Trophy Talk

Rotten Tomatoes Goes Inside the 2019 Oscars Luncheon

Kevin Feige fanboys over Gaga, Richard E. Grant's having too much fun, and we learn which two actors are the class favorites.

by | February 5, 2019 | Comments

Rami Malek

(Photo by Steve Granitz, WireImage)

The Academy Awards held its annual nominee luncheon this week at the Beverly Hilton Ballroom. It was a chance for nominees to rub shoulders with fellow honorees and snap the iconic class photo – many proclaim it the highlight of the season. In a room filled with the likes of Lady Gaga, Glenn CloseBradley Cooper, and Spike Lee, even the biggest stars felt free to let their inner fangirls run wild. If Beale Street Could Talk writer-director Barry Jenkins snapped a picture of Lee’s custom Nikes and chatted animatedly with A Star is Born helmer Cooper. Richard E. Grant was spotted gleefully snapping selfies with several nominees – something that caused us to lament Timothée Chalamet’s snub in the Best Supporting Actor category, as we might have seen their online bromance manifest in real life.


Nominees Briefed on Keeping it Brief

Bradley Cooper and Sam Elliott

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

It wasn’t all fun and games, though; the luncheon featured some advice and instructions for nominees for the big night, especially when it came to speeches. When a winner walks up for an acceptance speech on Oscar night, they’re not just being recognized for their performance – it’s the result of hundreds of hours, millions of dollars, and teams of people working tirelessly to achieve that goal. The temptation after all that toil is to thank everyone, which is why speeches can often run long. At the luncheon, however, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) President John Bailey made it abundantly clear that while, yes, this is a great achievement and one to be proud of, no one would be allowed extra time. Ninety seconds: That’s all that is afforded to winners to make their speeches. Bailey advised all those present to “speak from the heart, be thoughtful, and most importantly brief.” The producers of the telecast even cited director Steven Soderbergh’s acceptance speech for Traffic – which clocked in at 60 seconds from start to finish – as the perfect example of how it’s done.


Spider-Verse Producer says It’s Good Just to Hang Out; Melissa McCarthy’s Mom Says It’s Just Good They Served Lunch

Melissa McCarthy and mom Sandra

(Photo by Steve Granitz, WireImage)

Despite the time warnings, virtually all who came to the luncheon were in high spirits. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse producer Phil Lord summed it up best: “This is really the only chance we get to hang out with our peers.” He added, “We mostly do our work alone or on location, and then we send it out into the world, and that’s it. Only at events like this do we get to sit down with the brilliant [people] we admire and talk about filmmaking.” Melissa McCarthy brought her mom Sandra to the lunch and said it was not the star power that wowed her but the menu. “She’s so happy they served food,” said McCarthy. “We really get to each lunch? Oh, that’s nice!” the Bridesmaids actress joked, imitating her mother’s amusement.


Rockwell and Ali Could Meet Again 

Sam Rockwell and Christian Bale

(Photo by Jacqueline Coley)

Sam Rockwell, who won an Oscar last year for Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri, jokingly told us that after returning this year for Vice  – in which he plays former president George W. Bush – the luncheon and hoopla of awards season “was like old hat.” He added: “Look at Mahershala [Ali, nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Green Book]. He won two years ago, I won last year, and this year we are competing against each other… How can you not have fun with that?” Rockwell is currently filming Fosse/Verdon, FX’s Lin-Manuel Miranda-produced mini-series about the iconic Broadway choreographer’s life and partnership with Gwen Verdon, his wife, collaborator, and muse. The project sets him up for a potential repeat showdown with Ali, star of HBO’s True Detective, at next year’s Emmys and Golden Globes. We see more fun in their future.


Gaga Set to Join the MCU?

Lady Gaga

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

When Rotten Tomatoes hit the Golden Globes Red Carpet last month, A Star Is Born star and Best Actress nominee Lady Gaga was the person everyone wanted to meet – at the Academy luncheon, nothing had changed. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, who was seated next to the pop icon, confessed, “I can’t believe my luck! I’m seated next to Lady Gaga and across from Terence Blanchard [Spike Lee’s longtime composer and world-renowned jazz musician, who this year celebrates his first nomination for BlacKkKlansman].”


