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Nominees will go back with goodies

Even if they lose, this year's Oscar nominees will return with gifts totalling tens of thousands of dollars just for showing up.

india Updated: Feb 27, 2004 11:31 IST
Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse

Even if they lose out on an award, this year's Oscar nominees won't go home empty-handed after Sunday's ceremony. They'll be showered with gifts totalling tens of thousands of dollars just for showing up.

Each of the giant troupe of nominees, presenters and performers at the 76th annual Academy Awards ceremony will receive a treasure trove of gifts to make their evening worthwhile.

While most details of this year's haul of loot are being kept under wraps, each presenter and the performer will walk off with a hefty consignment of gifts worth around 110,000 dollars.

The stars who will take home the gifts include last year's best actress winner Nicole Kidman, her superstar ex-husband Tom Cruise, John Travolta, uber-director Steven Spielberg, "Pretty Woman" Julia Roberts, Renee Zellweger and best actress nominee and presenter Charlize Theron.

Gifts to the presenters will include a seven-day all-expense paid sea cruise in the Mediterranean or the Caribbean, business class air tickets from Los Angeles to Auckland, New Zealand, luxury hotel stays and a 1,500 dollar dinner for two at world-class steak-house, according to USA Today.

Also featuring in the hard-to-carry booty is a giant 6,000 dollar television set and a 500-dollar expresso machine for an elite group of people who either have or can afford the items anyway.

Last year, the stars needed the help of their burly minders to cart off their hefty wicker goody baskets, worth around 20,000 dollars, to their waiting limos. That haul included 5,000-dollar diamond-encrusted bras for the female best actress nominees, designer clothes, a mattress, cameras, mobile phones, luxury beauty and spa treatments and expensive watches.

"They're the most wonderful goodies," former Academy Award nominee Sir Ian McKellen told the BBC. "They keep you going for a year. I got two watches -- one with 170 diamonds...Lots of goodies to eat and pamper yourself with. And earrings! Amazing!"

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences assembles the traditional gift baskets from thousands of products and services sent them by firms keen to get an Oscar endorsement and have stars use their goods.

But those companies whose goods were not picked for the official selection are giving them anyway, boosting the value of each gift basket even higher. Each of the scores of annual Hollywood awards shows offers a similar bounty for ad nominees, with the Grammys organisers offering 27,000 dollars in goods, including mattresses and luxury luggage, while the Golden Globes handed out 26,000 dollars in goodies.

The Oscars will be handed out Sunday at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre in a ceremony attended by a galaxy of cinema's greatest stars and watched by up to a billion viewers across the globe.

First Published: Feb 27, 2004 10:47 IST