By Guillermo Azabal
Los Angeles, US, Feb 13 (EFE).- Tom Cruise’s nomination and a best director nod for Steven Spielberg – the first director to be nominated in six different decades – grabbed the spotlight at the Oscars Nominees Luncheon, held at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles on Monday.
Cruise was the center of attention after securing his first nomination in 23 years as a producer in the Best Picture category for “Top Gun: Maverick.”
This was the fourth nomination for actor – three of which have been for acting – who has yet to win an Academy Award.
Also present at the event were Jamie Lee Curtis and Austin Butler, nominated for their movies, “Everything Everywhere All At Once” and “Elvis” respectively.
Spielberg, arrived at the annual luncheon with actress Michelle Williams, who’s nominated for best actress for his semi-autobiographical movie, “The Fabelmans.”
Other attendees included Michelle Yeoh, Brendan Fraser, Colin Farrell, Paul Mescal, Ricardo Darín, Cate Blanchett, Angela Bassett and Ke Huy Quan as well as filmmakers Martin McDonagh, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Guillermo del Toro and Santiago Mitre, among many others.
The Oscars luncheon is held a month before the Academy Awards and brings together the nominees of technical or lesser-known categories with the top names of the industry.
In her speech at the gala, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organized the event, Janet Yang, touched on Will Smith’s infamous slap at the 2022 Oscars as “wholly unacceptable.”
At last year’s Oscars, Smith marched from the audience onto the stage and slapped presenter and comedian Chris Rock in the face after he made a joke about the shaved head of his wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith.
“What happened on stage was wholly unacceptable and the response from the organization was inadequate. We learned from this that the Academy must be fully transparent and accountable in our actions,” Yang said, “and particularly in times of crisis you must act swiftly, compassionately and decisively for ourselves and for our industry. You should and can expect no less from us going forward.
The 95th edition of the Academy Awards will take place at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on Mar. 12. EFE