She wasn't at the Globes or the SAG awards, nor will she be at the Oscar nominee luncheon Monday. She didn't do any hard press at Sundance for Friends with Money. IMDb says she doesn't have any projects in the works. She's never been skittish of the media and the awards circuit before, so where is that most likable, consistent and talented of movie people, Frances McDormand, nominated for supporting actress for North Country? Please, Fran, the inflated awards frenzy needs the prick of your wit and good nature.
Speaking of blunt bubble bursters, Meryl Streep will present at the Oscars, which is great news for the show's entertainment value. Streep is the only movie star to have mastered the art of awards show behavior. She knows the ritual is both ridiculous and inevitable and appropriately lampoons and revels in the spectacle using all her grande dame-ish clout. See her Margo Channing-ish "Congratulations, Natalie" when presenting at last year's Globes, her speech after winning in 2002 ("I didn't have anything prepared," she gasped, tugging with sarcastic drama on her dress to control her boobs, "because it's been, like, since the Pleistocene era that I won anything"), her speech at the 2004 Emmys ("There are some days when I myself think that I'm overrated" -- laughter, applause, then a steely stare -- "But not today").
Everyone else clams up at these awards shows, stuttering through the teleprompted banter or sprinting through an exhaustive list of thank-yous to ensure they are liked by the maximum amount of people. Tiresome. You people are entertainers. Entertain. I'd like to propose a motion to let Streep pinch hit for winners this year at the Oscars. Witherspoon's name might be called and there might be fizzy giggles and glee in her seat, but it should be Streep who stands and accepts on her behalf: "I was a pert and attractive blonde once. Then I grew some talent. Ryan, stop dirtying her coattails."