Oppenheimer and Barbie Attend Luncheon at Oscars 2024

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LOS ANGELES –

The casts of “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer gathered Monday for the annual Academy Award nominees luncheon along with other Oscar hopefuls coming together for photos, hugs and congratulations.

The luncheon is a warm, feel-good, egalitarian affair where little-known first-time nominees in categories like best animated short get to rub shoulders and share tables with acting nominees like Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.

Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, whose snubs for best director and best actress, respectively, for “Barbie” caused a major stir, were both present for the nominations they did get and were all smiles before lunch.

Gerwig, nominated for adapted screenplay, was surrounded by selfie-seekers as soon as she entered the ballroom.

Robbie, up for best picture as a “Barbie” producer, beamed nearby as she hugged and chatted with a woman who got one of the best actress spots, Sandra Hüller of “Anatomy of a Fall.”

The centerpiece of the event in Beverly Hills, California, is a class photo of the entire group of nominees. Nearly all of them usually attend, both as part of the Oscars experience and as part of their unspoken campaigns for votes.

Gerwig and Robbie got some of the loudest cheers of the afternoon when their names were called during the roll call for the class picture.

Before the luncheon began, nominees including Cillian Murphy, a favorite for best actor for “Oppenheimer,” and Da’Vine Joy Randolph, a favorite for best supporting actress for “The Holdovers,” made the rounds of media outlets whose reporters are set up in cabanas around the Beverly Hilton pool.

Steven Spielberg, nominated for best picture as a producer of “Maestro,” chatted with a small group on the patio.

Less famous nominees packed into the ballroom and posed for group pictures.

They’ll later be seated for a vegetarian menu of king oyster mushrooms and wild mushroom risotto.

The event is also a chance for the leadership of the Academy, including President Janet Yang to give speeches and address their prominent members in person.

She used last year’s luncheon to address what she called the Academy’s “inadequate” response to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the previous year’s ceremony.

Yang’s remarks this year had a much lighter tone, and dealt with more banal matters, like the timing of the Oscars ceremony.

“In case any of you have been in a nominations haze, we are starting an hour earlier this year,” she said.

When she saw surprise around the room she said, “Ooh, some people didn’t know! I’m glad I reminded you!”

She drew groans when she added that the Oscars come on the first day of daylight saving time.

She also delivered the president’s annual instructions on victory speeches, mostly urging winners to be brief and stick to the 45-second limit but also “speak from the heart,” “feel the moment” and “add a bit of humor.”

She then played a montage of past speeches that met the ideals, with clips from Jamie Lee Curtis, Brad Pitt and Ke Huy Quan.

It ended with the academy’s Platonic ideal of a speech played in its entirety: Javier Bardem’s 2008 acceptance of best supporting actor for “No Country for Old Men.” Total time: 37 seconds.

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