Mike Fleming

Heard at Saturday’s pre-Oscar party circuit: Though he’s the rare producer twice nominated in the same year for Best Picture honors for The Social Network and True Grit, Scott Rudin turned in his tickets for the Academy Awards. I’m told that Rudin made the decision just before the weekend. Considering how badly Sony Pictures wants him to attend, I suppose a private jet could get him here at the last moment, but I don’t think it will happen.

Rudin has let his colleagues on those films know he’s not coming, I’m told. It is a surprise given the long campaign for Social Network against The King’s Speech, but Rudin hasn’t always made the trip when his films were in the Oscar mix. Work kept him back in New York in the years when The Queen, The Hours, and Fantastic Mr. Fox were up for big awards. But Rudin did make the trip and accepted Best Picture Oscar with Joel and Ethan Coen for No Country For Old Men. That leaves fellow Social Network producers Michael De Luca, Cean Chaffin, and Dana Brunetti to represent the film, and The Coens for True Grit. The two films are up for a combined 18 Oscars.

Rudin has told intimates that he had too much going on in New York to leave. On Broadway, the musical Book Of Mormon with Matt Stone and Trey Parker  just began previews last Thursday before its March 27 opening. And the revival of House of Blue Leaves with Ben Stiller and Edie Falco begins rehearsals tomorrow for an April 25 opening. In addition, shooting just began Friday on Extremely Loud And Incredibly Close, the Stephen Daldry-directed adaptation of the Jonathan Safran Foer novel that stars Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock and Thomas Horn for Warner Bros. All of that action is taking place in Gotham…

It takes something special to get the Oscar crowd excited, and clearly iPads hit the spot. There was a long line of stars and especially dealmakers and executives who competed in a movie trivia contest at Saturday evening’s Night Before Party. If you answered six movie trivia questions and one bonus question correctly, you won an iPad. Hundreds were given away, I’m told…

At The Weinstein Company party at Soho House, Harvey and Bob Weinstein held court along with the nominees from The King’s Speech. Attendees felt that this bash, which went past 2 AM, had the feel of the old parties the Weinsteins held almost every pre-Oscar Saturday during the Miramax heyday, which was always one of the more enjoyable stops along the trail.

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