The 2023 Academy Awards nominees gathered at the 41st Oscar Nominees Luncheon. Taking place roughly a month before the main ceremony, the event saw Hollywood's biggest stars and filmmakers such as Tom Cruise, Brendan Fraser, Hong Chau, Angela Bassett, Austin Butler, Michelle Williams and Steven Spielberg greeting each other and posing together.
Cruise, who starred in 'Top Gun: Maverick' and is nominated as producer of the film, made his first appearance of the season on the awards circuit that night. He was swarmed by everyone else in the Beverly Hilton's International Ballroom and was enjoying the moment. "This is fun," he told People at one point during the luncheon. "I'm enjoying it."
The 60-year-old was also seen taking picture with 'Elvis' star Butler, while "Everything Everywhere All at Once" star Ke Huy Quan reunited with Spielberg, who directed him in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom". The two posed together for a goofy selfie, reports aceshowbiz.com.
In a more serious note, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Janet Yang took the opportunity to address Will Smith's slap of Chris Rock at last year's Oscars. "I'm sure you all remember we experienced an unprecedented event at the Oscars," she told the group, before admitting, "What happened onstage was fully unacceptable, and the response from our organisation was inadequate."
She added: "We learned from this that the Academy must be fully transparent and accountable in our actions, and particularly in times of crisis we must act swiftly, compassionately and decisively for ourselves and for our industry. You should and can expect no less from us going forward."
Yang went on noting that the Academy's efforts to "maintaining the highest of standards while creating the changes we wish to see" in the film industry include inspiring young people who want to work in film.
"This is how we create the global film community of the future, one that's open to ideas and cultures from all corners," she explained. "I urge us all to focus our efforts on nurturing the extraordinary, brilliant community that we inhabit."
Yang also told this year's nominees to stick with allotted time for their acceptance speeches. "One rule we asks of those privileged to take the stage on Oscar night: the 45-second rule. Your acceptance speech must be 45 seconds tops. We've worked really hard to keep all the awards live this year, so we need to keep the speeches short," so she pleaded.