From December through February Hollywood is absolutely inundated with awards. Every organization even tangentially related to film hands out awards to the best performances and films. However, not every gathering is designed to be competitive. The AFI Awards simply recognize the best in TV and Film, but without specifying winners. Each series or film gets to sit together and revel in each others' success. The problem is, what if you're in more than one of the year's 10 best films?
That's the problem Laura Dern had this year, as both Little Women and Marriage Story made the cut for the AFI event, and thus her co-stars for both films were seated at the event at separate tables. This apparently resulted in Dern making the jump between tables over the course of the event, sitting with her Marriage Story colleagues at one point, before ending up next to Saoirse Ronan later on. Finally, according to EW, finding herself back with Marriage Story when it was that film's turn to be recognized.
It's a tough job when you're just one of the best actresses in the business which results in you being in high demand for high profile movies looking to compete for awards. But that's just where Laura Dern is these days. She received her third Oscar nomination this week for her role in Marriage Story. She won the Golden Globe for the performance, which likely makes her a front runner for the Academy Award, though she'll be competing against her Little Women co-star Florence Pugh for the statue.
Dern wasn't the only one who saw multiple projects at the ceremony. Robert De Niro was there for both Joker and The Irishman, Sam Rockwelll was in both Fosse/Verdon and Richard Jewell, and Merritt Wever, was in both Unbelievable and Marriage Story.
In those other cases, however, the actor in question likely easily made the decision where to hang out for the night, Robert De Niro surely said hi to the Joker crew, but sat with The Irishman. Laura Dern had strong supporting roles in both of her films, likely making it a bit tougher to choose, so she didn't.
There's also the fact that Marriage Story and Little Women had an additional connection. The former film was written and directed by Noah Baumbach, while the latter was helmed by Greta Gerwig, the pair are partners in real life who have collaborated together on several films, so I'm sure they had some sort of shared custody arrangement regarding Laura Dern.
The two films will also be competing against each other for Best Picture at the Academy Awards next month. Nominees associated with the same film usually sit together. Perhaps the Academy will be able to place Laura Dern in a spot where she's close to both her Little Women and Marriage Story cast, so she won't have to keep switching seats.