At the Oscar Nominees Luncheon, a Crowd in Cruise Control
For the privileged few embarking on an Oscar campaign, the path to a nomination asks you to hobnob with so many of the same people that over the course of many months, your competitors can begin to feel like classmates.
But on Monday afternoon, at a luncheon held in Beverly Hills, California, for this year’s Oscar nominees, the arrival of a new student caused quite a stir.
That would be Tom Cruise, nominated this year as a producer of the megahit best picture contender “Top Gun: Maverick.” He was among the first notable names to walk into the ballroom of the Beverly Hilton. The 60-year-old star had sat out both the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Awards this season, so many of his fellow nominees were encountering him for the first time. Before long, the ballroom had turned into a massive meet-and-greet.
“I love you, I love you, oh, my God!” said “Everything Everywhere All at Once” star Ke Huy Quan, who hopped in place, exclaiming, “I want a picture with this man!” before seizing a selfie with Cruise. Director Guillermo del Toro went over for an embrace, as did nominated actors Brendan Fraser, Angela Bassett and Michelle Williams. Cruise even posed for pictures with Steven Spielberg, a once-frequent collaborator whom the star has not been publicly photographed with in over a decade.
The nominees luncheon is supposed to be an egalitarian affair where big stars and behind-the-scenes technicians are on equal footing, but there was no mistaking Cruise as the ballroom’s top dog: He had the gravitational pull of the sun and its burnt-orange countenance, too.
Still, simply making it to Cruise took some time: In the schmoozy hour before lunch was served, he was so mobbed by his fellow nominees that he was hardly able to move more than a few feet. I watched for a while as “Elvis” star Austin Butler drifted with slow, inexorable determination toward Cruise, who finally pulled the younger man toward him by clamping a hand on his shoulder like a stapler. For several minutes, they were locked in such a tight bro-embrace that it was impossible to discern what they were talking about.
So instead, I made my way to “Top Gun: Maverick” producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who observed the scene serenely just a few feet away. “It’s my first time at the luncheon,” said the newly nominated producer, who’s better known for making explosive action movies than Oscar fare. “After 50 years in the business, I finally get here.”
文／Kyle Buchanan 譯／陳曉慈
鏡頭拉遠，作者用egalitarian/equal表示入圍者午宴理應是眾生平等，接著以top dog和gravitational pull of the sun說明現實並非如此。Top dog指團體中最重要有權勢者尤其是競賽贏家，與太陽的萬有引力、強化眾星拱日的意象。標題的in cruise control一語雙關，以巡航定速模式比喻輕易掌控局勢，都臣服在Tom Cruise的魅力下。