Oscar Luncheon photos: Amy Adams & Penélope Cruz + Kate Winslet & Marisa Tomei
Among the dozens of 2009 Oscar nominees in attendance at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Oscar Nominees Luncheon a.k.a. Oscar Luncheon, held on Monday, Feb. 2, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, were the following:
Doug Sweetland. Ron Howard. Martin McDonagh. Jochen Alexander Freydank. Danny Boyle. Alexandre Desplat. Sean Penn. Danny Elfman.
Michael Shannon. Frank Langella. Andrew Stanton. Taraji P. Henson. Josh Brolin. David Fincher. Robert Downey Jr. Mickey Rourke.
The 2009 Oscar ceremony will take place on Sunday, Feb. 22, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles. See below several 2009 Oscar Luncheon photos.
Robert Osborne on Kate Winslet: Lead or supporting actress in ‘The Reader’?
From the Oscar Luncheon to how to label Kate Winslet’s performance in The Weinstein Company release The Reader: Earlier this year, The Hollywood Reporter columnist and Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osborne discussed Kate Winslet’s faux supporting role in Stephen Daldry’s Holocaust-themed drama The Reader:
“I’m in favor of actors getting all the awards and rewards they can comfortably haul away in a stretch limo, but it seems time for a reality check here. Who in [The] Reader does the noble Kate support? She is the basic hub and thrust of the story. She’s the one with top billing. Further, she plays her character throughout the entire movie, unlike teammates David Kross and Ralph Fiennes, who take turns playing younger-older versions of one person.
“Pretending that Winslet’s Reader role is a supporting one negates why the Academy inaugurated a supporting category in the first place, which was to honor work by actors with only limited screen time.”
Osborne goes on to explain that the inclusion of Mutiny on the Bounty supporting player Franchot Tone on the 1935 Best Actor shortlist may have been a reason for the creation of the Best Supporting Actor/Actress categories. After all, Joan Crawford’s then-husband had to compete against actors with more sizable roles: Charles Laughton and Clark Gable also for the Frank Lloyd-directed Mutiny on the Bounty; and eventual winner Victor McLaglen for John Ford’s The Informer.
Not to mention that the previous year Frank Morgan, who supports Constance Bennett and Fredric March in Gregory La Cava’s The Affairs of Cellini, had to compete with two de facto leading men: William Powell for W.S. Van Dyke’s The Thin Man and – eventual winner – Clark Gable for Frank Capra’s It Happened One Night.
Oscar fairness at stake
“Bottom line: Does it really matter who gets nominated where? Yes, I think it does,” Osborne concludes, “particularly if it means the inclusion of someone in a slot where they don’t belong shuts the door on someone who genuinely deserves to be there.”
In the last seven decades, questionable “supporting” Oscar nominees include (winners: *):
- Walter Brennan in The Westerner (1940).*
- Charles Coburn in The Devil and Miss Jones (1941).
- Paulette Goddard in So Proudly We Hail! (1943).
- Charles Coburn in The More the Merrier (1943).*
- Barry Fitzgerald in Going My Way (1944).* Curiously, Fitzgerald was also nominated in the Best Actor category – back in those days open to all performers.
- Jennifer Jones in Since You Went Away (1944).
- Charles Coburn in The Green Years (1946).
- Eva Marie Saint in On the Waterfront (1954).*
- Patty Duke in The Miracle Worker (1962).*
- Melvyn Douglas in Hud (1963).*
- Gene Hackman in I Never Sang for My Father (1970).
- Al Pacino in The Godfather (1972).
- Tatum O’Neal in Paper Moon (1973).*
- Jessica Lange in Tootsie (1982).*
- Peggy Ashcroft in A Passage to India (1984).*
- Whoopi Goldberg in Ghost (1990).*
- Juliette Binoche in The English Patient (1996).*
- Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense (1999).
- Ethan Hawke in Training Day (2001).
- Julianne Moore in The Hours (2002).
- Thomas Haden Church in Sideways (2004).
- Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain (2005).
