Not all the nominees for the 2023 Oscars will take home a golden statuette on Sunday, but at least 25 of them won’t leave with empty hands. The candidates for acting and directing awards will receive a gift bag valued at over $126,000. The package also goes to the gala’s host, who this year is Jimmy Kimmel. The marketing and publicity agency Distinctive Asset has maintained the gift bag tradition since 2002. This year’s edition includes everything from cosmetics, food products and beauty treatments to luxury vacations. Despite its staggering valuation, this year it is much more austere than previous editions: in 2022 it was worth $140,000, and in 2020 it reached $225,000.
The most ostentatious items include trips to Italy and Canada, a property in Australia and a $12,000 liposuction procedure. “Most of the brands we include are from a diverse and inclusive array of small businesses who meaningfully benefit from the global exposure that being associated with Hollywood’s Biggest Night affords them. This is celebrity marketing with a mission,” says Distinctive Asset founder Lash Fary in a press release.
One of the most attention-grabbing prizes is a square meter of land in the Australian region of Western Downs, Queensland. The company Pieces of Australia, who offered the land for the gift bags, hopes for 20 trees to be planted for every nominated actor and director, contributing to the conservation of Australian wildlife. However, as the British newspaper Guardian reports, many voices within the country’s environmental movement have questioned the organization’s mission, as the land offered is in a coal seam gas field.
The bag also includes a suitcase and a travel pillow to use on two luxury vacations: one to Italy and one to Canada. Each nominee will receive a voucher for a three-night stay, along with seven guests, at Faro di Punta Imperatore, an exclusive remodeled lighthouse on the island of Ischia, off the coast of Naples. The trip is valued at $9,000. “Obviously, (the nominees) can afford to go where they want,” Fary told Forbes. “It’s not about the fact that this is free. It’s about the fact that we’ve found a unique place that has built-in privacy for a celebrity. I mean, it’s a hillside lighthouse on an island off the coast of Italy—it’s look and private.”
Those who avail themselves of the trip to Canada, valued at $40,000, will stay on a ranch in rural Ottawa. The property has a movie theater, a pool and an archery range. During their three-night stay, the nominees and their guests can use the estate’s 1965 AC Cobra and 2023 McLaren Arturo sports cars.
One of the other gifts to spark comment is a beauty treatment: Doctor Thomas Su offers an arm-toning liposuction procedure valued at $12,000. The question remains whether the nominees, which include actress Jamie Lee Curtis and actor Brendan Fraser, will use it. In 2013, Amy Adams was seen wearing a t-shirt with the phrase “Strong Is The New Skinny,” one of the gifts that year. Viola Davis and Mark Ruffalo shared photos on social media of the vacations that they received as prizes. On the other hand, figures such as Denzel Washington and JK Simmons have rejected the gift bag or donated it to charity.
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