I haven't seen "Slumdog Millionaire." Until the Golden Globes, I hadn't even heard of it. EIGHT Oscars! It seems like that happens a lot; a great movie wins, but takes several other categories along the way. I guess it makes sense.
Have you ever wondered if the recipients know in advance that they've won or lost? Officially, the Academy holds to its rule that winners names are, indeed, sealed in those precious envelopes. In early years, winning names were given to newspapers in advance so that they could get the information into their editions before press time. However, it is said that the Los Angeles Times once leaked the results prior to the broadcast, effectively ruining the evening and the mystery.
In 1948, both Rosalind Russell (shown above) and Loretta Young were up for best actress. The story goes that Russell had everything going for her, including the best PR representation in town. So certain she was of her win, she began to rise from her seat before Frederic March could utter the words "Loretta Young for the Farmer's Daughter". Variety had already typeset her victory for the next day's edition. Not to be shamed by her erroneous assumption, Russell continued to her feet and led an astonished crowd in a standing ovation. That's class.
Why do I know this detailed minutia? Because the opening scene of my upcoming romantic mystery, CAPE SEDUCTION, reprises this very night at the Shrine Auditorium in Hollywood. I'm a sucker for old Hollywood, for its glamour, its mystery, its unapologetic excess. Oscar night is one of those almost historic rituals that epitomizes and keeps alive, to some extent, that golden era.