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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

February 16, 2010 at 11:32 AM

Oscar nominees do lunch

One of my favorite Academy Award-related events is the annual Oscar luncheon. Not that I’ve ever actually attended — they have a strange habit of not inviting obscure non-Oscar-nominated journalists — but it just sounds like a kick. Every nominee is invited (and most attend) and everybody mingles, by design — it’s not the actors hanging out at one table and the sound engineers at another. It was last year, I think, that a winning short filmmaker, in her acceptance speech, took time to thank the Academy “for seating me next to George Clooney at the Oscar lunch.”
This year, 121 nominees (including Clooney, though there’s no word on who got to sit next to him) showed up for lunch yesterday at the Beverly Hilton. The best sound bite came from best actress nominee Gabourey Sidibe, who continued her charm offensive by telling reporters that she was most excited to meet Steve Martin (cohost of the Oscars this year) because “My mom had a crush on Steve Martin and we used to watch ‘The Jerk’ every day.” All nominees posed for the annual Oscar “class picture” — with Jeff Bridges standing next to (and almost blocking) Sandra Bullock, and James Cameron looking away from the camera in the back row — and received a certificate of nomination. Plus, they received the traditional warning about thank-you speeches: 45 seconds, no more. This year, said Oscar-show producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman, only one person may speak in the case of a group of winners — and the microphone will be muted after that person’s speech. Ouch.
If you want to see a few photos (and see what Quentin Tarantino deems appropriate attire for a formal luncheon), click here. A swell time, it appears, was had by all.

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