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Sid Ganis, at the luncheon yesterday. (Source: Getty Images)

Oscar Night

by David Gura
Feb 5, 2008

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David Gura

An article about the Academy Awards, "Oscar Nominees Urged to Attend Ceremony," printed in The New York Times, caught my attention. Sid Ganis, president of the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts and Sciences, says the show will go on — come hell, high water, or picket lines. Michael Cieply, who wrote the piece for The Times, set the scene:

At the annual nominees' luncheon at the Beverly Hilton hotel on Monday, the usually congenial Mr. Ganis gave the assembled actors and filmmakers something of a lecture. But it was a sweetly diplomatic one — about the importance of keeping Oscar night on track, even if striking screenwriters picket the ceremony.

So many unspoken, baffling rules surround this writers' strike. It's acceptable for nominees to swill drinks and eat haute cuisine at an Academy-sponsored luncheon, but many say they won't cross picket lines to go to the ceremony itself.

Ganis urged everyone to come. The Academy Awards don't just recognize the movie business, he said. They acknowledge cinematic achievement. And if that wasn't convincing, he pointed to some fine print on official certificates of nomination: "Must be present to win."

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