While some Oscar plans were firmed up, others were canceled this week as the reality of the war in Iraq began to unfold.
Will Smith, for one, isn’t in the mood to party — and he has decided not to attend Sunday. Stan Rosenfield, Smith’s publicist, tells Reuters that given the current situation Smith, with all due respect, didn’t feel it was the appropriate place to be. “There’s no agenda, there’s no speeches. He just felt uncomfortable in attending,” Rosenfield says.
Other rumors surfaced that presenter Cate Blanchett would be bowing out, although a spokesman for the actress denies that.
With the cancellation of the red carpet, the event promises to be comparatively quiet. A show representative tells Reuters that the decision to tone down the red carpet glare was due partially to celebrity requests: “A lot of actors wanted to come in the back entrance and avoid the press this year because they did not want to be asked about the war.”
Despite the quiet pre-event, it looks like many parties will go on — but with much less fanfare. The post-Oscars Governor’s Ball is still scheduled, though neither photographers nor camera crews will be permitted, Reuters reports. Additionally, parties by Vanity Fair and Paramount are restricting press access to prevent stars from being quizzed about the war.
Even some clothing designers are being hit with the change. “We have had a few calls from people who want something more understated,” Escada’s Laura Henson tells the AP. “We certainly understand if they don’t want to wear something over the top.”
Meanwhile, the Associated Press reports that Oscar nominees Catherine Zeta-Jones and Queen Latifah will perform a duet of “I Move On” from the heavily favored film “Chicago.” The song, which was performed by Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger in the movie, is nominated for Best Original Song. The very pregnant Zeta-Jones, who is married to Michael Douglas, is expecting her second child in April.