Leonardo DiCaprio, Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett share their joy at Oscars luncheon
Final voting for the 86th Academy Awards is just four days away, but Monday allowed this year's nominees one more stress-free event before it all gets "oh, so serious" again. For the public at large, the annual Oscar Nominees Luncheon is a celebration of the honorees as they all crowd into one room to take the "Class of" photo. It's also a huge press opportunity where the contenders can subtly communicate their final pitches in hopes that a stray Academy member will read it or hear about it on TV.
According to media on hand who'd endured the luncheon interview room before, the talent that wandered in to take questions was much more impressive than in years past. No doubt, just a reflection of how competitive the season has been and how much is still on the line. While Jennifer Lawrence, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender were unable to attend, contenders such as Matthew McConaughey, Cate Blanchett, Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale, Sandra Bullock, Lupita Nyong'o, Bono, Pharrell Williams and Amy Adams all stopped by for a light afternoon meal.
Here are the nominees' thoughts on the day, their films and the Oscar season in their own words.
June Squibb (Best Supporting Actress, "Nebraska")
On being invited into the club:
"It's very exciting. I feel like I'm a part of a community; those of us who are lucky enough to be nominated are gathering to celebrate together. I saw Lupita [Nyong'o] upstairs and other people I've known."
Lupita Nyong'o (Best Supporting Actress, "12 Years a Slave")
On whether she saw all this coming:
"I didn't expect anything. No, there is no way I could have dreamt any of this stuff up. It has been an incredible journey. It's an adventure and a very exiting one and a very rewarding one and a very revealing one as well."
On her birthplace, Mexico:
"I have a warm place in my heart for Mexico and I do for my other country as well, Kenya. I have been celebrated in other places and also in America and many different places in the world. That is a humbling experience to have so many people embrace you. That is the beauty of film. It brings so many people together."
On the nomination and thoughts on winning:
"It's a recognition of the highest -- everyone regards the Oscars as the ultimate stamp of approval and I don't know. I guess we'll see."
Alfonso Cuaron (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Film Editing, "Gravity")
On what his film means to audiences:
"First of all it's the emotional experience of the film. We go through adversity every single day of our life and those adversities shape who we are. Our attitude toward adversity. In many ways it's about embracing their adversity."
On "Gravity's" Latino support
"I'm very grateful with the Mexican crowd and the whole Spanish gang who have been so supportive about this process. Since the moment the movie has been released through all the celebrations."
Alexander Payne (Best Director, "Nebraska")
On what films served as inspirations:
"That's always a hard question to answer. I just liked the screenplay. I just liked the deadpan humor and the sadness underneath and the austerity and it was about kindness. I just saw the Oscar-nominated short documentaries yesterday and they are fantastic. I recommend watching the Osar-nominated short documentaries. No concrete films inspired it. I was inspired by my own relationship with my own aging parents."
Jonah Hill (Best Supporting Actor, "The Wolf of Wall Street")
On reuniting with Leonardo DiCaprio on a new film:
"We wanted to work together again and we have the same manager, Rick [Yorn], and he was trying to find another project for us to act in. And this story about Richard Jewell came to us and we were both so moved by it it was something we had to do."
On working for scale in "The Wolf of Wall Street":
I wouldn't care honestly. Martin Scorsese is my favorite filmmaker of all time. "Goodfellas" is the movie that made me want to make movies. Money is never a concern [when you can work] with people like Martin Scorsese. I would paint his house if he asked me to.
Does he still have his unused acceptance speech for "Moneyball?":
"It's in my safe. I figured I could just change some of the names from the 'Moneyball' speech. The possibility of winning seems so insane to me. It seems so indulgent to me. I guess I will write one just in the one-in-a-billion chance it happens."
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
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