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    What it’s like at the Oscars

    Chris Rock presented on stage at the Oscars.
    MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
    Chris Rock presented on stage at the Oscars.

    Read numbers one through 37 here.

    38. We all go to a press room in a nearby hotel space, so we’re not quite at the Oscars anymore, and there is so much food. Media people eat like they’ve just run a race. There are empanadas, zucchini sticks, tiny cakes, and meat skewers.

    39. The press room, where the winners come to answer questions after their main-stage speech, is basically rows of tables and extension chords. I sit down and people look at me funny. They are staring at my name tag. I realize it’s because, you know, “Spotlight.”

    40. One of the first big awards is for best original screenplay. “Spotlight” wins. Some reporters clap for me like I wrote it. I nod my head and wave, which is stupid, but what else can you do.


    41. “Spotlight” director Tom McCarthy comes in and tells the press that he should have thanked the Globe in his speech, which is cool.

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    42. After Alicia Vikander wins, she deftly dodges a question about how — and with whom — she’ll celebrate. People want her to say Michael Fassbender (her boyfriend), but she only says she’ll party with her family.

    43. I notice the celebrities are starting to look like normal people. They are nervous and off the red carpet they’re somewhat awkward and funny.

    44. I realize that I love watching this awards show from the press room because we don’t have to see the commercials. The TVs just sort of go dark.

    45. Mark Rylance wins, and the press room freaks out. Loud gasps.


    46. Rylance comes to the press room and mentions Idris Elba and Paul Dano. He also talks about how Rylance sounds like “Ruffalo,” so the actors are used to getting each other’s hopes up.

    47. I keep reading tweets that Michael Keaton has been at the lobby bar for most of the show. I bet that’s right downstairs.

    48. Entire press room erupts for Leo. Reporters shouting and applauding. Maybe because they know this means the man of honor will have to come back here and talk to us.

    49. “Spotlight” wins. No surprise that it’s the press room favorite.

    50. I have been invited to a “Spotlight” after-party at a place called Palihouse in West Hollywood. This is starting to feel normal — the dress, the running to parties, and the trays of food. And if this feels normal, it is time to come home.

    Meredith Goldstein is in Los Angeles through Sunday’s Oscars. She can be reached at