February 2, 2009

Oscar Luncheon 2009

I had fun last year with observations on the group photo from the annual Oscar Nominees Luncheon, which was held yesterday afternoon, so I figured I'd make a tradition out of it. I recommend clicking through to open the high-resolution version in another window.

(photo courtesy of Awards Daily)

- Doesn't take long to find the coolest guy in the room, does it? Back row, center. Please let him make an acceptance speech...

- So I know it must take a while to arrange everyone for this photo, but aren't there some considerations made for height? Too bad for back row, second from left, who has to peer over his neighbor's shoulder just to ensure that he has a record for his grandchildren to see.

- So does Josh Brolin really always have the "Leonardo DiCaprio in Body of Lies" scruffy goatee? I guess he can pull it off better than Leo, but I think it hides what's actually a pretty handsome face. Yes, I'm straight and I called Josh Brolin handsome.

- Is that Jack Nicholson standing next to Brolin? Whatever happened to Jack Nicholson?

- Anne Hathaway literally looks like she's eleven years old- literally, eleven years old.

- Hardest guy to find in the room: Richard Jenkins. Time to play a little game of "Where's Walter? (Vale)".

- Frozen River is up for Best Original Screenplay and Best Actress, but it should have been under consideration for Best Makeup as well. Melissa Leo looks about 20 years younger and happier than her character did.

- If I was a jerk and I hadn't seen Nerakhoon (The Betrayal), here's where I'd make fun of Thavi Pravasath's teeth. But I'm not, and I have seen it, and it's fantastic that he's there. Good for you, Thavi. You win the Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova Award for "Hollywood Outsider Who Makes The Room A Whole Lot Cooler Just By Being There".

- This is just an educated guess, but Penelope Cruz has to be the most photogenic person in the entire room, doesn't she? Has anyone ever seen a less-than-completely-flattering picture of her?

- Speaking of flattering, Amy Adams appears to be right off the set of a shampoo or conditioner commercial.

- Philip Seymour Hoffman is noticeably truant from this group, but third row, left end is a halfway decent fill-in for him.

- So is the agreed-upon arrangement: "Dorks wear nametags, cool kids don't"?

- Martin McDonagh has been here before, but that's no excuse for the scowl. Apparently he'd rather still be in Bruges.

- Fortunately, Brad Pitt and his pet mustache skipped the luncheon. Along with Penn I'm not sure the room could have handled two creepily mustached Best Actor nominees. Please, somebody break the trend before Oscar night.

- How can Kate Winslet look so happy? She's been to this luncheon like four or five times already and walked away empty-handed on the big night every time. At least roll your eyes or stick your tongue out.

- Year after year, there are still just way too many white males in this photo - especially ones wearing dark jackets and blue or white shirts. Doesn't anyone have any style besides Mickey Rourke?

- You can just hear the thoughts running through first time nominee Werner Herzog's mind: "It vuz a straynch ant ohfervelming experienss to be wit so many Holy-wood loominarees."

- It's nice to see Carl Deal and Tia Lessin there (filmmaking team behind Trouble the Water), but the picture is a little incomplete without Kimberly and Scott Roberts, who in my opinion were just as involved with the production of that film. But I guess including an aspiring rapper named "Black Kold Medina" just wouldn't be "proper"...never mind that Three 6 Mafia was there a few years ago.

- The more I see Frank Langella with that thin white beard, the more he reminds me of Sean Connery.

- And the award for Most Underdressed goes to...you, fourth row, right end.

- Is it just me or does Angelina Jolie's absence just make the whole group seem less, um, narcissistic and pretentious?

-There's always one person who doesn't look like they belong, but they figured they'd sneak in and hey, maybe if they look like they should be there then nobody will notice. Usually identifiable by an overly eager smile or a smirking, knowing look at the camera, this year's interloper was difficult to pinpoint. But there he is: back row, sixth from the left. Hey, wait a minute...!


  1. Nice job! The Herzog line killed me. "Loominarees!" Perfect! Other thoughts:

    * I had missed your "underdressed" comment first time thru. My thought was that guy's caption should be: "Fuck, they just HAD to stick me on the end!"

    * Roger Deakins...coolest of the dorks in the nametags?

    * Great call on Amy Adams. Rachel Hathaway is sure standing and smiling like a little girl, but, wow, beautiful.

    * I'm kind of surprised Brolin smiled. I still can't decide if I like him or think he's a dick (I mean for reasons other than taking Diane away from me).

    * Love the lady in the back with her eyes closed. She had to be pissed when she saw that. "Sorry, maam. You're not important enough for a reshoot."

    * The dude over Downey's left shoulder... Not sure if I should know who that is (no nametag), but it kind of looks like Will Ferrell dressed up for an SNL skit.

    * The creepy grin makes Penn look like John Waters.

    * How many "I didn't recognize you with your clothes on" jokes do you think Tomei heard?

    * Is it me, or does Rourke look like the halfway point between Heath Ledger's Joker and Jack Nicholson's?

  2. Thanks for the additional ones, Jason!

    Haha, there's no excuse for that guy wearing jeans and the Asics that he wore jogging yesterday morning. I don't know who you are, but unless you're nominated every year, let's class it up a little.

    Where is Deakins? I guess I don't remember what he looks like.

