1 April 2013 3:35 PM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had just opened its doors for ticket pick-up for the 85th Oscar telecast. Forty voting members, the distinguished director Norman Jewison, and I were on a long single-file line that snaked through the lobby. We patiently waited to go upstairs to pick up our tickets, clutching our photo IDs. Suddenly, a messenger slipped in and cut the line. He announced to the uniformed guard in a stage whisper, "Dreamworks," and it was as if God-like Steven Spielberg himself had just delivered the Gettysburg address: The messenger was ushered upstairs--the final act of the "Lincoln" campaign. Sleep deprived and jet lagged, I had just taken a six-hour flight from New York sitting next to Paula Wagner, who was Tom Cruise's agent-turned Broadway producer for Jessica Chastain's theatrical presentation of "The Heiress." We discussed Jessica's nail biting chance to beat Jennifer Lawrence for Best Actress. »


- Peggy Siegal

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