- Rachel Weisz in The Constant Gardener (2005).* Weisz also happened to be a Best Actress contender on the eastern side of the North Atlantic.
Title role = lead role?
Something worth noting in the case of The Reader: like Osborne explains in his piece, Kate Winslet does have the title role in the film. However, The Reader‘s plot actually centers on her younger co-star, David Kross, cast as the title character’s teenage lover.
However unfairly – Winslet’s role isn’t exactly a supporting one – that’s the opening The Weinstein Company exploited during this year’s Oscar season campaign, which would have allowed their star to also be shortlisted in the Best Actress category for her work in Sam Mendes’ DreamWorks/Paramount Vantage release Revolutionary Road.
Well, Robert Osborne must be happy with the ways things have turned out, as 2009 Oscar voters – for once – refused to go along with the “supporting” ruse.
But in all fairness … do title roles = lead roles?
Let’s not forget that Vanessa Redgrave had the title role in Fred Zinnemann’s 1977 drama Julia, even though the film actually revolves around Lillian Hellman’s character, played by Jane Fonda. Redgrave ultimately took home that year’s Best Supporting Actress Oscar.
And that the titular character in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 Best Picture Oscar winner Rebecca is never even seen in the Gothic romantic drama starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine – whose character goes nameless.
Did Bette Davis name the Oscars after husband’s mysterious ‘O’?
From Kate Winslet’s Oscar category to Bette Davis’ Oscar baptism: On his blog Hollywoodland, author Allan Ellenberger explains that two-time Best Actress winner Bette Davis (Dangerous, 1935; Jezebel, 1938) asserted back in 1955 that she was the one who came up with the Academy Awards’ nickname “Oscar.”
“’I am convinced that I was the first to give the statuette its name when I received one for my performance in Dangerous, made in 1935.
“I was married at that time to Harmon O. Nelson Jr. For a long time I did not know what his middle name was. I found out one day that it was Oscar, and it seemed a very suitable nickname for the Academy statuette.”
Notwithstanding Bette Davis’ authorship allegation, Ellenberger writes that gossip columnist Sidney Skolsky “may have the best claim for originating the name,” as “many references” credit a 1934 Skolsky column for including the moniker “Oscar” in regard to Katharine Hepburn’s Best Actress Academy Award for her performance as ambitious Broadway actress Eva Lovelace in Lowell Sherman’s 1933 drama Morning Glory.
Ellenberger adds that it has also been claimed that Skolsky was the anonymous reporter who overheard then Academy Librarian Margaret Herrick “christen the statue in 1931 [Herrick is supposed to have said that it reminded her of her uncle Oscar]; but since Skolsky had not arrived in Hollywood until 1932, that part is unlikely.”
Oscar symposia: Best Foreign Language Film & Animated Feature nominees
In other 2009 awards season news, the Academy has announced that it will be hosting two Oscar-related events: its first Animated Feature Symposium and the Foreign Language Film Award Nominees Symposium.
The Animated Feature Symposium will be held on Thursday, Feb. 19, at 7:30 p.m. at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Moderated by animator and animation historian Tom Sito (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin), the evening will feature onstage discussions with the nominated filmmakers (subject to availability) and film clips.
The Foreign Language Film Symposium will be held on Saturday, Feb. 21, at 10 a.m. also at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Moderated by Foreign Language Film chair Mark Johnson, among whose producing credits are Rain Man, Bugsy, and Donnie Brasco, the two-hour symposium will feature an onstage discussion with the directors (subject to availability) of this year’s Best Foreign Language Film nominees, in addition to the presentation of film clips.
Below are the 2009 Oscar nominees in the Best Animated Feature and Best Foreign Language Film categories.
Best Animated Feature
Bolt, dir.: Chris Williams & Byron Howard.
Kung Fu Panda, dir.: John Stevenson & Mark Osborne.
WALL-E, dir.: Andrew Stanton.
Best Foreign Language Film
Austria, Revanche, dir.: Götz Spielmann.
France, The Class, dir.: Laurent Cantet.
Germany, The Baader Meinhof Complex, dir.: Uli Edel.