    Brolin doesn't bother me, I don't know why. Everybody is jealous of him - maybe you and Elgringo are a little more than jealous - but he doesn't seem like a really conceited jerk. Plus I kind of like the fact that he got into a bar fight with a bunch of rednecks last year.

    Interesting that you mention reshoots - as I noted last year, it's impossible to tell who's directing the picture and where people are supposed to look. Who are all of the people down at the bottom who aren't in the picture? Isn't the luncheon for nominees only?

    Haha, yeah I saw that guy behind Downey looking off yonder. How does he not notice that EVERYBODY else is looking in a different direction?

    I couldn't think of anything for Tomei - but bang, there it is. At this point you have to wonder if she's only choosing roles that allow her to show off her body.

    Agreed on Rourke, and speaking of Ledger - he would have made a nice addition to this photo.

  3. Excellent time killer for work, Daniel!!!

    A few quick ones...

    *OMG... Brian Grazer really does look like a scumbag 24/7, don't he?

    *Amy Adams is always adorable.

    *Danny Boyle's head is a weird shape, kind of like a small piece of hand fruit. OR, he also kinda looks like an ugly Morrissey.

  4. Deakins: Row behind jeans guy, five in from the right, silver hair. I remember only because I recently watched on of the extras for WALL-E, for which he was a consultant. Good stuff.

  5. Hehe, thanks, Fox. It's a fun little departure - about the closest I get to Hollywood news or gossip on here.

    Well you made me look up Brian Grazer because I didn't know what he looked like (next to Amy Adams, for those who don't know). Won't forget that face - and his trendy thin tie is unnecessary (neither is Robert Downey, Jr.'s fat gold one, speaking of ties).

    Haha, Danny Boyle as an applehead. There's no way I would have ever thought to describe someone someone's head as "small piece of hand fruit", but that's exactly what it looks like. Nice call.

    Got it, Jason. I can't believe he doesn't look more familiar, especially after a double nomination last year. And isn't that crazy about WALL*E? In the last 18 months the guy has been part of WALL*E, Doubt, The Reader, Revolutionary Road, Jesse James, and No Country for Old Men, all of which could have been BP nominees.

  6. Alas, "Doubt," for a cinematographer, is nothing to be proud of. Goes to show how a stuck-in-his-ways director can reduce perhaps the best cinematic thinker in the business.

    But the others, at least visually, score!

  7. Yeah, Shanley should stick to the stage, even though he writes a good story. I liked the wide angle shots in the church, but the dutch angles were a little distracting.

    So was Meryl Streep's accent, but that's neither here nor there.

  8. That's not a scowl :-P Martin just knows that he's at his best when he broods.

  9. Yeah, where the hell is Richard Jenkins!??!

  10. Can anyone tell me if Po, Bolt or Wall-E are present? I can't seem to find them.

  11. Excellent call on Anne Hathaway. She's a beautiful woman, but all she needs is a blond wig to replace Amy Poehler in the "Dakota Fanning Show" SNL skit.

  12. It seems to me that Josh Brolin is between Gus Van Sant & Danny Elfman? I didn't notice Jack Nicholson anywhere in the picture.

    Richard Jenkins is standing behind the 5th man from the left on the last row -- who you pointed out.

  13. Thanks all for pitching in. I didn't think about other missing nominees until Hoeech mentioned the animated films (of course their creators are present), but I guess it would be pretty kitschy to have a superimposed WALL*E down in the front.

    But that doesn't mean the Best Makeup and Best Costume nominees shouldn't have had a little fun with this opportunity.

    And Michael III, I know that's not Jack Nicholson but I was just joking that the guy with the red shades bore a resemblance to him.

    Which still begs the questions - whatever happened to Jack Nicholson? Is he done? Two movies in the last six years (Bucket List and Departed) with nothing on the horizon.

  14. Danny Elfman looks like the walking dead.

  15. Who's that next to Danny Boyle? He reminds me of someone.
    And who is that woman Kate is hugging?
    And I agree a million percent with you on the Penélope thing; she's breathtaking.

  16. Anne Hathaway is beautiful??? She has a nose the size of a boston terrier.

  17. I just finished searching for Richard Jenkins. Haha, that man's hard to find. Not Ron Howard though.

  18. Yeah, the mysterious of the Winslet huggee is an intriguing one. Maybe they get to bring friends along, or maybe that woman is a major nominee.

    Scott, I don't know if it's just me but my guess is that Howard elbowed his way to that spot right next to the big statue. Just so we KNOW he's been nominated again.

  19. Kate is hugging Ellen Kuras, co-director of Best Doc nominee The Betrayal, who was DP on Eternal Sunshine. I guess they have better than a Bale/Hurlbut relationship.

  20. Thanks for clarifying, Daniel. That makes a whole lot of sense - and puts me to shame. Kuras won the "Best Director" award for The Betrayal here at the MSP Film Festival last spring. Although I wasn't at that screening, I feel as though I should have known what she looked like!

    She has a pretty interesting story, actually - a successful DP career going back a couple decades, and this is her directorial debut.

  21. Yeah, as if anyone was unsure of Ron Howard getting nominated for an Oscar. He's a few more noms away from re-naming the ceremony as "The Rons."

  22. Well he's halfway to looking like the Oscar statue there anyway, so it wouldn't be a major change.


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