Trophy Talk

Parasite's Bong Joon-ho Is Class Favorite at the 2020 Oscar Nominees Luncheon

We go inside the exclusive event to learn how Quentin Tarantino plans to make history, which film is the true Oscar frontrunner, and who were the most conspicuous no-shows.

by | January 29, 2020 | Comments

Charlize Theron and Renee Zellweger.

Charlize Theron and Renee Zellweger. (Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

The Academy Awards held its annual nominee luncheon Monday at a new location, the Dolby Ballroom at the Loews Hotel in Hollywood. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences made the decision two years ago to shorten this year’s awards season by two weeks, which resulted in the loss of their preferred home for the event, the Beverly Hilton.

A final chance to socialize with fellow honorees and snap the iconic class photo, the AMPAS luncheon is often touted as a highlight of the season. Littered with stars like Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Charlize Theron, it’s hard to walk three steps without bumping into an iconic filmmaker. We spotted Matthew A. Cherry, director of animated short favorite Hair Love, snapping a picture with Knives Out director Rian Johnson and chatting animatedly with double-nominee Cynthia Erivo (Best Actress, Best Song), and Robert De Niro laughing with co-star Al Pacino in front of the DJ booth.

But the event isn’t just about star-gazing – though it definitely is that. Read below for our recap of highlights from this year’s Oscar nominees luncheon.


A shortened season keeps some stars away

Pitt and Erivo

Cynthia Erivo and Brad Pitt. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

As always, the luncheon was a star-studded affair, but it was hard not to notice the note-worthy names who opted to stay home. Supporting Actor nominees Tom Hanks, Joe Pesci, and Anthony Hopkins did not attend, while Best Actor noms Antonio Banderas, Adam Driver, and Joaquin Phoenix also skipped the lunch. Banderas is still on the stage in Spain, while Driver just finished a week at SNL, and our media-shy Oscar frontrunner Phoenix (an advocate for the luncheon’s choice to feature a plant-based menu) is likely taking a breather before the last stretch. Bombshell nominee Margot Robbie, who’s currently on the Birds of Prey press tour, and Saoirse Ronan were also absent. Most shockingly, double nominee Scarlett Johansson stayed away from her first invitation to the event. Another unfortunate casualty of the shortened awards season is that many stars are likely too exhausted from the non-stop stream of parties, screenings, awards shows, and speeches.


1917 embraces its frontrunner status

1917

Dean-Charles Chapman, Krysty Wilson-Cairns, and George MacKay for 1917. (Photo by Bryan Beasley)

1917 stars George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman showed up to celebrate with cinematographer Roger Deakins, director Sam Mendes, composer Thomas Newman, and co-writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns who, were all nominated. The lack of acting nominations didn’t dampen the two young actors’ spirits, either. “Are you kidding? Today’s great!” said MacKay when we asked how he was doing before the event kicked off. And he has reason to be optimistic: 1917 has been raking in the hardware, recently adding a Producers Guild win and a Directors Guild win for the “one-shot” WWII epic. Mendes also seems to have finally embraced his frontrunner status; gone is the shocked expression he gave after his Best Director and Best Drama wins at the Golden Globes. The Skyfall director walked into the luncheon beaming, later snapping a comical photo with fellow nom Rian Johnson, who forwarded it to friend Edgar Wright, who then affectionately posted it on Twitter. Cinematography favorite Roger Deakins also took his buzz in stride, as is his famously laid-back nature; he has been here before, he joked, adding, “I just try to enjoy the day.”


Parasite team continues to woo voters and rack-up frequent flyer miles

Taika Waititi and Bong Joon-ho

Taika Waititi and Bong Joon-ho (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Last year, Lady Gaga was the biggest source of fascination for the Oscar elites. This year, that distinction falls to Parasite director Bong Joon-ho and his ever-present translator and fellow filmmaker Sharon Choi. Choi, who has been everywhere with Joon-ho this season delivering perfectly timed translations, joked that she might stumble at the finish. She told Rotten Tomatoes, “I am almost scared the Oscars is where I might finally mess up.” We’re betting that won’t happen, but we’re all but assured to see Choi on the Oscar stage and the film’s team will undoubtedly continue to own every room they step in. A constant of the season has been that when “Team Parasite” arrives, everyone – from Brad Pitt to Quentin Tarantino – takes notice. Parasite helmer Bong had to hop a flight to Rotterdam straight after the luncheon, where he is set to premiere a black-and-white print of his socio-political thriller at the Rotterdam Film Festival.


QT looks to make history with another Screenplay win

Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood writer-director Quentin Tarantino also made an entrance, sporting a throwback bowling shirt and a pretty happy disposition considering the grind of the season. With a steady energy that hasn’t wavered over the past weeks, the two-time Oscar winner chatted animatedly with his fellow nominees and the assorted press. He told Rotten Tomatoes that he obviously hopes the film wins in every category, but the Best Original Screenplay Oscar would be especially meaningful for him. “It’s a historic thing… only one other guy has won three Original Screenplay Oscars,” he said. If he wins for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, he would join Woody Allen (he’s the “one other guy”) and be on track to maybe surpass him with his rumored final film.


And the class favorites are… 

Greta Gerwig

Greta Gerwig. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

As we have said before, it’s slightly poor form to do too much prognosticating in a room full of nominees, but as the room is also filled with Oscar voters, one can take a sort of unofficial poll: who gets the loudest applause as they walk to the risers. Who were this year’s unofficial winners of “Most Popular?” Greta Gerwig and – no surprise – Bong Joon-ho.


