In anticipation of the upcoming 2012 Academy Awards ceremony, the nominees have gathered together for a luncheon party taking place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Monday, February 6. Movie industry A-listers, from George Clooney, Rooney Mara and Brad Pitt to Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese and Michel Hazanavisius, were all on hand at the gala event.
Greeting around 150 attendees that afternoon, AMPAS president Tom Sherak said, "In this room, all nominees are equal and all films are equal, which is why we don't have a 'War Horse' table or a 'Descendants' table." He added, "Remember how rare this privilege is... it's the last time you'll be rooting for each other."
During the event, each of the Oscar nominees took turn to take their nomination certificates on the stage, getting applause from their contenders and fellow nominees alike. Spielberg was seen blowing a kiss to Octavia Spencer, while Scorsese and Nick Nolte were spotted genuflecting to Max von Sydow.
During the cocktail session, Mara took a cup of tea as she received congratulations for her Best Actress nod thanks to her role in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)". At the pre-lunch press conferences, she talked about the New York Giants' Super Bowl victory, "It was really fun. It was very exciting. It was great." Her family co-owns the team.
Clooney, meanwhile, gushed about meeting Pitt at the event. "A lot of people at home think we all hang out together...The truth is [before the Golden Globes] I hadn't seen Brad in about a year," he said. "So it's fun to catch up, and it's fun to see people I like and haven't seen in a long time."
Pitt, on the other hand, revealed he got a bottle of tequila from fellow Best Actor nominee Demian Bichir. The latter, meanwhile, shared his hope that his nomination for "A Better Life" could attract more attention to immigrant issue in the U.S. He said, "This could make a big difference if the right people see the film, if the guys in Congress take a look at it and get touched by it."
Also spotted at the luncheon was Jonah Hill, who told reporters that his "Moneyball" co-star, Pitt, is a master of prankster. Having been the victim of his pranks, the actor said, "I call him the Bobby Fischer of pranks because you try to prank him and he's immediately three moves ahead you."
During the luncheon, producer Brian Grazer opened up that he and his partner Don Mischer have been planning to make this year's Oscars a "socialized, collective experience" of moviegoing. They also aimed to transform the Kodak Theatre into a classic movie palace. "We're gonna try to be funny...have a little class and be on time," said Grazer.
Tackling the hosting duty for this year's Oscars is Billy Crystal, who will serve as host for the ninth time. The full nominations have been announced last Tuesday, January 24, while the winners will be revealed during a ceremony that will be aired live on ABC on Sunday, February 26.