Performance artist /graffiti painter /political activist Banksy is supposedly the director of the film Exit Through The Gift Shop nominated for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar. Internet reports all week have claimed he is banned from attending the awards in disguise (he wanted to come dressed as a monkey). But Academy president Tom Sherak tells me in an interview that’s not true. Noting how competitive almost all the categories are this year, including Documentary, Sherak said, “The media is making it exciting with all the questions about Banksy. I think it’s all good and if he shows up, he shows up. I won’t stop him.”
As he walked into the International Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton hotel earlier this afternoon, The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper looked around and said, “Now I guess it’s really happening. I really am a nominee.” This was a sentiment shared by more than a few who may have thought Oscar night came three weeks early as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences hauled out the giant Oscar statues and threw their 30th Annual Oscar Nominees Luncheon today. Clearly proud of the turnout (some nominees came from around the world to be there), Academy President Tom Sherak said a record 151 out of the 190 favored few showed up to lunch with fellow awardees and Academy officials as well as to receive their official certificate of nomination and the traditional sweatshirt with an Oscar logo on it. Sherak told the crowd that, after enduring months of pre-Oscar events and other awards shows, “the hardest thing you will have to do here is step on a riser and have your picture taken.” It’s definitely the feel-good event of the awards season. Everyone leaves still a winner with none of the tension of Oscar night.
Shortly after the lunch started, the Academy’s Ric Robertson called on every nominee to go to the risers at the side of the room and line up for the class photo. Then he called out each one’s name to receive their certificate and take another photo with Sherak. Christopher Nolan interrupted his day of …
It was hardly a cliffhanger, but Tom Sherak was reelected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He was voted in last night by the Academy Board of Governors along with Sid Ganis (first vice president), James L. Brooks, (vice president) Phil Robinson (vice president), Hawk Koch (treasurer) and Annette Bening (secretary). Sherak’s first term was marked by the Academy’s controversial decision to expand the Best Picture category to 10 films, for which Sherak was a proponent. While widening the field gave some extra attention to films like District 9, The Blind Side, Inglourious Basterds and Up In The Air, the extra five films were not at all a factor in what really became a two-horse race between Avatar and Best Picture winner The Hurt Locker.