The 92nd Academy Awards are broadcast Sunday, February 9, at 8pm EST/5pm PST on ABC. 

Tag Cloud

animated Reality Competition mission: impossible composers toronto children's TV robots television Esquire Trivia 2017 Spike laika Western anthology Bravo spain Cartoon Network 24 frames cancelled TV shows 21st Century Fox police drama superhero IFC Films travel Pet Sematary VICE justice league The Purge FX on Hulu fast and furious Starz crime thriller jamie lee curtis slashers ITV dogs critics comedies 2016 screen actors guild Video Games movies sequels TLC Discovery Channel 71st Emmy Awards franchise sag awards joker TV Land Toys dragons Creative Arts Emmys obituary Nominations all-time Horror Set visit latino romantic comedy Interview films Binge Guide Crackle ghosts theme song First Look discovery Showtime Holiday streaming aliens based on movie hispanic space satire transformers Baby Yoda documentary anime documentaries AMC Adult Swim YouTube crossover Classic Film ratings casting canceled TV shows Sundance name the review science fiction period drama WarnerMedia Apple TV Plus universal monsters historical drama game show El Rey movie mockumentary Turner Classic Movies RT History comics worst movies a nightmare on elm street E3 Stephen King serial killer festival Opinion Marathons cancelled TV series Women's History Month A&E Cosplay blaxploitation TNT football classics Rocketman romance Nat Geo Ovation toy story zombies Spring TV YA FX Television Academy emmy awards The Arrangement psychological thriller 4/20 DGA Walt Disney Pictures A24 werewolf sitcom miniseries LGBTQ Peacock nfl Comedy teaser child's play X-Men Funimation chucky political drama scorecard Paramount zombie dceu strong female leads Apple TV+ GLAAD harry potter TruTV renewed TV shows Musical Mary poppins Acorn TV TBS Syfy WGN Hear Us Out BBC One reboot game of thrones Marvel Studios Mindy Kaling Lifetime BBC America FXX independent 2019 E! twilight cops VH1 2020 Polls and Games Pirates foreign concert Universal Superheroes Endgame cancelled television adaptation Tubi Ellie Kemper Year in Review festivals reviews christmas movies spinoff CBS All Access nbcuniversal Sony Pictures adventure USA Network cults biography Disney+ Disney Plus crime 2018 spider-man History docudrama screenings BET Awards Emmy Nominations Television Critics Association medical drama HBO Max south america Lifetime Christmas movies Trophy Talk Martial Arts SXSW Tomatazos binge Lionsgate sequel See It Skip It FOX dramedy Disney streaming service BAFTA Black Mirror Paramount Network Anna Paquin NYCC 45 hollywood Song of Ice and Fire Fantasy comic HBO free movies Extras Comics on TV SundanceTV Hallmark series Character Guide Amazon Prime Thanksgiving Film Festival Vudu Countdown Reality Film cartoon Elton John Quiz cinemax Disney Plus MSNBC Oscars spy thriller TCM First Reviews vampires Kids & Family award winner what to watch rotten movies we love doctor who Election kids Star Trek TCA Winter 2020 finale social media revenge Chilling Adventures of Sabrina scary movies remakes Pride Month PaleyFest 2015 Pop Trailer Disney Channel BET cats DC Universe natural history Sundance Now technology Netflix RT21 Comic Book Writers Guild of America boxoffice TCA richard e. Grant Comedy Central asian-american Watching Series cooking TV renewals zero dark thirty MTV Brie Larson DirecTV Box Office unscripted Spectrum Originals CNN Mary Tyler Moore TV Tumblr Masterpiece Food Network supernatural Rock venice elevated horror war die hard Amazon Studios sports The Walking Dead diversity Calendar Star Wars Teen Rocky Arrowverse Sundance TV worst comiccon Action PlayStation Epix talk show OWN CBS TCA 2017 Academy Awards Holidays DC streaming service DC Comics Marvel Television blockbuster Mary Poppins Returns IFC VOD Biopics GIFs Family versus canceled Shondaland Sneak Peek Pixar Mystery CW Seed LGBT golden globes BBC dark Travel Channel TIFF hist Heroines Country Britbox facebook Freeform Musicals SDCC Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Disney YouTube Red Netflix Christmas movies batman Fall TV Hulu dc Summer The Witch HBO Go mutant green book American Society of Cinematographers stoner Amazon Prime Video news Captain marvel thriller Sci-Fi criterion parents YouTube Premium Winners Valentine's Day indiana jones 20th Century Fox Premiere Dates Music OneApp Columbia Pictures witnail Infographic National Geographic Amazon crime drama TCA Awards Rom-Com directors ESPN quibi psycho best stop motion politics cars disaster Mudbound halloween Podcast breaking bad 72 Emmy Awards Crunchyroll Grammys true crime President Apple Superheroe Nickelodeon Christmas Lucasfilm indie Logo Cannes Super Bowl stand-up comedy Shudder Emmys Avengers tv talk Animation Warner Bros. USA Pop TV Winter TV Tarantino Fox News Ghostbusters Photos APB spanish language PBS Awards Dark Horse Comics Marvel Red Carpet CMT 007 rotten Hallmark Christmas movies nature Certified Fresh Chernobyl ABC The CW ABC Family Turner San Diego Comic-Con NBC New York Comic Con Drama singing competition Schedule Best and Worst Awards Tour video GoT Black History Month MCU cancelled video on demand book