Israel, Waltz with Bashir, dir.: Ari Folman.
Japan, Departures, dir.: Yojiro Takita.
Admission to both events is free, but advance tickets are required. Since both the Animated Feature and the Foreign Language Film symposia are already sold out, there’ll be a standby line at the theater’s west doors on the day of the events. Standby numbers will be assigned at approximately 5:30 p.m. (Animated Feature, Feb. 19) / 8 a.m. (Foreign Language Film, Feb. 21). Any available tickets will be distributed shortly before the program begins.
The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. (Animated Feature, Feb. 19) / 9 a.m. (Foreign Language Film, Feb. 21). For more information, please call the Academy at (310) 247-3600 or visit www.oscars.org.
Check out: “Best Foreign Language Film Oscar submissions.”
Art Directors Guild & American Cinema Editors awards
Lastly, below is the full list of feature film winners and nominees – and a partial list in the television categories – of the 2009 Art Directors Guild and American Cinema Editors (ACE) awards.
Danny Boyle’s sleeper critical and commercial hit Slumdog Millionaire was the only title to nab two trophies: Best Art Direction in a Contemporary Film for production designer Mark Rigby and Best Editing in a Feature Film (Dramatic) for this year’s Oscar nominee Chris Dickens.
Art Directors Guild Awards (partial list)
Changeling, James J. Murakami.
* The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Donald Graham Burt.
Doubt, David Gropman.
Frost/Nixon, Michael Corenblith.
Milk, Bill Groom.
* The Dark Knight, Nathan Crowley.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Guy Hendrix Dyas.
Iron Man, J. Michael Riva.
The Spiderwick Chronicles, James Bissell.
WALL-E, Ralph Eggleston.
Burn After Reading, Jess Gonchor.
Gran Torino, James J. Murakami.
Quantum of Solace, Dennis Gassner.
* Slumdog Millionaire, Mark Digby.
The Wrestler, Timothy Grimes.
Television Movie or Miniseries
The Andromeda Strain, Jerry Wanek.
* John Adams, Gemma Jackson.
Librarian 3, Robb Wilson King.
Lone Rider, Yuda Acco.
Recount, Patti Podesta.
Outstanding Contribution to Cinematic Imagery Award: George Lucas.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Paul Sylbert.
ADG Hall of Fame inductees: Ted Haworth, John Meehan, Harold Michaelson, John McMillan Johnson, and Romain Johnston.
American Cinema Editor Awards (partial list)
Feature Film (Dramatic)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Angus Wall & Kirk Baxter.
The Dark Knight – Lee Smith.
Frost/Nixon – Mike Hill. & Dan Hanley.
Milk – Elliot Graham.
* Slumdog Millionaire – Chris Dickens.
Feature Film (Comedy or Musical)
In Bruges – Jon Gregory.
Mamma Mia! – Leslie Walker.
Tropic Thunder – Greg Hayden.
Vicky Cristina Barcelona – Alisa Lepselter.
* WALL-E – Stephen Schaffer.
Bush’s War – Steve Audette.
Chicago 10 – Stuart Levy.
* Man on Wire – Jinx Godfrey.
Miniseries or Motion Picture for Non-Commercial Television
Bernard and Doris – Andy Keir.
John Adams: Independence – Melanie Oliver.
* Recount – Alan Baumgarten.
Miniseries or Motion Picture for Commercial Television
* 24: Redemption – Scott Powell.
The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice – David J. Siegel.
Lost: “There’s No Place Like Home” – Henk Van Eeghen., Robert Florio, Mark J. Goldman, Stephen Semel.
Golden Eddie Award: Richard Donner.
Career Achievement Awards: Sidney Katz & Arthur Schmidt.
Bette Davis and Franchot Tone Dangerous image: Warner Bros.
Anil Kapoor and Dev Patel Slumdog Millionaire image: Fox Searchlight Pictures.
“Oscar Luncheon: Amy Adams & Marisa Tomei + Kate Winslet Lead or Supporting + Did Bette Davis Name the Oscars?” last updated in October 2018.