effortlessly via their website. Academy spokesperson Leslie Unger answered my query thus:
The Academy has and continues to explore ways to allow our members to securely vote electronically some day. But there’s no timetable for that endeavor and I don’t know when it might come fruition.
The schedule is getting tight. First, Oscar scribes like me have to get all their stories up because 5755 Academy voters' ballots are due. Second, the weekend is getting packed. Friday is the AFI Awards brunch at the Four Seasons, one of my favorite hot tickets. It's intimate and lovely. That night is the Critics Choice Awards--during that show last year Sandra Bullock bussed Meryl Streep--it airs live at 9 PM on VH1. Most of the big Oscar contenders are expected to show, and presenters include Jon Hamm, Julianne Moore, Josh Brolin, Kevin Spacey and Emma Stone. Jimmy Kimmel and Emily Blunt will present to True Grit star Matt Damon--who is riding high after Green Zone and Hereafter--the Joel Siegel humanitarian award. Arnold Schwarzenegger will open the show and Maroon 5 and others will mount a tribute to Quentin Tarantino.
Saturday brings the second annual Indie Spirit Awards brunch, followed by a BAFTA brunch. There are multiple Golden Globes pre-parties Saturday night, including Disney. And Sunday brings the Globes awards show, which I will be blogging live. (I vote my picks here. Yes, Johnny Depp could win for The Tourist. It's the Globes.) The host is Ricky Gervais and new presenters include Moore, Steve Carell, Andrew "Spider-Man" Garfield, January Jones, Alicia Keys, Eva Longoria and Michelle Pfeiffer. They join Bullock, Damon, Spacey, Kevin Bacon, Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Jimmy Fallon, Garrett Hedlund, Chris Hemsworth, LL Cool J, Scarlett Johannson, Jennifer Lopez, Leighton Meester, Helen Mirren, Robert Pattinson, Hailee Steinfeld, Vanessa Williams, and Bruce Willis. Robert De Niro will receive the Cecil B. DeMille award. The show will air live from 5 to 8 PM PST, 8 to 11 EST.
When I finish up my Globes posts I will roam the after parties at and near the Beverly Hilton (NBC/Universal, Paramount, Warners/In-Style, Fox, HBO, Relativity/Weinstein Co., working on Sony's more exclusive bash); I will provide a full report Monday morning. Figuring out your route through the maze and timing is key: THR's Bill Higgins supplies a survivor's guide and map to who will be where: