This year’s Oscar nominees have gathered for the annual luncheon, thrown by the Academy in their honour, at an exclusive hotel in Beverly Hills.
The annual routine sees the nominees – from the highest profile actors through directors, writers and composers to costume designers and the special effects whizzes – turn up in their limousines, parade past crowds of fans and autograph hunters, before stopping for the paparazzi by the giant Oscar statuettes in the entrance to the Beverly Hilton ballroom.
Once everyone has arrived, they pose for a group photo, with all 140 or so nominees clustered around another giant Oscar; Jeff Bridges took centre stage, with Annette Bening sitting on his lap.
On the way out of the event, with their free Oscars poster, many of the bigger names stop for a round of television interviews by the swimming pool.
Colin Firth – among the favourites to pick up a trophy, later this month, for his leading role in the most nominated film, The King’s Speech – said he still found the whole awards season ‘elating’ – but he would, he’s been winning most of the prizes he’s up for.
He crept into the event almost unseen by the crowds outside, who were busy seeking autographs from Michelle Williams.
One of Firth’s rivals, Javier Bardem, spent more time than most as he signed autographs and posed for photos with fans on the way inside. It made a change to see him smiling after delivering among the more serious performances of the past few years, in this year’s nominated film Biutiful and as the cold-blooded killer in the recent No Country For Old Men, for which he won an Oscar.
Another nominee in that category, Jesse Eisenberg, who played the Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, said he was comforted that most of the other nominees seemed to feel as insecure as he did. He joked that when he was thirteen, he went to Bar Mitzvahs every week – and now, during this awards season, he felt the same again – having to put on a suit every week to hang out with a lot of Jews.
After her controversial footwear at last month’s Golden Globes, one of the Best Supporting Actress nominees, Helena Bonham Carter assured everyone that she would be wearing matching shoes later this month – although she predicted that the rest of her outfit would most likely be a catastrophe.