February 10, 2012 7:20pm PT by Scott Feinberg
George Clooney's Co-Stars Boost His Oscar Cause During Final 'Descendants' Q&A (Exclusive Video)
On Tuesday evening, I had the opportunity to moderate the last Q&A that the principal cast of The Descendants -- George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Nick Krause, Judy Greer, and Matthew Lillard -- will ever do together. (That is, at least until they have to promote a 10th anniversary re-release or something along those lines!)
Like all public appearances this time of year (during which final ballots are in Academy members' hands), this Q&A, which was held before an all-guilds audience at the Harmony Gold Theatre in Hollywood, was of considerable importance to everyone associated with the Fox Searchlight film, which has been nominated for five Oscars: best picture (Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor) and four others in categories in which the vast majority of previous best picture winners have also been recognized, directing (Payne for best director), screenplay (Payne, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash for best adapted screenplay), film editing (Kevin Tent for best film editing), and acting (Clooney for best actor).
While it's certainly possible that The Descendants could win any of those awards, it seems most likely to me and other pundits that the two in which it stands the best chance are best adapted screenplay (if it can hold off Moneyball) and best actor (if Clooney can rebound from his surprising loss at the SAG Awards to The Artist's French star Jean Dujardin).
That's why it was important particularly for Clooney to bring his A-game to this Q&A -- and, as you can see for yourself in the video at the top of this post, he did. (Plus his co-stars had plenty of complimentary things to say about working with him, which he jokingly rewarded on-stage with cash payouts!)