Dear Gossips,

It’s Oscar weekend! The overwhelming favourite as we get closer to the show is 1917 but… there are still some people who think that there could be an upset. Keep this in mind as you fill in our annual contest ballot – you’re playing for a gorgeous Valentino bag!

What’s definitely not a question mark for Sunday though is Brad Pitt. He will win his first acting Oscar for his performance in Once Upon a Time …in Hollywood, and he will get up on stage at the Dolby Theatre and deliver his final acceptance speech of this award season. If you’ve been a regular visitor here at LaineyGossip over the last couple of months, during Brad’s non campaign campaign, you’ll know that I’ve been asking about Brad Pitt’s speechwriter ever since the Golden Globes – because he has been nailing it every single time. And I’m not the only one. Not because nobody thinks Brad can’t come up with his own jokes but because speechwriting is also an art-form, because the jokes have been so sharp and so precise, you want to properly credit the work that goes into that moment. 

In a piece for Vulture yesterday, Chris Lee is asking the same question: “Who Is (Ghost) Writing Brad Pitt’s Awards Season Speeches?” Vulture actually reached out to a speechwriting agency that “confirms that Pitt’s representatives contacted the organization to consult about engaging their services”. That doesn’t mean that he did in fact go ahead and engage the services of that particular agency but the point is, inquiries were made, they seem to have been at least thinking about it. 

It’s not just Brad, it also might be Joaquin Phoenix, who’s expected to win too on Sunday. Joaquin’s BAFTAs acceptance speech, as noted in Sarah’s post about it earlier this week, was a huge improvement over his previous speeches this season. And this is such a common practice among so many entertainers that speechwriters are often surprised when celebrities DON’T engage the services of a specialist to help them on their remarks. The reason we’re having this conversation now then isn’t because it’s new; it’s because Brad Pitt is so famous and so high-profile that him doing it (if he’s doing it) has just exposed the ghostwriting speech thing to a whole other level. 

And now it’s something to look forward to. How good will he be on Sunday? If he is using a speechwriter, that person would know that every speech that came before has been the opening act for the main event at the Oscars. They’ve set a standard for themselves now – what do they have planned for the big finish? 

Duana and I will have full coverage of this and more on Sunday through Monday. We’re in LA, we’re pulling an all-nighter after the Oscars, we’ll be writing furiously to get the first posts up around 3am ET. But before that, I’ll be broadcasting live from the Oscars red carpet with etalk from our exclusive balcony position starting at 530pm ET on CTV. Then, at 630pm ET, switch over to Twitter @etalkctv or on my Twitter @laineygossip as Danielle Graham and I take over the show. We’re calling the shots with access to multiple cameras from the limo arrivals area to every photo wall along the carpet, and to the foyer area right below us where celebrities converge before going into the theatre and we’re showing you the moments you want to see. This is the Oscar pre-show for true gossips. Also if you want, I’m documenting the behind-the-scenes work all weekend on Instagram stories. 

Have a great weekend!

Yours in gossip,