Academy Awards Nominees Lunch Dampered by Writers’ Strike

best-directors-oscar-lunch.jpgOscars 2008: Strike Fatigue Hits Subdued Academy Awards Nominees Lunch

Politics aside, a good time had by all … though politics could not totally be put aside with boycott still a possibility  By Jeffrey Jolson for Hollywod Today


HOLLYWOOD, CA (RUSHPRNEWS) February 5, 2008— It was a subdued Academy Awards Nominees luncheon today in Beverly Hills, with plenty of stars laying low this Awards season. Not surprising after many top publicists advised clients to not be seen enjoying themselves too much during the writers strike when brethren may be in financial straits.

Still 11 of the top acting nominees dined on the four-course meal at the Beverly Hilton including top acting hopefuls George Clooney, Viggo Mortensen, Julie Christie, Marion Cotillard, Laura Linney and Ellen Page as well as all the nominated directors. All told, 117 nominees came for the annual schmoozefest. “It’s not like you go out and have drinks with these famous people all the time,” said Clooney.

“It’s very surreal, bizarre,” said Page of her new-found notoriety while she questioned the veracity of her nomination. “It feels like ‘Are you sure? You want to double check that.”

Pregnant nominee for both best actress and supporting actress Cate Blanchett was a no-show as was Daniel Day-Lewis, Johnny Depp, Tommy Lee Jones and many of the supporting actor nominees.

With the possibility that the writers strike, hopefully coming to a conclusion shortly (see related HT articles) does go on, there would be mass boycott of the event by solidarity-minded actors as well as the scribes. The Screen Actors Guild contract with producers expires in June and on one wants to see it go on that long

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“There’s a popular belief by some in the union that your negotiating power increases the longer you wait,” said Clooney, who comes from a union family. “I think there’s a lot of strike fatigue, and I think you actually start losing negotiating power.”

Viggo said studios should hurry and address the issue of new media , “And now instead of spending money on a PR firm.”

“I really hope that there’s a settlement, and I really hope it’s a good deal the leadership of the Writers Guild can sign off on,” writer Tony Gilroy told Variety. “It’s my absolute hope I can dress up and go.”

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2007 will be presented, picketing or not, on Sunday, February 24, 2008, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live by the ABC Television Network beginning at 5 p.m. PT. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

Pictured: Clooney plus nominees for best director for the 80th Academy Awards at the Oscar Nominees Luncheon. Left to right: Joel Cohen for “No Country for Old Men”; Paul Thomas Anderson for “There Will Be Blood”; Julian Schnabel for “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly”; Tony Gilroy for “Michael Clayton; Ethan Cohen for “No Country for Old Men”; and Jason Reitman for “Juno.”

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