The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hosted its annual gathering of nominees Monday (Feb. 4) and served up some insights along the way.
"The seating at Oscar lunch is a lot like a wedding except there are no lame tables," the Tweet said in reference to the star-studded event. While much of the United States was recovering from the Super Bowl events, Hollywood embraced and honored the current crop of nominees with its annual luncheon. The seating, along with the picture, would remind one of a wedding. Both excitement and dread at the same time.
In overlapping news coming from Hollywood, the list of presenters will be filtered out. As is usually the case, last year's winners head up the list. The Academy announced today (Feb. 5) that Meryl Streep, Jean Dujardin, Octavia Spencer and Christopher Plummer will return to present. "We are honored to have Meryl, Octavia, Christopher and Jean, last year's Oscar winners in each of the acting categories, return to the Oscar stage," said Zadan and Meron.
Showing up Monday was a plethora of talent, noted The Hollywood Reporter.
The attendees included Ben Affleck and Steven Spielberg, two directors with a different angle going in to the show. While Affleck in a hot streak, Spielberg ride through award season has been rather cold. But, Affleck is not nominated as best director while Spielberg is. But both films, "Argo" and "Lincoln" are competing against each other. Others included Ang Lee, who could sneak in a win in that director category since Affeck is out. Tommy Lee Jones and Sally Field were present. Quvenzhane Wallis, Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman also dined as did Robert De Niro.
The luncheon serves as a time when the nominees can get a look at what the show's producers have in mind. Craig Zadan and Neil Meron took the stage to tease that idea. Since their background is musical, the show will reflect that.
For them Barbra Streisand was the icing on the cake. When they noted that, the crowd cheered the loudest. They also dropped some hints as to the show's pacing. That is discussed with the nominees for a very good reason. It is their show and they have something to do with that pacing. "We honestly need your help to keep the pacing of the show quick," Meron said.
The Hollywood Reporter stated that winners need to get to the stage quickly and that winners will have no more than 45 seconds onstage before they are played off by the orchestra. In addition, co-nominees must designate, in advance of the show, one individual as the speaker on behalf of them all in the event that they win. Come show time and the excitement of winning, let's see how many follow the rules.
Now, besides the Streisand applause meter, listening for reaction after nominees are introduced is a possible tipping of the hat as top how some in that room may have voted. Even Scott Feinberg, who penned the story for The Hollywood Reporter, said that is a dangerous thing to do, but it is interesting. He noted a lukewarm response for Affleck and supporting and louder cheers for those involved in "Lincoln."
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