/ 10 March 2024

High hopes for red readings on the cringe-o-meter

2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones Inside
Deadpan: British actor Hugh Grant attends last year’s Vanity Fair Oscar Party. Photo: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images

At 1am, SA time, on Monday 11 March I won’t be watching the screening of the 96th Academy Awards, live from the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. I will be sleeping.

But I will be all for clips on social media when I wake up (at a civilised hour) of Oscars shenanigans and controversies during Hollywood’s biggest self-congratulatory fest — on stage but especially on the red carpet beforehand.

On a serious note, will there be more brave actors, such as Susan Sarandon, John Cusack and Liam Neeson willing to speak up against the Gaza genocide we are seeing live on our screens 24 hours a day? 

Will they ask for a ceasefire, like Annie Lennox did at the Grammys? Or will these actors, even the supposedly liberal ones, who profess to care about human rights, be coy and leave their consciences at home?

On the lighter side of things, we can expect to see some awkward red-carpet moments, such as the interview model Ashley Graham had last year with Hugh Grant, which pushed the cringe-o-meter into the red. 

“What’s your favourite thing about coming to the Oscars?” she asked, all bubbling enthusiasm.

“It’s fascinating,” he deadpanned.

“It’s Vanity Fair,” he drolly goes on to describe it, referring to the frivolousness of a wealthy person splashing their money on expensive entertainment and food.

Graham understands it as Vanity Fair, the magazine, known for its ostentatious Oscar after-party. 

“Are you excited to see any winners?” Graham continues.

“No one in particular.” 

“What are you wearing?”

“Just my suit.” 

“Was it fun being in Glass Onion?” 

“I was barely in it.” 

“Yes, but did you have fun?” 


We, as viewers — well some of us — had fun watching this. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for more like this from this year’s Awkward Oscars.