Over one hundred and forty Academy Award nominees gathered at The Beverly Hilton for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Oscar nominees luncheon. Ellen Page, George Clooney and Laura Linney were among the prestigious group who picked up their official certificates of nomination and talked shop during the afternoon affair. "I’ve been in the middle of three conflict zones in the last two weeks and now I’m here," said Best Actor nominee—and newly-appointed UN ambassador—Clooney of the pomp and circumstance. "So it’s kinda nice to be wearing a suit again."
After the salmon and black risotto cakes had been served, George Clooney pulled up a chair next to Javier Bardem. The two handsome actors were soon joined by Casey Affleck and attracted the attention of their fellow diners with their animated chatting. What advice would Oscar winner Clooney give to up-and-comers like Ellen Page? "She’s too smart to give advice to," Clooney cracked. "I have to find some really dumb actor to give advice to!"
"I’m still surprised to be standing here," said Best Supporting Actress nominee Amy Ryan, singled out for her role in the Ben Affleck-directed Gone Baby Gone. "It’s been hitting me in increments along the way. When I first heard the news on TV, [I broke into] a big grin. By the end of the day I was reduced to a bucket of tears."
"Surreal and bizarre," said Juno star Ellen Page, who was too busy taking it all in—and meeting Hollywood heavyweights like Sissy Spacek—to linger over her lunch. Still unskilled at the practice of naming the designers of her red carpet outfits, Page preferred to crack a joke when asked what she was wearing. "Today I took my old prison uniform and I just learned how to sew and made it into a new dress, [added] a leather jacket and slapped on some heels!" she quipped.
To be nominated for the third time is a very different time in my life than it was the first or the second," said The Savages star Laura Linney (in Michael Kors). "The first time is electrically exciting. I’m looking at Ellen Page and having some sort of sense of what she must be going through right now, the disbelief of being included."
Does Best Actor nominee Viggo Mortensen—who posed with Best Director nom Julian Schnabel—think that baring it all in Eastern Promises had anything to do with being singled out? "Are you saying that the only reason I’m here is because I took my clothes off?" the hunky actor quipped. "Actually, I think that scene is successful because of the emotional nakedness—survival of the fittest."