Will Walter Kirn be watching the Oscars at home?
Walter Kirn, the author of the novel "Up in the Air," may be watching the Oscars in his Montana living room. Although the movie has been nominated for six Academy Awards, including best picture and best adapted screenplay, Kirn hasn't gotten an invite for writing the original work.
But maybe that'll change -- on Wednesday, Kirn tweeted: "Don't expect that because you write a novel that becomes an Oscar-nominated film that you'll be invited to the Oscars" to a few hundred followers. They told two friends, and so on, and before long the story was being picked up all over. Even gossip blogger Perez Hilton took Kirn's side, saying he was "rightfully" frustrated.
New York magazine reached Kirn at home by phone. He told them:
It wasn't just me popping off. It was me finally saying something after being approached by a million friends in the press and in Hollywood, saying, 'See you at the Oscars!' And I'd have to explain with great embarrassment that I hadn't been invited, over and over. ...
I wanted to be there to celebrate one of the best things that's happened to me professionally in my life. My desire to go was not so I could see what Reese Witherspoon was wearing up close, but to participate in a celebration of a movie which I heartily endorse, have seen eight times, and believe should win most of the awards for which it's nominated.
Oh, so close! But what's with the "most"? Writers have such a hard time staying on message. Or maybe he just needs a line editor. Or practice at making nice, Hollywood-style.
As for Hollywood, a representative for Paramount, which produced the film, told the New York Post, "The Academy has a process that we are following and we are respectfully waiting for them to allocate additional tickets. Of course, Walter Kirn is on our wish list for seats, as are producers and executive producers of our film who do not have seats yet."
Will Hollywood prove the tired cliche that it doesn't care about writers? Will Walter Kirn's making nice prove nice enough to keep him in the studio's good graces?
Stay tuned. If things don't work out, maybe he could rent a tux and be a seat-filler. As the writers say, it'd be great material.
-- Carolyn Kellogg
Photo: Walter Kirn at home with a poster for the film of "Up in the Air." Credit: Angela Schneider / Associated Press