Awards season hits the final stretch with the Writers Guild Awards and the Academy Awards nominees luncheon.
Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon
I’m intimidated by anyone with a name tag,” Jesse Eisenberg said of his first Oscar nominees lunch at The Beverly Hilton hotel. “But it’s a room full of insecure actors, so it’s ultimately comforting.” One-hundred and forty-seven nominees, the most ever, paraded through the affair to receive their nomination certificates as a lead-up to the Feb. 27 ceremony. Jeremy Renner had words of wisdom for newbies. “You have to enjoy every minute of this. It might not happen again,” he said, even though he’s been nominated two years in a row. And first-time nominee Mark Ruffalo joked: “It took me 20 years to get here — and I love a free lunch, man! As a former starving actor, it’s all about the gift lunch!” — Merle GInsberg
The 2011 Writers’ Guild Awards at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel got a Modern Family boost: First-time hosts Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet celebrated this year’s nominees with a catchy song-and-dance intro “Write It Gay!” Appearances by presenters Kathryn Bigelow and Morgan Spurlock accented an emotional stream of speeches by such winners as Inception’s Christopher Nolan, the Boardwalk Empire newbies (whose achievements were also toasted in New York at the WGA East fete the same evening) and Mad Men’s Matthew Weiner, who said he’d written off another win. Upon accepting the prize for outstanding writing for a drama series, Weiner said, “I thought you guys were done with us!” — Stacey Wilson