“It was so nice to be in the bosom of my family and friends,” said Jim Erickson, the veteran set decorator who watched his colleague Rick Carter accept the best-production-design Oscar they won for Lincoln from his Saltspring Island home Sunday.
It was one of only two Oscars picked up by Steven Spielberg’s historical drama that, with a leading 12 nominations, was the early frontrunner until best picture winner Argo stormed to victory. Lincoln’s other win was by Daniel Day-Lewis, who made Oscar history by becoming the first actor to win three best actor Oscars, for his performance as the 16th U.S. president.
“I was in my tuxedo, we jumped up and down and we had Champagne and popcorn,” Erickson said Monday from his home.
The Minnesota-born filmmaker who was also nominated for his work on 2007’s There Will be Blood, admitted he did not expect to triumph over his competitors on Anna Karenina, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Les Miserables and Life of Pi.
Erickson and Carter were beaten by the team from Les Miserables at the recent British Film Awards, he noted.
The set decorator, whose other credits include Ali, Watchmen, Miami Vice and Snow Falling on Cedars, said he didn’t miss being at Sunday night’s ceremonies hosted by Seth McFarlane, even if it was one of the most outrageous shows in years.
“It was a great show,” said Erickson, who attend five years ago when There Will be Blood was nominated.
He said he wasn’t a big fan of 2008’s low-rated show at the Kodak Theatre where host Jon Stewart quipped, “Thank God for teen pregnancy!” Stewart was jokingly referring to the relatively lighthearted subject matter of Juno, Jason Reitman’s indie gem about the exploits of a pregnant teenager, compared to the notably dark material shared by the best picture nominees, including the winner No Country for Old Men, There Will be Blood, Atonement, Sweeney Todd and Michael Clayton.
“When I went for There Will be Blood, it was the most boring evening,” Erickson recalled.
Erickson chose to stay at home since he’s still recovering from a wicked flu bug.
His absence didn’t go unacknowledged by Carter, whom he also collaborated with on Sucker Punch.
“So much of what is Lincoln, visually, that is seen, that creates the intimacy of the sets and the setting is Jim’s work,” said Carter after the show. “We’re the same age. We’re like brothers who have shared a common history to get to this time now.”
Erickson had his own cheering section at Victoria restaurant Pagliacci’s during its annual Oscar event.
“It was really emotional. I teared up a bit,” said Sara Nitz, Erickson’s niece.
Nitz, 36, and her table weren’t the only ones excited by the win. The entire restaurant erupted with cheers and applause.
“I typically fast-forward through the different categories, when I watch, but I wanted to make this year’s more of an event,” she said.
Canada’s otherOscar winner >C2
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