Trophy Talk

Rotten Tomatoes Goes Inside the 2019 Oscars Luncheon

Kevin Feige fanboys over Gaga, Richard E. Grant's having too much fun, and we learn which two actors are the class favorites.

by | February 5, 2019 | Comments

Rami Malek

(Photo by Steve Granitz, WireImage)

The Academy Awards held its annual nominee luncheon this week at the Beverly Hilton Ballroom. It was a chance for nominees to rub shoulders with fellow honorees and snap the iconic class photo – many proclaim it the highlight of the season. In a room filled with the likes of Lady Gaga, Glenn CloseBradley Cooper, and Spike Lee, even the biggest stars felt free to let their inner fangirls run wild. If Beale Street Could Talk writer-director Barry Jenkins snapped a picture of Lee’s custom Nikes and chatted animatedly with A Star is Born helmer Cooper. Richard E. Grant was spotted gleefully snapping selfies with several nominees – something that caused us to lament Timothée Chalamet’s snub in the Best Supporting Actor category, as we might have seen their online bromance manifest in real life.

Nominees Briefed on Keeping it Brief

Bradley Cooper and Sam Elliott

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

It wasn’t all fun and games, though; the luncheon featured some advice and instructions for nominees for the big night, especially when it came to speeches. When a winner walks up for an acceptance speech on Oscar night, they’re not just being recognized for their performance – it’s the result of hundreds of hours, millions of dollars, and teams of people working tirelessly to achieve that goal. The temptation after all that toil is to thank everyone, which is why speeches can often run long. At the luncheon, however, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) President John Bailey made it abundantly clear that while, yes, this is a great achievement and one to be proud of, no one would be allowed extra time. Ninety seconds: That’s all that is afforded to winners to make their speeches. Bailey advised all those present to “speak from the heart, be thoughtful, and most importantly brief.” The producers of the telecast even cited director Steven Soderbergh’s acceptance speech for Traffic – which clocked in at 60 seconds from start to finish – as the perfect example of how it’s done.

Spider-Verse Producer says It’s Good Just to Hang Out; Melissa McCarthy’s Mom Says It’s Just Good They Served Lunch

Melissa McCarthy and mom Sandra

(Photo by Steve Granitz, WireImage)

Despite the time warnings, virtually all who came to the luncheon were in high spirits. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse producer Phil Lord summed it up best: “This is really the only chance we get to hang out with our peers.” He added, “We mostly do our work alone or on location, and then we send it out into the world, and that’s it. Only at events like this do we get to sit down with the brilliant [people] we admire and talk about filmmaking.” Melissa McCarthy brought her mom Sandra to the lunch and said it was not the star power that wowed her but the menu. “She’s so happy they served food,” said McCarthy. “We really get to each lunch? Oh, that’s nice!” the Bridesmaids actress joked, imitating her mother’s amusement.

Rockwell and Ali Could Meet Again 

Sam Rockwell and Christian Bale

(Photo by Jacqueline Coley)

Sam Rockwell, who won an Oscar last year for Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri, jokingly told us that after returning this year for Vice  – in which he plays former president George W. Bush – the luncheon and hoopla of awards season “was like old hat.” He added: “Look at Mahershala [Ali, nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Green Book]. He won two years ago, I won last year, and this year we are competing against each other… How can you not have fun with that?” Rockwell is currently filming Fosse/Verdon, FX’s Lin-Manuel Miranda-produced mini-series about the iconic Broadway choreographer’s life and partnership with Gwen Verdon, his wife, collaborator, and muse. The project sets him up for a potential repeat showdown with Ali, star of HBO’s True Detective, at next year’s Emmys and Golden Globes. We see more fun in their future.

Gaga Set to Join the MCU?

