The Gold Knight: Luncheon celebrates Oscar nomineesWritten by James A. Molnar | The Gold Knight | firstname.lastname@example.org
The iconic hall known for hosting premier events like the Golden Globes Awards, hosted the Academy’s Oscars Nominees Luncheon Feb. 10 in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Nominees from actress Sandra Bullock to director Steve McQueen were in attendance to hobnob amongst fellow nominees and take the Oscar Class Photo, where all of the nominees get on bleachers and have their photo taken together.
Before the lunch began, nominees streamed through the press room to answer a few questions and talk about their new accolade.
Bullock, nominated for Lead Actress for her performance in “Gravity,” described her experience working on the film.
“It was one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever had,” she said.
Talking on the film’s director, Alfonso Cuarón, Bullock said, “We trusted him 100% because we had the body of his work as proof. We didn’t know what we were making.”
“It wasn’t supposed to be a big blockbuster film,” she said, “it is an avant-garde, existential film about loss and adversity.”
Earlier in the press room, Cuarón discussed a similar sentiment on what he hoped viewers took away from the sci-fi film.
“Adversities are what shape who we are,” he said.
Another film about adversities, “12 Years a Slave” was the topic when its director Steve McQueen was in the room.
“It gives me great pride that we made this film,” he said. “We as a group made the movie in a way that it wasn’t at all a burden. Yes, there were hard scenes … but it was an honor.”
Feeling honored what the theme of the day.
Bradley Cooper, nominated for Supporting Actor in “American Hustle,” said he felt he was an imposter, waiting for security to ask him, “What are you doing?”
“I’m absolutely living the dream,” he said.
Matthew McConaughey, nominated for Lead Actor in “Dallas Buyers Club,” said he is already in celebration mode and hasn’t thought about winning.
“I’m going to celebrate no matter what,” he said. “This is my first time nominated. There’ll never be another first time.”
Jared Leto, another first-time nominee, also nominated for “Dallas Buyers Club,” talked about his inspiration — his mother.
“The biggest lesson she taught me was to dream and to do the work that it takes to make dreams a reality,” he said. “I could spend every single one of these events thanking my mother. She’s the best.”
Jonah Hill, nominated for Supporting Actor in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” spoke about working with director Martin Scorsese.
“‘Goodfellas’ is the reason I wanted to make movies,” Hill said of Scorsese’s film. “I would paint his house if he asked me to.”
After the acting nominees answered questions from the press, they chatted with other nominees and settled down for lunch.
On the menu was white miso orange marinated pacific sea bass and crisp scallion, rice cake and stir fired vegetables.
During the lunch, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs welcomed the nominees.
“What a remarkable year for film it’s been,” she said.
Oscar ceremony producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan gave their annual speeches to the nominees, which typically feature a plea to keep acceptance speeches short.
“I was told not to remind you that there will be over a billion people watching,” said Zadan, “but don’t be nervous.”
Then, it was time for the Class Photo.
Academy Governor Ed Begley Jr. called each nominee to the risers, to tune of The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony.”
And the historic photo was taken.
The next time all of the nominees will be in the same place together will be on Oscar Sunday, March 2, 2014.
— Sequoia Productions (@SequoiaEvents) February 10, 2014
The 86th Academy Awards, for outstanding film achievements of 2013, will be presented on Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 225 countries worldwide.
Toledo Free Press Design Editor and Film Editor James A. Molnar blogs about all things Oscar at TheGoldKnight.com. Watch James discuss movies every Friday on WTOL-11?s “Your Day” around 9:10 a.m. Listen to James discuss movies on “Eye on Your Weekend” on 1370 WSPD every Friday at 6 p.m.