Academy Awards 2009

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Batesville native Sid Lambert won an Oscar as part of the art direction team for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” Here, Lambert is pictured at a revival meeting where Benjamin walked for the first time. Photo provided

Panola native had hand in Oscar win

By Jason C. Mattox

A Batesville native was surrounded by friends in his New Orleans home, watching Sunday night’s Academy Awards broadcast, when he realized his art direction crew had won an Oscar for their work on “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.”

Sid Lambert, the son of Troy Lambert of Batesville, and Suzie Lambert of Hot Springs, Ark., has worked in the film industry since 1988 when he worked on “Steel Magnolias.”

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Lambert moved from Mississippi to New Orleans in 1992. The move to New Orleans came while he was visiting friends.

“I was down visiting and a friend asked me if I wanted to work,” he said. “I told him yes, and moved down there that year.”

“This is the first time I have been a part of the team that won the Oscar,” Lambert told The Panolian via telephone Monday morning. “Some friends and I made a champagne toast at noon. It’s still a shock to me.”

The “Curious Case of Benjamin Button” stars Brad Pitt and was filmed in New Orleans, Los Angeles and Montreal about a character who ages in reverse.

“We had 10 to 12 set dressers working on the movie,” Lambert said. “Those are the people who made this movie look the way it did.”

During the filming, Lambert served as prop supervisor.

“It took me three times seeing the movie before I was not just blown away with it,” he said. “The fact that I touched every piece of art, lamp and other prop they used while filming in New Orleans.”

While it is his first win, it is not the first Oscar-winning film Lambert has worked on. He also worked with the Art Direction team for “Ray,” the biography film based on the life of Ray Charles.

Lambert will next move on to “Imagination Movers,” a television series for the Disney Channel.

“The win for  ‘Benjamin Button’ was thrilling,” he said. “It’s nice when you can get a credit for something, but my reward is the work.”