Lady Gaga

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

When Rotten Tomatoes hit the Golden Globes Red Carpet last month, A Star Is Born star and Best Actress nominee Lady Gaga was the person everyone wanted to meet – at the Academy luncheon, nothing had changed. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, who was seated next to the pop icon, confessed, “I can’t believe my luck! I’m seated next to Lady Gaga and across from Terence Blanchard [Spike Lee’s longtime composer and world-renowned jazz musician, who this year celebrates his first nomination for BlacKkKlansman].”

First Timers Bring the Tears

(Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

It was the first-time nominees that brought the most joy to the afternoon. In a special video montage shown before the lunch, Roma star Yalitza Aparicio, RBG directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West, and Black Panther production designer Hannah Beachler each gushed about hearing their names called by Kumail Najiani and Tracee Eliss Ross on the morning of the nominations. But it was Richard E. Grant, perhaps the mascot of the class, who closed the montage and brought more than a few tears: “I cannot believe, as an almost 62-year-old man, I’m standing here with an Oscar nomination.”

And the class favorites are… 

Regina King and Mahershala Ali

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

It’s slightly poor form to do too much prognosticating in a room full of nominees, but if you were looking for final clues on favored front runners, you would have to note that a pair of supporting actors earned the loudest applause as they walked to the risers. Who were crowned the unofficial winners of “Most Popular,” you ask? Regina King and Mahershala Ali.

The Academy Awards are broadcast February 24, 8pm EST/5pm PST, on ABC. 

