Monday, May 20, 2024

Pre-Oscar Parties In Small Spaces Looking Less Attractive Every Day as New COVID Variant Rears Its Ugly Head


Going to the Oscars Sunday?

Think twice about attending small pre-parties in tiny restaurants.

Right now, Oscar nominated “Belfast” director Kenneth Branagh has had to opt out of Thursday night’s Oscar Wilde Awards. Branagh tested positive for COVID after attending last week’s BAFTA Awards in London.

He wasn’t alone. His nominated Supporting Actor, Ciaran Hinds, also got it. So did a movie exec at Focus Features who was with them.

There are other stories about BAFTA guests, most of whom were vaxxed but none who wore masks, coming down with the virus.

Now that there’s a new variant spreading fast in New York and Los Angeles, crowded events in Hollywood look verboten. One would be the W Magazine party that will stuff a couple hundred A listers mixed with stars into Gigi restaurant in downtown Hollywood. That one looks like a super spreader without a doubt.

The other one is Vanity Fair’s party with advertiser Lancome at another small Hollywood eatery called Mother Wolf. (Vanity Fair’s parties now are all advertiser driven.) Mother Wolf’s menu looks yummy if you’re sitting at a table properly distanced from the next group. But 350 people standing cheek by jowl for cocktails? No, thanks.

All the Oscar nominees will be smart to stay home or be in the open air if they want to make the scene Sunday. Find a good Zip Loc bag and don’t leave it until you have to!


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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