At the Oscar Nominees Luncheon, He Fetched the Attention

At the annual Oscar nominees luncheon, there is always a top dog that even a ballroom full of A-listers will clamor to meet. Last year, that honor went to the “Top Gun: Maverick” producer Tom Cruise, a star so huge that the other nominees began to orbit him, biding time until they could dart in to kiss the ring.

The luncheon held Monday afternoon at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif., initially seemed to lack that supernova presence, even though there were plenty of famous names including Robert Downey Jr., Emma Stone and Martin Scorsese. Still, they’ve all grown too used to each other to engage in much genuflection: When you treat an awards campaign like a full-time job, the other contenders might as well be your co-workers.

From left, Emma Stone, Yorgos Lanthimos and Margot Robbie at the nominees luncheon on Monday in Beverly Hills.Credit…Sinna Nasseri for The New York Times

Sterling K. Brown (“American Fiction”), left, with the producer Nicky Bentham and the director Misan Harriman of the nominated live-action short “The After.”Credit…Sinna Nasseri for The New York Times
Martin Scorsese, whose best director nomination for “Killers of the Flower Moon” is his 10th, the most for a living director.Credit…Sinna Nasseri for The New York Times

Was there anyone who could jump-start this starry but sleepy scene? I didn’t think so, until I saw supporting actress nominee America Ferrera turn to her left, look down and gasp.

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