MOVIES | Oscar nominees enjoy Beverly Hilton lunch: Where everyone is equal for the day


Oscar nominated for her role in The Black Swan, Best Actress contender Natalie Portman proved you could still look stylish while pregnant.

Meeting with the press at today’s 30th annual Nominee Luncheon in Beverly Hills, Portman looked smashing in her blue Lanvin dress, Charles David red heels, carrying her Dior clutch.

When asked what she will wear on the Red Carpet at the Academy Awards, Portman replied that it would be something that will leave space for her expanding figure.

She pointed out that people seem more concerned with fashion than film. “It is always surprising. That’s become the conversation instead of the movies now: what you are wearing,” she said.

On the other hand, Michelle Williams, nominated in the Best Actress category for Blue Valentine, said she has “made peace with her heels.”

(Above) James Franco (left), John Lasseter (right) and Natalie Portman (seated), during the Oscar Nominees Luncheon. (photo A.M.P.A.S.)


Fashion seemed to be the topic of the Beverly Hilton’s Interview Room where 19 of 20 actor contenders gathered with the media before attending a luncheon to honor all 152 nominees. Six are double nominees and two are triple nominees.


Chanhassen Dinner Theater alum Amy Adams, nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category, said she had a chance to meet real life Charlene Fleming, the character she portrays in The Fighter. “She was awesome. Charlene told me not to wear fishnet stockings but unfortunately [Director] David O. Russell disagreed, so I wore the fishnets.” (Co-star Christian Bale, also a nominee for The Fighter, did not attend the luncheon.)

John Hawkes, Minnesotan born and raised nominee in the Best Supporting Actor category for Winter’s Bone, said most people don’t know who he is and that’s the way he likes it. “It’s better that way for a character actor.”

Jesse Eisenberg, in the Best Actor category, looked sharp in his fitted suit, a far cry from his sweatshirt and flip-flop attire of The Social Network. He was asked how he liked dressing up for award events. “When I was 13, I had to go to bat mitzvahs every weekend and this is like the same thing. You have to put on a suit every weekend to go meet with a lot of Jews.”

(Above) Newcomer in the Best Actor category, for The Social Network, Jesse Eisenberg, left, gets pointers from Oscar nominee Colin Firth at the 30th annual Nominee Luncheon in Beverly Hills. “I get intimidated by anyone who wears a name tag,” Eisenberg told the press. (photo A.M.P.A.S.)


When asked what he thought about being with all the nominees, Eisenberg said he was “intimidated by anyone with a name tag.”


Nicole Kidman, Best Actress nominee for Rabbit Hole, said daughter Sunday Rose chooses what she calls “pretty dresses” and will be giving her opinion on what mom will be wearing Oscar night. “Keep your fingers crossed, guys, I might be wearing a tutu,” Kidman said.

Helena Bonham Carter, nominated Best Supporting actress for her role as Queen Elizabeth in The King’s Speech, just wants to have fun with fashion on Oscar night. “It’s probably going to be a catastrophe, but I’m going to go for it.” Carter kicked-off her heels behind the podium in the pressroom, and said she could “do a black swan.”

14-year-old Hailee Steinfeld, nominated for her role in True Grit, said she used to watch the Academy Awards growing up to see what people wore on the Red Carpet.

(Above) Helen Bonham Carter during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Oscar Nominees Luncheon. Her fashion choice for Oscar night “is probably going to be a catastrophe,” she said (photo A.M.P.AS).


When fashion wasn’t being discussed


James Franco, this years Academy Awards co-host with Anne Hathaway (also Best Actor nominee for his role as hiker Aron Ralston in 127 Hours), asked if he felt this was on purpose to draw in younger viewers:

“A lot of the reaction was, ‘Oh, an obvious ploy by the Academy to bring in younger viewers.’ Duh! Is that a bad thing? I think there’s a little bit of the old, a little bit of the new. I think a lot of the show will definitely be about bringing in a fresh crop of movie viewers – but also one of the backbones, or arcs, of the show is to appreciate the history of film; bridge the gap between the older generation and younger generation,” he said.

Javier Bardem, nominated for Best Actor as a dying man in Buitiful, said it was hard to get out of character following the shoot. “Yes, it was hard. It took me a lot of time, six months to really get back to my feet. That’s something that happens subconsciously. You change…it’s like you are that person for 24-hours for six months. It’s like if you go to a disguise party and you stay at the disguise party for more than 12 hours dancing, there will come a moment when you believe you are a banana!”

Colin Firth, Best Actor nominee for his portrayal of King George VI in The King’s Speech, was asked if he sometimes gets royal treatment since the movie. “I do get the odd bow, which I put down to either confusion or facetiousness,” he said.

Geoffrey Rush, Best Supporting Actor nominee, said he thinks Queen Elizabeth has Netflix. He enjoyed being at the Oscars. “These sort of events do become historical markers and become something that people relive,” he said.

(Above) Actor Colin Firth, nominated Best Actor for his role as King George VI in The King’s Speech, was a Best Supporting actor nominee at last year’s Academy Awards. (photo by Lindsay Teed).


Jackie Weaver, nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category for Animal Kingdom, said she has been in the movie business for 48 years and her nomination was “mind-boggling. I thought it was the twilight of my career, but it’s just mid-afternoon.”


Annette Bening, nominated Best Actress for her role as Nic in The Kids Are Alright, said she loved the script right away when she first read it. “I’m very proud of this film,” she said. She hoped the movie showed the dignity of all families, especially for children, who have “the same sense of dignity and self-respect as straight families…our country has a big tent and we can let everybody in.”

Portman was given the opportunity to stop talking fashion and get back to serious conversation regarding her role in The Black Swan and why she chose it. “I think I was really drawn to the world of dance itself. I always just thought it such a compelling expression through movement not through words,” she said. “There’s something very internal and true about dance as a mode of expression, and this character finding her artistic voice was something I was really interested by, where men are the directors and women are the stars in a very controlled way. So to find this woman kind of breaking out of that was very interesting to me.”

Jeff Bridges, Best Actor nominee for True Grit, said he is going to follow his mother and wife’s advice “have fun and don’t take it too seriously.”

(Above) Jeff Bridges (left) and Annette Bening, during the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Oscar Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills, California, Monday. Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2010 will be presented on Sunday, February 27. (photo: A.M.P.A.S.)


Melissa Leo, in competition with Amy Adams in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role category for The Fighter, said she feels “Amy’s name will be called when they open the envelope.”


Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2010 will be presented on Sunday, February 27, 2011 live on ABC television.

The 2010 Nominees Luncheon interview session was live-streamed—which is how I saw it—and is available for viewing.

(Above) Nominees for Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for the 83rd Academy Awards attended the Oscar Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills Monday. Pictured here (left to right): Javier Bardem, James Franco, Jesse Eisenberg, Colin Firth, and Jeff Bridges. (photo A.M.P.A.S.)