Trophy Talk

Parasite's Bong Joon-ho Is Class Favorite at the 2020 Oscar Nominees Luncheon

We go inside the exclusive event to learn how Quentin Tarantino plans to make history, which film is the true Oscar frontrunner, and who were the most conspicuous no-shows.

by | January 29, 2020 | Comments

Charlize Theron and Renee Zellweger.

Charlize Theron and Renee Zellweger. (Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

The Academy Awards held its annual nominee luncheon Monday at a new location, the Dolby Ballroom at the Loews Hotel in Hollywood. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences made the decision two years ago to shorten this year’s awards season by two weeks, which resulted in the loss of their preferred home for the event, the Beverly Hilton.

A final chance to socialize with fellow honorees and snap the iconic class photo, the AMPAS luncheon is often touted as a highlight of the season. Littered with stars like Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Charlize Theron, it’s hard to walk three steps without bumping into an iconic filmmaker. We spotted Matthew A. Cherry, director of animated short favorite Hair Love, snapping a picture with Knives Out director Rian Johnson and chatting animatedly with double-nominee Cynthia Erivo (Best Actress, Best Song), and Robert De Niro laughing with co-star Al Pacino in front of the DJ booth.

But the event isn’t just about star-gazing – though it definitely is that. Read below for our recap of highlights from this year’s Oscar nominees luncheon.

A shortened season keeps some stars away

Pitt and Erivo

Cynthia Erivo and Brad Pitt. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

As always, the luncheon was a star-studded affair, but it was hard not to notice the note-worthy names who opted to stay home. Supporting Actor nominees Tom Hanks, Joe Pesci, and Anthony Hopkins did not attend, while Best Actor noms Antonio Banderas, Adam Driver, and Joaquin Phoenix also skipped the lunch. Banderas is still on the stage in Spain, while Driver just finished a week at SNL, and our media-shy Oscar frontrunner Phoenix (an advocate for the luncheon’s choice to feature a plant-based menu) is likely taking a breather before the last stretch. Bombshell nominee Margot Robbie, who’s currently on the Birds of Prey press tour, and Saoirse Ronan were also absent. Most shockingly, double nominee Scarlett Johansson stayed away from her first invitation to the event. Another unfortunate casualty of the shortened awards season is that many stars are likely too exhausted from the non-stop stream of parties, screenings, awards shows, and speeches.

1917 embraces its frontrunner status


Dean-Charles Chapman, Krysty Wilson-Cairns, and George MacKay for 1917. (Photo by Bryan Beasley)

1917 stars George MacKay and Dean-Charles Chapman showed up to celebrate with cinematographer Roger Deakins, director Sam Mendes, composer Thomas Newman, and co-writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns who, were all nominated. The lack of acting nominations didn’t dampen the two young actors’ spirits, either. “Are you kidding? Today’s great!” said MacKay when we asked how he was doing before the event kicked off. And he has reason to be optimistic: 1917 has been raking in the hardware, recently adding a Producers Guild win and a Directors Guild win for the “one-shot” WWII epic. Mendes also seems to have finally embraced his frontrunner status; gone is the shocked expression he gave after his Best Director and Best Drama wins at the Golden Globes. The Skyfall director walked into the luncheon beaming, later snapping a comical photo with fellow nom Rian Johnson, who forwarded it to friend Edgar Wright, who then affectionately posted it on Twitter. Cinematography favorite Roger Deakins also took his buzz in stride, as is his famously laid-back nature; he has been here before, he joked, adding, “I just try to enjoy the day.”

Parasite team continues to woo voters and rack-up frequent flyer miles

Taika Waititi and Bong Joon-ho

Taika Waititi and Bong Joon-ho Joel Meares

Last year, Lady Gaga was the biggest source of fascination for the Oscar elites. This year, that distinction falls to Parasite director Bong Joon-ho and his ever-present translator and fellow filmmaker Sharon Choi. Choi, who has been everywhere with Joon-ho this season delivering perfectly timed translations, joked that she might stumble at the finish. She told Rotten Tomatoes, “I am almost scared the Oscars is where I might finally mess up.” We’re betting that won’t happen, but we’re all but assured to see Choi on the Oscar stage and the film’s team will undoubtedly continue to own every room they step in. A constant of the season has been that when “Team Parasite” arrives, everyone – from Brad Pitt to Quentin Tarantino – takes notice. Parasite helmer Bong had to hop a flight to Rotterdam straight after the luncheon, where he is set to premiere a black-and-white print of his socio-political thriller at the Rotterdam Film Festival.

QT looks to make history with another Screenplay win

Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood writer-director Quentin Tarantino also made an entrance, sporting a throwback bowling shirt and a pretty happy disposition considering the grind of the season. With a steady energy that hasn’t wavered over the past weeks, the two-time Oscar winner chatted animatedly with his fellow nominees and the assorted press. He told Rotten Tomatoes that he obviously hopes the film wins in every category, but the Best Original Screenplay Oscar would be especially meaningful for him. “It’s a historic thing… only one other guy has won three Original Screenplay Oscars,” he said. If he wins for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, he would join Woody Allen (he’s the “one other guy”) and be on track to maybe surpass him with his rumored final film.

And the class favorites are… 

Greta Gerwig

Greta Gerwig. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

As we have said before, it’s slightly poor form to do too much prognosticating in a room full of nominees, but as the room is also filled with Oscar voters, one can take a sort of unofficial poll: who gets the loudest applause as they walk to the risers. Who were this year’s unofficial winners of “Most Popular?” Greta Gerwig and – no surprise – Bong Joon-ho.

The 92nd Academy Awards are broadcast Sunday, February 9, at 8pm EST/5pm PST on ABC. 

Tag Cloud

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