California Observer

Oscar Nominees’ Annual Luncheon Has Finally Returned

Photo: Reuters

As the show quickly approaches, nominees gather to celebrate their nominations in one of the most prestigious awards in Hollywood. 

On Monday, Will Smith, Kristen Stewart, and many more Academy Awards candidates came together to paint the town red at the annual Oscar nominees luncheon, among the biggest gatherings in the film industry since the coronavirus pandemic. 

Benedict Cumberbatch, Jessica Chastain, Steven Spielberg, and Bradley Cooper are among the other guests who attended the event at Fairmont Century Plaza hotel in Los Angeles. Shining stars in the industry socialized with sound mixers, costume designers, and other staff who work behind the camera vying for this year’s Oscars, which will be held on March 27 in a live show. 

“This is a year like no other,” remarked Will Packer, this year’s Oscar telecast producer. “If there’s ever a time to be grateful for and revel in an occasion that allows us to be in the same room, ladies and gentlemen, this is the year.” 

The nominees’ luncheon was set aside in 2021, and the Oscars ceremony was organized before a small-scale crowd at a train station in downtown Los Angeles. So this year, organizers are arranging for a massive audience at the event’s long-standing venue of the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. 

The Power of the Dog, directed by Jane Campion and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, takes the lead on the roster of competitors with 12 nominations. Dune, a film directed by Denis Villeneuve, is just behind it. 

At the luncheon, Packer handed advice for the nominees on how to deliver a memorable acceptance speech. He encouraged them to be concise and abandon the tradition of expressing thanks to agents, managers, and other representatives. 

“Frankly the audience doesn’t care,” said Packer. “You know what they do care about? They care about you, your journey, your passion … Talk about that.”

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