×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hollywood Confession: How Oscar Has Fried My Brain

I recently received an invitation to a Jan. 5 wedding, and my first thought was “Are they insane? Why are they getting married on Golden Globes weekend?”

Then I realized that not everyone in the world centers their lives around awards season. I slowly came to a more shocking realization: Maybe I’ve gotten a little too showbiz for my own good.

When I thought about it, I found other dismaying evidence to back this up.

» I read the tweet of a friend, who was praising the classical beauty and history of the Capitol Building. He then posted a photo on Instagram of the Washington Capitol in D.C. I had assumed he was writing about the Capitol Records building.

» On a trip to Sicily (which, BTW, is highly recommended), I went to Mount Etna with a friend who’s a local. We were atop a mountain of rock and dirt, which he said had been a level field until 2002. The eruption that year had created lava that became about eight stories’ worth of rugged new terrain that we were standing on. Then he got out his cell phone and called his girlfriend. I was standing there, and my second thought was about the awesome power of nature. But my first thought was: How does he get phone reception here, but I can’t get a signal driving through Laurel Canyon?

» In November, Variety and Rolling Stone posted a package of stories on criminal justice reform. In the first planning meeting, several people agreed we should reach out to Mike Lee. And I thought “I love Mike Leigh, but why are we talking to a British director about the American legal system?” It finally sunk in that they meant the Utah senator.

» As I was being seated at a restaurant, I noticed three people at the next table, all silently staring at their laps. After a moment, they simultaneously said “Amen” and started eating. It never occurred to me they were saying grace; I assumed that each was reading emails on their iPhones.

» I was called for jury duty. The judge, Henry J. Hall, explained the jury procedure, offering anecdotes and examples, talked about the case and what was expected from jurors. He was charismatic, made eye contact, and explained things clearly. And I kept thinking “Somebody needs to give this guy his own syndicated show.”

» I drove past the Beverly Hilton and noticed limos and Town Cars lining up in the driveway, with a black-tie crowd walking toward the hotel. I tried hard to remember what the showbiz event was tonight. It turned out there wasn’t one. Some OTHER industry was having a gala that evening. I was aware there are other industries in the world but I’d overlooked the possibility that they would have a black-tie event at the Hilton.

» When a TV anchor said “There are two Oscar stories in the news,” I had only one logical conclusion and I sat up to listen. But it turned out to be updates on Oscar Pistorius and Oscar de la Hoya.

» I heard on the news that the government was planning “enhanced health screenings” and I immediately wondered if the screenings will be followed by a Q&A.

More Film

  • Gwyneth Paltrow Variety Cover Story

    Gwyneth Paltrow Talks About Her Biggest Fights With Harvey Weinstein

    In this week’s Variety cover story, Gwyneth Paltrow looks back on the 20th anniversary of winning the best actress Oscar for “Shakespeare in Love.” The movie still holds up today, although there’s an ominous figure lurking in the credits. The romantic comedy was produced by Harvey Weinstein, and Paltrow spoke about working for the volcanic [...]

  • Jason Hoch to Lead Imperative Entertainment's

    Jason Hoch to Lead Imperative Entertainment's New Podcast Division (EXCLUSIVE)

    Entertainment studio Imperative Entertainment has hired producer Jason Hoch to lead its newly formed podcast division, Variety has learned. The new division will create and produce podcasts based on both original ideas and third-party IP, in addition to exploring opportunities within the company’s existing slate of feature and TV projects. Hoch has over 20 years [...]

  • Gwyneth Paltrow 'Avengers: Infinity War' film

    Gwyneth Paltrow to Exit Marvel Cinematic Universe

    For the last decade, Gwyneth Paltrow has popped up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Pepper Potts, Iron Man’s secretary and eventual girlfriend. But in an interview with Variety, the actress said that she’s planning on retiring the character after this summer’s “Avengers: Endgame.” “I mean, I’m a bit old to be in a suit [...]

  • Oscars Predictions Final

    Final Oscar Predictions: Who Will Win, and Who Should?

    At 5 p.m. Tuesday on the west coast it’ll be pencils down for Oscar voters, so to speak. Or maybe in an era of online voting, it’s more like laptops closed. Either way, polling for the 91st annual Academy Awards officially concludes in a few short hours. Five days from now, we’ll find out which [...]

  • Modern Films Picks Up Oscar-Nominated 'Never

    Modern Films Picks Up Oscar-Nominated 'Never Look Away' for U.K.

    Modern Films has snagged U.K. and Ireland rights to “Never Look Away,” the German-language Oscar entry from “The Lives of Others” helmer Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. The multi-generational story follows a young art student (Tom Schilling), who falls in love with a fellow student (Paula Beer). Her father (Sebastian Koch), a renowned doctor, disapproves of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content