First Timers Bring the Tears

(Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)

It was the first-time nominees that brought the most joy to the afternoon. In a special video montage shown before the lunch, Roma star Yalitza Aparicio, RBG directors Julie Cohen and Betsy West, and Black Panther production designer Hannah Beachler each gushed about hearing their names called by Kumail Najiani and Tracee Eliss Ross on the morning of the nominations. But it was Richard E. Grant, perhaps the mascot of the class, who closed the montage and brought more than a few tears: “I cannot believe, as an almost 62-year-old man, I’m standing here with an Oscar nomination.”


And the class favorites are… 

Regina King and Mahershala Ali

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

It’s slightly poor form to do too much prognosticating in a room full of nominees, but if you were looking for final clues on favored front runners, you would have to note that a pair of supporting actors earned the loudest applause as they walked to the risers. Who were crowned the unofficial winners of “Most Popular,” you ask? Regina King and Mahershala Ali.


The Academy Awards are broadcast February 24, 8pm EST/5pm PST, on ABC. 

Tag Cloud

Amazon indiana jones police drama miniseries Sony Pictures VICE YA halloween HBO Go Chilling Adventures of Sabrina a nightmare on elm street Pacific Islander movies Trophy Talk stop motion IMDb TV Television Critics Association Instagram Live X-Men Warner Bros. Teen halloween tv VOD what to watch science fiction Acorn TV Masterpiece President finale DirecTV Travel Channel italian deadpool lord of the rings Ovation Mary Poppins Returns series First Look streamig TV Land Red Carpet zero dark thirty BET Awards MSNBC Hulu natural history venice festivals Prime Video Fargo Paramount black elevated horror comedies IFC OWN Superheroe book adaptation Star Trek TIFF blockbusters Rock Pirates Creative Arts Emmys Tomatazos NBA scorecard wonder woman streaming movies period drama FOX Bravo Video Games Film Festival TV One Sci-Fi BBC 90s new zealand Fantasy Netflix political drama fresh rotten Mindy Kaling cancelled television best Star Wars child's play Sundance Now Columbia Pictures toy story cults slasher zombies Thanksgiving Writers Guild of America 2021 independent PBS live event spider-man DC streaming service disaster witnail Disney Plus summer TV preview Exclusive Video Awards Logo Walt Disney Pictures Dark Horse Comics Country Ellie Kemper comiccon comic book movie Vudu saw remakes Broadway adenture dreamworks festival A&E reviews scene in color Holidays Lucasfilm CMT BAFTA TCA Winter 2020 war Drama hispanic singing competition Rom-Com superhero chucky AMC Plus strong female leads joker Opinion American Society of Cinematographers Fox News Spring TV National Geographic Horror GoT Netflix Christmas movies directors rt labs RT History 007 mob Binge Guide Fox Searchlight Paramount Pictures debate Ghostbusters Family TBS sequels anime spain Marathons OneApp Sundance TV doctor who GLAAD sopranos USA critics Winter TV NBC mission: impossible Sneak Peek romantic comedy tv talk die hard know your critic docudrama satire Elton John Grammys Reality Competition cancelled TV shows Nickelodeon The CW ratings spider-verse Election teaser medical drama animated high school Epix Mary Tyler Moore HBO christmas movies japan asian-american Baby Yoda vampires supernatural talk show Mudbound The Walt Disney Company reboot blaxploitation MCU kaiju CBS All Access Musical kong TCM Western Pop 2019 Extras Hollywood Foreign Press Association green book SXSW 2022 Disney+ Disney Plus 2016 suspense diversity werewolf Academy Awards AMC Kids & Family Fall TV crime game show serial killer 73rd Emmy Awards australia MTV TCA The Purge children's TV worst movies jurassic park football Rocky universal monsters Wes Anderson game of thrones Oscar marvel cinematic universe Alien SXSW Adult Swim Paramount Network HFPA rotten movies we love pirates