By Bill Zwecker
HOLLYWOOD — Hollywood, as usual, is in full Oscar mode this morning. There are paparazzi everywhere! Last night I was coming out of dinner at Mastro's, a popular Gibson's-like steakhouse in Beverly Hills where Steven Spielberg and separately Jim Carrey (and Jenny McCarthy) were having dinner. When I walked out of the restaurant, there was one photographer quietly hanging out a few feet from the restaurant's entrance, but as soon as Carrey's white Cadillac Escalade pulled up —
at least 20 paparazzi came out of nowhere and started flashing away! Then several jumped in cars and gave chase — all I could think of was Princess Diana and Paris! Anyway, Carrey's driver pulled a fast one — without warning — just before a light changed; he did a U-turn and roared off in the opposite direction. ...
Also, yesterday, I ran into Shirley MacLaine in the lobby of the Peninsula Hotel. She wouldn't reveal who she voted for, but given how much she raved about "Little Miss Sunshine" — I'd guess she voted for that film!
Harvey Weinstein — also at the Peninsula Hotel lobby -- told me how badly he felt about Chicagoan Albert Berger (and his partner Ron Yerxa) being cut by the Motion Picture Academy from being eligible to win an Oscar — if "Little Miss Sunshine" does win best picture tonight. Weinstein wrote a letter to the editor of the Los Angeles Times Saturday, explaining his take on the Academy's
decision to limit best picture winners (the producers) to three. It all happened after Weinstein and four others (including North Shore native Ed Zwick) jumped on stage to get their Oscars for "Shakespeare in Love" (best picture of 1999). Many felt that 5 was too many — especially since Zwick and one other producer frankly had little to do with the actual production of the film. "They should make these decisions on a case by case basis," Weinstein told me — "In this case, Albert and Ron are just as deserving as the other three."
That's it for now — they're about to throw me out of here. Hey! just saw Rachel Weisz (on a monitor back here in the press room). She is rehearsing for tonight (when she'll present the best supporting actor Oscar, since she won best supporting actress last year). She's wearing no makeup at this point — but trust me, she still looks fabulous ...