The Oscar Gift Bag returns. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
Amid war, a persistent and deadly pandemic and an entertainment industry recovering from years without in-person events, the show must go on. And while it remains to be seen exactly who will tune into the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday and why, the annual Oscar Gift Bag is once again a sure thing for the Academy’s most elite nominees.
This year the 25 actors and directors nominated by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for five of its most coveted awards can’t all walk away with a gold statuette. But they are guaranteed a pick of 53 items, experiences and getaways compiled and provided by marketing company Distinctive Assets.
Stars such as Will Smith, Kristen Stewart, Nicole Kidman and Andrew Garfield can choose their favorites from about $140,000 worth of gifts to be delivered to their homes this week–a $65,000 drop from the value of the gifts provided in last year’s Gift Bag. This year’s big themes: wellness, eco-friendliness and diversity.
“I feel like despite all of the bad news in the world, it’s really an important form of self-preservation and self-care to also carve out a little time for the fun, fabulous and frivolous, and [the gift bag] certainly falls in that category,” says Distinctive Assets founder Lash Fary.
Options ranging from the luxurious—such as a $50,000, three-night stay in a 17th century Scottish castle or a $15,600, four-night spa getaway at California resort Golden Door—to more practical, like a $9 plant- and mineral-based stain remover or a $14 detangling hair brush—are available to all Best Actor/Actress, Best Supporting Actor/Actress and Best Director nominees, for a combined value of $3.5 million in offerings.
For the self-indulgent, stars can choose to try out a variety of CBD skincare lines that are vegan and cruelty-free or work out with three L.A.-based, in-home training sessions led by “fitness legend” Diego Sebastian. They can also get involved in environmentalism by getting dubbed a Lord or Lady of Glencoe, Scotland to own and conserve a plot of land, or even sign a pre-stamped postcard from PETA addressed to SeaWorld’s CEO asking him to stop breeding dolphins and retire all marine mammals to seaside sanctuaries.
“We’re not ending a war or ending poverty, but I do think we’re able to provide a fun little distraction for the moment,” Fary says.
The cost of the gifts are fully absorbed by the participating brands, which pay a minimum of $4,000 to have a product or service in the gift bag offerings and up to $25,000 to be a sponsor. Not a bad deal when you consider that a 30-second spot during Sunday night’s shows goes for $2 million, with the companies hoping that nominees will bring attention to their products on social media or in media appearances. Recipients also pay income tax for the monetary value of all accepted gifts.
Here’s a breakdown of the top ten most valuable offerings in this year’s Oscar gift bag:
Turin Castle Scotland
Built in 1659, the 10-bedroom Turin Castle offers fully-inclusive butler service and dining, a bagpiper welcome on arrival, a private gin tasting and a fully-personalized concierge service. This gift is a three-night stay for two guests.
The construction and development company–which specializes in luxury custom home building and renovation–is putting its services up for grabs to project manage an Oscar nominee’s next remodel or ground-up project for free.
Golden Door Resort
On a four-night stay for two at the Golden Door luxury resort, guests can try out personalized fitness, spa and nutrition programs complete with daily massages, private trails for hiking, gourmet meals and more.
3D Wellness Retreat
3D Wellness Retreat
This three-day, luxury, holistic wellness retreat includes activities like sound baths, meditation, yoga, “aura cleansing” and more.
Owned by former figure artist and sculptor Dr. Thomas Su, this Florida plastic surgery company offers the trademarked “Celebrity Arms Sculpting,” which claims to “give women an instant lean and toned look” for their arms.
Dr. Konstantin Vasyukevich’s services
Dr. Vasyukevich’s Upper East Side office performs treatments and rejuvenation procedures including chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing, injectables/fillers, Botox and more.
Kayote Joseph’s services
Based in Mexico City, “holistic healing expert” Kayote Joseph helps clients heal from the inside out with meditations and guided visualizations.
A year’s supply of Oxygenetix “breathable “makeup foundation that is made from an aloe-based gel claims to build collagen and elastin.
Self Love with Nicola
One session with “self-love coach” Nicola Fernandes promises to help “drop the fear, disconnection and need for external validation.”
This skincare line created by women uses nanotechnology to make CBD particles 100 times smaller–and much easier for the skin to absorb. The gift set includes best selling items from a range of products including facial cleansers, toners, serums and moisturizers.