By STEPHANIE BREIJO and SERENA EPSTEIN
Sunday evening. A fateful night for one lionhearted UMW journalist.
Confronted with an endless sea of crimson velvet and sparkling Hollywood starlets, Stephanie Breijo, UMW junior and bosom friend to the famous, took her first step onto the fuzzy, life-changing surface of Hollywood’s red carpet.
“Well, attending the Oscars is actually a family tradition. We come from a poor Slavic background,” Breijo said.
“We’re pierogi farmers and in order to attend each year, we have to sell our livestock and barrels of pierogi and take a ship to America. I was the only one of my 12 siblings to be chosen this year. I was honored to represent both my family and the Bullet.”
After losing her tape recorder batteries during the tumultuous taxi ride, Breijo borrowed Regis Philbin’s microphone to conduct her red carpet interviews.
“It’s past my bedtime, but I would just like to say that it’s been really great to be able to wear this tight-fitting dress and red-light district makeup style,” Miley Cyrus, the “Hannah Montana” Disney star, told Breijo.
“I’m thrilled that the academy acknowledged me as a presenter tonight, as well as a great role model for kids.”
Recognized instantly as a member of the UMW press corps, Breijo was escorted to one of the coveted first row seats in Los Angeles’ spacious Kodak Theatre.
Sparks flew between Breijo and three-time Oscar nominee George Clooney, who was seated to her left, as he spilled popcorn on her lap and attempted to lick it off. Breijo valiantly fended off Clooney’s advances, seeking conversational refuge with sunglass-clad Jack Nicholson on her right.
As Daniel Day-Lewis’ name was announced for Best Actor, Nicholson tilted his polished head towards Breijo and whispered, “That bastard always gets the nomination.”
Day-Lewis’ win for “There Will Be Blood” was his second Best Actor award and fourth nomination. French actress Marion Cotillard carried off the award for Best Actress and the near-superhuman Coen Brothers won Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director and Best Picture for “No Country for Old Men.”
As Breijo was busy necking with “Little Miss Sunshine’s” Paul Dano in a corner, the award for Best Foreign Film was given to “The Counterfeiters,” an Austrian film about ethical dilemmas in Nazi Germany.
All the culinarily-inclined rodents in the world felt vindicated and spontaneously committed numerous health code violations in celebration of “Ratatouille’s” win for Best Animated Film.
A dazzling variety of custom-designed ensembles graced the theater, from Anne Hathaway’s toga-like dress, complete with garish matching flowers across one shoulder, to Day-Lewis’ gold hoop earrings coordinated specially to match his award.
Clooney, misled by Day-Lewis’ flamboyant jewelry, whispered something in the recent award-winner’s ear, but received a less than desirable response and apologized profusely.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” said Clooney, “How terribly awkward of me.”
Day-Lewis smiled apologetically, wandering off to locate his wife.