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Because each flagstone on the Path to Oscar™ is such an important part of the journey to Hollywood's Biggest Night that it requires its own media event, the press was invited over to the Hollywood and Highland Grand Ballroom yesterday for a preview of the Governor's Ball, the post-telecast soiree where the Academy attempts to revive Oscar VIPs utterly exhausted from the four hours of congratulatory buggering they've just endured with a free meal. Var's The Knife blog made the trip, reporting that obscure local caterer Wolfgang Puck will be handling the food, and that the gala's organizers have decided to save the industry's most conspicuous awards-season table-hopper from his worst instincts:

The big news: This year, Brad Grey can't be a table-hopping boor because the ball has no tables for 10 or assigned seating; it's "an elegant supper party." (Translation: It's a lot like going to a premiere.)

The shift from stifling assigned seating to a premiere-style buffet setup should facilitate a more relaxed atmosphere, as the more open plan allows for anyone anxious about being approached by an embittered, muttering Paramount emperor Grey following an uncredited Departed Best Picture win to quickly visualize an escape route to the nearest sushi station, allowing them to slip away before having to offer insincerely sympathetic small talk about his unfair treatment by the Academy.

[Pictured: Puck's executive pastry chef knows that if every part of the chocolate Oscar is not carefully covered in a gold glaze, her enraged boss will seize her brush and angrily frost its tiny, edible genitals himself. Photo: Getty Images]