Javier Bardem: An Oscars No-Show for Penelope?

Javier Bardem sure is a chivalrous fellow. Or perhaps a foolish one.

OK! Magazine reports that the 39-year-old Spanish actor may skip out on tomorrow’s Oscars ceremony to spare his girlfriend, Penelope Cruz, a potentially embarrassing moment.

How so?

It’s an Academy Awards tradition for the winner of the previous year’s Best Supporting Actor statuette to present the award to the new Best Supporting Actress winner. Problem is, Bardem won Best Supporting Actor last year for his work in No Country for Old Men, while Cruz is up for Best Supporting Actress tomorrow for the Woody Allen romp Vicky Cristina Barcelona (in which Bardem co-starred).

And given that Bardem and Cruz are intensely private about their relationship, and he apparently fears that he might get a little too congratulatory if she wins.

“I got an e-mail from a source that said Javier is not going to show because he doesn’t want to acknowledge his relationship with Penelope,” E! News anchor Giuliana Rancic tells the magazine. “They’re a couple that likes to stay under the radar and so meeting on the Oscars stage would blow their cover. Would Javier kiss Penelope if she won? Would they hug? Would they shake hands? He’s worried it could be an awkward scene.”

That’s quite the dilemma. Whatever will Javier do?

Maybe he should take his cue from his No Country for Old Men character, Anton Chigurh, and determine his actions with a coin toss.

Tell us in the comments section: What do you think Javier should do about his Oscars-night conundrum?