Tag Cloud

television First Reviews dramedy pirates of the caribbean worst adaptation canceled TV shows Oscars TV renewals golden globe awards twilight 93rd Oscars politics nfl comedies comics feel good concert cooking book adaptation Netflix award winner Ovation disaster Pixar blaxploitation Esquire know your critic news toy story Britbox documentaries First Look Comic Book ratings VOD a nightmare on elm street football biography American Society of Cinematographers GoT 2019 VICE Valentine's Day japan australia Star Trek The Academy foreign ID Action Heroines DC Universe Amazon superhero discovery strong female leads Paramount Marvel Television Character Guide BAFTA DC streaming service 2016 stand-up comedy adenture children's TV quibi Holidays TV One FX facebook revenge Black History Month game of thrones parents Fox Searchlight Funimation CMT BET Awards new zealand Amazon Prime Video TV Land The Walt Disney Company Winners Trivia breaking bad worst movies Infographic stoner theme song Cannes Freeform ITV olympics Warner Bros. wonder woman Martial Arts Hallmark IFC Mary poppins 2017 serial killer dogs BBC America binge vampires Trailer FX on Hulu TCA Winter 2020 true crime hispanic heritage month SundanceTV Baby Yoda batman hidden camera Masterpiece cults franchise Television Critics Association Stephen King 45 versus superman Holiday Ghostbusters IMDb TV Bravo The Walking Dead CBS National Geographic festivals Walt Disney Pictures genre GLAAD RT History psycho aapi Sony Pictures Hear Us Out Animation Dark Horse Comics psychological thriller Amazon Prime comic book movies BBC Rocketman WGN jamie lee curtis 007 Writers Guild of America zero dark thirty joker sitcom Elton John Premiere Dates Brie Larson Avengers sopranos comic books Binge Guide scary movies TruTV Song of Ice and Fire Fantasy sports zombies spy thriller trailers Disney+ Disney Plus Black Mirror satire latino The CW NBC Western boxoffice Superheroes TLC marvel comics Music archives slasher Pride Month Film Festival cars IFC Films deadpool crime thriller Spike YouTube Red ABC Signature nbcuniversal Pacific Islander Comedy Central witnail RT21 Awards Watching Series fresh Trophy Talk young adult Arrowverse Family debate Countdown 1990s dark Mudbound Quiz rotten movies we love independent Teen cancelled Opinion Starz technology 72 Emmy Awards mcc TIFF Nominations black comedy venice movie Fall TV HBO CW Seed jurassic park 2020 renewed TV shows kong Paramount Network mutant Pop TV ViacomCBS Apple TV Plus target international what to watch game show Lionsgate Travel Channel chucky FOX obituary BBC One 20th Century Fox Crackle Discovery Channel OWN italian X-Men Sneak Peek animated Disney Plus Comics on TV Chernobyl nature Best and Worst Tokyo Olympics The Purge documentary Broadway movies HBO Go crime drama dragons docudrama marvel cinematic universe singing competition Sundance Now Columbia Pictures President CBS All Access series anthology USA Network TNT dc LGBTQ werewolf spanish Superheroe heist movie crime monster movies Comic-Con@Home 2021 Instagram Live ghosts Marvel french OneApp spain Reality Competition Pirates Rock emmy awards Paramount Plus Mary Tyler Moore Shudder hist dexter 90s screen actors guild natural history mob royal family SXSW Sci-Fi E! biopic hollywood Legendary live event lord of the rings critic resources 4/20 Calendar art house Video Games Alien Universal Pictures CNN Comedy dceu Musicals king kong anime Television Academy space Vudu golden globes Peacock romance Nat Geo unscripted Star Wars Hallmark Christmas movies Disney streaming service 99% Wes Anderson History Red Carpet Christmas Reality YouTube diversity Pet Sematary war justice league Captain marvel finale green book king arthur crossover Schedule Year in Review basketball gangster sag awards USA prank based on movie Turner japanese miniseries YouTube Premium AMC Plus rom-coms spinoff The Arrangement criterion Showtime Tumblr ABC dreamworks Fox News stop motion ABC Family rt labs high school reviews cancelled TV shows canceled sequel casting kaiju Cartoon Network TCA christmas movies 71st Emmy Awards talk show Lifetime Sundance Biopics Horror action-comedy DirecTV Set visit posters suspense transformers indiana jones remakes Spectrum Originals classics Epix Certified Fresh toronto scary AMC james bond Marathons films all-time science fiction TCM streaming movies PBS ESPN comic book movie TCA 2017 San Diego Comic-Con Thanksgiving BET Amazon Studios directors Logo saw Rocky streaming Anna Paquin indie 2015 Spring TV Box Office name the review romantic comedy vs. Shondaland slashers harry potter mockumentary Universal Creative Arts Emmys cartoon south america 2018 Academy Awards TV movies 2021 Crunchyroll travel APB Pop Syfy black laika TCA Awards Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Election thriller Film zombie fast and furious TV universal monsters MCU adventure Drama Emmy Nominations asian-american blockbusters reboot medical drama Mystery Hulu spanish language comic YA VH1 tv talk godzilla telelvision police drama best docuseries Country Sundance TV elevated horror Interview MTV 73rd Emmy Awards 24 frames Image Comics Classic Film 21st Century Fox teaser Marvel Studios legend See It Skip It supernatural Tomatazos hispanic Musical Disney Channel spider-man razzies Endgame composers screenings Lucasfilm Neflix live action comiccon NBA Fargo child's play SDCC The Witch cops WarnerMedia Grammys Mary Poppins Returns Women's History Month Super Bowl Cosplay new york cancelled television NYCC mission: impossible New York Comic Con historical drama Turner Classic Movies PlayStation die hard aliens halloween Disney political drama Polls and Games cats Apple Tarantino sequels new star wars movies A&E women period drama robots Extras 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards rt archives Apple TV+ Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt GIFs Podcast Toys doctor who Ellie Kemper Winter TV social media cinemax LGBT video on demand El Rey Lifetime Christmas movies DGA Tubi E3 Rom-Com spider-verse HBO Max MSNBC Summer scorecard book kids video Photos free movies Netflix Christmas movies Kids & Family Awards Tour boxing scene in color cancelled TV series festival popular Food Network FXX Acorn TV rotten DC Comics PaleyFest Mindy Kaling blockbuster Emmys Adult Swim critics halloween tv TBS Exclusive Video Nickelodeon richard e. Grant A24 rt labs critics edition