Tuesday 22 October 2019

Saoirse Ronan's proud mum joins her on red carpet for Oscars – thanks to dog-sitter

Saoirse Ronan attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
Saoirse Ronan attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

A mischievous puppy named Fran prevented Saoirse Ronan’s mother Monica from being present when her daughter picked up the Best Comedy Actress award at the Golden Globes this year.

Thankfully, she had tracked down a trusty dog-sitter in advance of the 90th Academy Awards, and was able to join her 23-year-old daughter on the red carpet in Hollywood last night.

“I’m so proud,” Monica said. “It’s incredible and amazing to be here with her, at the end of the awards [season].”

After months of preparation, Hollywood’s Super Bowl finally kicked off last night in the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Saoirse’s mum Monica
Saoirse’s mum Monica

This year’s award season has been longer than usual – the Winter Olympics bumped Oscar proceedings back by a week.

And, after three months of posing for cameras and plugging movies, some of the 2018 red carpet regulars were starting to feel the drag.

“This awards convention goes on for f***ing ever,” Oscar winner Frances McDormand deadpanned at the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday.

According to ‘Vanity Fair’, a record number of celebrities trying to beat the awards season slump had booked into LA’s Drip Doctors – a sort of ER revitalisation service that hooks people up to IV drips loaded with vitamins.

But it wasn’t a lack of energy or vitamins that ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ star McDormand found the most testing.

It was trying for her not to swear during clean-cut entertainment interviews. “Do you have any idea how hard it is not to swear for the last few months?” she asked.

McDormand says an appreciation of curse words was one of the things that first attracted her to Martin McDonagh’s award-winning script.

“As Martin knows, a well-placed ‘f***’ makes a sentence sing like nothing else,” she said.

At first light yesterday, the protective plastic covering the red carpet was removed and grinning roving reporters gathered en masse outside the theatre.

Microphones were tested and professional seat-fillers were being briefed on protocol inside the Dolby.

The previous day, celebrity presenters had gathered in the auditorium to run though the show, and to ensure there wouldn’t be another Best Picture envelope snafu, like last year’s debacle.

Ahead of the ceremony, host Jimmy Kimmel tried to make light of that gaffe, telling reporters he planned to deliberately mix up the envelopes to keep guests on their toes.

But producers were understandably keen to run a tighter ship this year. It’s understandable why they were on tenterhooks, the past six months in Hollywood have been eventful, to say the least. Harvey Weinstein went from being one of Hollywood’s most powerful men, to one of the most reviled. Last year, Weinstein was the centre of attention at Oscar after-parties – this year, he is in a treatment centre in Arizona.

His demise, coupled with the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, resulted in multiple stories of abuse, and many dramatic falls from grace.

As one comedian observed: “In 2017, all the famous people died; this year, all the famous people want to be dead.”

Unlike the Emmys or the Globes, there was no fashion blackout last night. However, the movement against sexual abuse still had a prominent place at the ceremony.

Greta Gerwig, the director of Ronan’s ‘Lady Bird’, was only the fifth woman to be nominated for best director, while Rachel Morrison became the first woman ever nominated for best cinematography, for ‘Mudbound’.

Ashley Judd, who was one of the first to go on the record with allegations of sexual misconduct against Weinstein, was among the presenters.

After the ceremony guests attended the Governors Ball, where chef Wolfgang Puck served 250 Maine Lobsters,  1500 quail eggs, 33 pounds of caviar, and 100 pounds of filet beef.

Online Editors