The Gold Knight: Nominees Luncheon honors Oscar nomineesWritten by James A. Molnar | The Gold Knight | email@example.com
“This is the last time you’ll be rooting for each other,” motion picture academy president Tom Sherak told Oscar nominees on Monday.
It was a big day for the Academy Awards nominees: the Nominees Luncheon. But the pressure was off. Honored actors and directors, along with more than 100 others, hobnobbed amongst each other at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif.
There were 150 of 188 nominees at the luncheon, according to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In attendance were 18 of the 20 acting nominees, sans Christopher Plummer and Jessica Chastain. Three of the five nominees in the Directing category also: Michel Hazanavicius, Alexander Payne and Martin Scorsese. Woody Allen and Terrence Malick did not attend.
Press room quotes
George Clooney was one of the first nominees to arrive.
“I thought I’d get here early … free booze,” he remarked in the press room. He continued: “People at home think we all just hang out together … the truth is I hadn’t seen Brad in about a year. It’s fun to catch up.”
Clooney is nominated for Best Actor (“The Descendants”) and Adapted Screenplay (“The Ides of March”), with Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon.
The next to enter the press room was Rooney Mara, Best Actress nominee for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”
“When I read the books, she never felt that foreign to me,” she said of her character in the movie. “The character I played in ‘Social Network’ felt much more foreign to me.”
On dress shopping for Oscar Sunday, Mara said, “It’s a fairly simple process — people just send you things and you try them on and find what you like.”
Max von Sydow (Supporting Actor, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”): “This nomination moves me because who nominates you? Your colleagues. And they should know something about your craft.”
Viola Davis (Actress, “The Help”): “I am not glamorous. My biggest fear is paparazzi … see me in my backyard in my pool. That would be very unfortunate.”
As Janet McTeer (Supporting Actress, “Albert Nobbs”) walked into the press room, her phone went off in her purse. “Can you turn your phones off please?” she joked. “No respect for talent.”
Glenn Close (Actress, “Albert Nobbs”): “I have always thought being an actor is a privilege and a responsibility.” On being nominated: “You are one of five. How could you possibly think of yourself as a loser?”
Octavia Spencer (Supporting Actress, “The Help”), joking: “Hello, I brought you all here today to discuss the way things are…” She also said: “I hope that I can be a symbol of hope for all the other actors that have been doing it as long as I have.”
Bérénice Bejo (“The Artist”) said she found her dress for Oscar Sunday — Elie Saab — and that the most important thing about it is was her husband liking her in it.
Gary Oldman (Actor, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”): “The Oscar’s better than the money. The villains are the ones you do for money. They’re expensive … or they will be now.”
Melissa McCarthy (Supporting Actress, “Bridesmaids”): “It’s been a pretty amazing, surreal year … I’m hoping I don’t get the call where somebody goes, ‘Kidding!’”
Michelle Williams (Actress, “My Week with Marilyn”) gave some advice on what to bring to the Academy Awards: “Pack a snack. Bring a granola bar.”
Demián Bichir (Actor, “A Better Life”): “I wish this nomination could solve a lot of problems in Mexico … but that’s not going to happen … This is not a political issue, but a human issue. That is what ‘A Better Life’ is about.”
On the menu
Cold Hors d’Oeuvres: Sesame seared Ahi tuna on crisp won ton with wasabi aioli; Buffalo mozzarella, tomato and basil on toasted Italian bread; Tandoori chicken with boursin cheese in a red tortilla pinwheel; Roasted Asian BBQ duck in phyllo basket with scallions and hoisin sauce; Indochina spiced beef with avocado mousse; and California rools with wasabi soy sauce.
Lunch: Soy-Mirin sear fillet of Atlantic salmon, with Tamarind ginger sauce; white and wild rice; broccolini; and red and yellow teardrop tomatoes.
Dessert: Trio of Sorbets in chocolate cup; and mango sauce and fresh berries.
After lunch and comments from Academy President Sherak, it was time to lineup for the group photo. The presentation of the nomination certificates followed. Since it took quite a while for the 150 certificates to be handed out, nominees where enjoying themselves on the bleachers. Those at the end of the alphabet had the most time to kill.
The next time all of the nominees will be in the same place together will be on Oscar Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012. The 84th Academy Awards air locally on WTVG-TV 13abc and will begin at 7 p.m. with a 90-minute Red Carpet special.
Toledo Free Press Lead Designer and Film Editor James A. Molnar blogs about all things Oscar at TheGoldKnight.com.