My advice to you: if you get nominated for an Oscar, don’t play it cool. Not the first time it happens, anyway. In the event of multiple nominations over several years, you’re allowed to skip a couple of parties; if you’re a novice, however, you should really make the effort. I did, and I don’t regret a second of it.
Impressions of the weekend, in no particular order: our producer, Finola Dwyer an Oscar nominee too – on the verge of being escorted from the Kodak Theatre after a ticketless visit to the toilet, moments before the ceremony started; T-Bone Burnett and Michael Giacchino, musical geniuses both, deep in conversation at the Vanity Fair party, statuettes dangling casually from their hands; my new friend Geoffrey Fletcher’s genuine incomprehension when it was announced that he’d won an Oscar for his Precious screenplay; Piers Morgan, penned in behind the press cordon on the red carpet (his frustration and bewilderment were almost tangible); Colin Firth, inches away from us and trying not to make eye-contact, as he read the Academy’s tribute to ‘An Education’ from the autocue; Carey Mulligan’s face as the acceptance speeches for Best Documentary Short, the category she was presenting, degenerated into an unfortunate but amusing farce. (There was, apparently, some ill-will between the producer and the director.) And, inevitably, I was directly involved in a great deal of A-list celebrity obsequiousness, although I will spare the blushes of the A-list celebrities involved. (They might not want people to know that they suck up to writers.) Disappointingly, just about everyone I met over the last six months has been lovely, or at least faultlessly polite. There is only one fellow nominee I wouldn’t be pleased to run into again, and that was someone I had expected to like.
And now it’s over. I haven’t really written anything since I finished ‘Juliet, Naked’, a year ago, and though I will miss being in the same room as Meryl Streep, it’s time to get back to work. It may not be what I do best (I’m actually pretty good at being in the same room as Meryl Streep), but it’s what I get paid for.