One month before the 96th Academy Awards, which are scheduled to take place on March 10, the Academy announces “an incredible year”.
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It was an enthusiastic Steven Spielberg who arrived on Monday at the traditional Oscar nominees’ luncheon in Los Angeles: faced with so many remarkable films in competition, the American director praised an exceptional vintage in cinema. A month before the Oscars ceremony, the contenders meet each year at this lunch organized with great fanfare in a Beverly Hills hotel.
“This is a great and eclectic year for films, one of the best in terms of quality, in my opinion, of the last decade”, the filmmaker told AFP, between champagne and petits fours. The legend Spielberg attended as producer of Maestrothe biopic of conductor Leonard Bernstein, which hopes to steal the show from Oppenheimerultra-favorite for the Oscar for best film.
Maestro is a “triumph for Bradley” Cooper, who is both in front of and behind the camera on this feature film, said Steven Spielberg. But he is far from being the only quality competitor to Christopher Nolan’s portrait of the father of the atomic bomb. Between the Cannes Palme d’Or Anatomy of a Fallthe box office phenomenon barbieor acclaimed films at festivals like American Fiction, Winter Break And Past Livesthe favourite Oppenheimer is in good company.
Greta Gerwig applauded
At the center of this competition, the actors showed their best face on Monday. Like Robert Downey Jr (Oppenheimer), always up for a joke to lighten the mood while the group photo drags on.
The two favorites for the best actress award, Emma Stone (Poor Creatures) and Lily Gladstone (Killers of the Flower Moon), conversed for a long time before falling into each other’s arms. And even after the controversial absence of barbie in the best actress and best director categories, Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig were present for the event. Nominated for her screenplay, the director attracted loud applause among her peers, while the actress dressed entirely in pink attracted all the attention of the photographers.
“It can be hectic”, Billie Eilish joked to AFP, while other stars asked her for a selfie. After being voted song of the year at the Grammy Awards, his title “What Was I Made For?”, written for barbie, is also nominated for an Oscar. In the middle of this audience of celebrities, however, it was one not selected who delighted all hearts: Messi, the loyal dog ofAnatomy of a Fallwho came with director Justine Triet to defend the colors of France.
“Change the situation”
Academy President Janet Yang welcomed “an incredible year for cinema” and highlighted the diversity of this year’s nominees, selected by voters from 93 different countries.
Beyond the glitter, the lunch was also an opportunity to recall the convulsions of a world marked by the return of wars and the rise of authoritarian temptations, thanks to the documentary category. Wearing his eternal red beret to complement the tuxedo, Ugandan Bobi Wine was particularly visible among the distinguished guests.
The ex-singer, whose 2021 presidential campaign was the subject of violent repression, was followed by a crew for the film Bobi Wine, the People’s President, now selected. An Oscar next month could “change the game”he recently confided during an interview with AFP. “The United States and the European Union will no longer have the luxury of pretending that they do not see what is happening in Uganda.”
To be voted best documentary, the film must stand out against 20 days in Mariupolchronicling the atrocities of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “It’s not enough to make films and survive. It’s important to talk about it”its director, Mstyslav Chernov, explained to AFP. “Almost no one pays attention to Ukraine yet.”