Let me say at the outset here that I think Natalie Portman is up against a relatively exhausting set of circumstances. She is quite, quite pregnant, and that only means exhausted because even if you got to sleep until seconds before it was time to go, you can’t sleep by that point anyway. Then there’s the red carpet rigmarole which she’s never been all that comfortable with – whatever nonscripted banter she can deal with, she usually saves for the talk show circuit…so she comes off stiff and tired and really weirdly notably quiet.

But here’s the thing – I think she knows, and has known for weeks. She’s not going to be the one – she’s not going to win the Oscar, and so all of this work and the circuit and the work is all for nothing, or for, at very best, goodwill for next time she gets a role like this. She’s actually already marinating in her disappointment, and probably halfway over it and looking forward to a damned nap. I’m not saying she’s not hungry for the award overall, but given that she knows what she knows, I think she’s probably already dealing with it – as evidenced by the not a flicker of disappointment she showed when losing to Emma Stone. She knew.

So this is the question – can you tap out of the race? You can’t, right? You can’t say ‘Oh, I get that it’s not me so you guys go on’ and just get to enjoy yourself or stay home on the couch. It would ruin it – it would be being a spoilsport, right? Nobody wants to win if the other person isn’t playing!

So Natalie Portman has to get up and get dressed, and put on the Jackie-inspired pregnancy formalwear when you know she’d love to wear a 90’s inspired jersey nightgown and call it a day, either on the carpet or the aforementioned couch. She’s been coy about her due date, but if I were her I’d be secretly hoping that baby shows up early enough to tag me out of having to do this at least a couple more times…