of the caribbean Paramount Plus golden globes video monster movies Tubi video on demand streaming Spike Disney 1990s psycho new york cops laika sag awards Hallmark Christmas movies international spanish Black History Month Crunchyroll archives First Reviews romance cancelled TV series south america Biopics Cosplay Photos Polls and Games technology Super Bowl Food Network revenge Syfy nature concert 2017 USA Network E! Showtime jamie lee curtis free movies Women's History Month A24 2015 comic book movies Apple TV Plus Pixar kids boxing Heroines 71st Emmy Awards Sundance documentaries Schedule name the review Arrowverse discovery Legendary crossover Amazon Studios olympics PaleyFest Chernobyl feel good Best Director batman dragons TV renewed TV shows Winners crime drama Amazon Prime Podcast TruTV VH1 Emmys twilight TLC trailers New York Comic Con documentary Box Office TV movies dramedy blockbuster 20th Century Fox target 94th Oscars critic resources Focus Features worst HBO Max Lionsgate FXX cinemax YouTube politics Comic-Con@Home 2021 based on movie movie Shondaland gangster french hist cartoon Martial Arts Television Academy Mary poppins Interview Valentine's Day Peacock posters films Toys leaderboard canceled razzies RT21 Captain marvel BET cars superman king kong rt labs critics edition women james bond MGM spinoff Premiere Dates Funimation 2020 Animation spanish language ABC Signature heist movie Calendar golden globe awards psychological thriller Best and Worst ViacomCBS South by Southwest Film Festival Black Mirror travel spy thriller WarnerMedia all-time japanese dexter Stephen King adventure art house composers DGA Cartoon Network IFC Films social media space indie hollywood Marvel Studios trophy criterion Apple Comic Book Trivia Set visit Freeform Certified Fresh breaking bad book YouTube Red Spectrum Originals theme song news foreign Comics on TV facebook Musicals Best Picture Holiday ID scary movies GIFs 99% TCA 2017 latino San Diego Comic-Con binge Marvel obi wan Tags: Comedy toronto parents vs. summer TV Music Action historical drama Quiz comics Marvel Television El Rey Character Guide Britbox LGBT popular Classic Film dceu Pop TV Tarantino justice league Mystery Pride Month comic books BBC One live action NYCC ESPN Brie Larson Reality Endgame royal family ABC hispanic heritage month Comedy Central Nominations See It Skip It Image Comics true crime Turner Turner Classic Movies FX on Hulu Lifetime casting crime thriller Rocketman TCA Awards sitcom ghosts Disney Channel 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards 79th Golden Globes Awards comic LGBTQ thriller obituary emmy awards ITV Summer BBC America Apple TV+ adaptation stoner robots Discovery Channel DC Universe The Walking Dead mockumentary franchise PlayStation marvel comics Esquire Year in Review The Academy Watching Series black comedy APB 45 king arthur E3 rom-coms Disney streaming service 21st Century Fox telelvision aliens TV renewals genre godzilla zombie cats sequel slashers biography legend Tumblr action-comedy SundanceTV mutant canceled TV shows TNT 24 frames 4/20 summer preview new star wars movies Trailer scary classics Oscars Awards Tour sports screen actors guild Pet Sematary quibi Hallmark Avengers Emmy Nominations Best Actor Amazon Prime Video anthology CNN ABC Family biopic Universal Pictures rt archives award winner Song of Ice and Fire Lifetime Christmas movies stand-up comedy Crackle Hear Us Out Cannes Superheroes Shudder young adult dogs cooking CW Seed The Witch CBS 72 Emmy Awards WGN versus Starz transformers The Arrangement boxoffice Countdown basketball Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Neflix nbcuniversal Tokyo Olympics unscripted Comedy docuseries fast and furious richard e. Grant screenings Universal History prank FX dark Film Nat Geo DC Comics Infographic 2018 Best Actress Christmas 93rd Oscars aapi YouTube Premium nfl cancelled television SDCC dc hidden camera Anna Paquin mcc harry potter