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  • Inside star-studded Oscar nominees luncheon with Robert Downey Jr, Margot Robbie, Cillian Murphy in attendance. See pics | Hollywood News

Inside star-studded Oscar nominees luncheon with Robert Downey Jr, Margot Robbie, Cillian Murphy in attendance. See pics | Hollywood News

The talent behind this year’s leading Oscar nominated films, including Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, Yorgos Lanthimos’ Poor Things, Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon and Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, gathered on Monday for the annual Academy Award nominees luncheon, alongside other hopeful nominees. The atmosphere was filled with laughter, hugs and congratulations as the film personalities came together a month before the main event.

Pictures and videos from the event have since been shared on social media, capturing heartwarming moments among the luminaries. While Oppenheimer stars, including Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey Jr, and director Nolan himself, were present at the party, it was a French “actor” who stole the spotlight with their charm. Messi, the canine star of director Justine Triet’s French legal drama-thriller Anatomy of a Fall, who played Snoop in the Oscar-nominated film, had a blast at the event. Messi travelled from France to Los Angeles on Monday to attend the Academy Award Nominees Luncheon, People magazine quoted his trainer Laura Martin Contini as saying.

In one of the pictures, Murphy is seen chatting with Maestro actor Carey Mulligan and others, the media also managed to capture an “awkward Murphy” moment as he was interacting with Nyad star Annette Bening. “I feel Cillian Murphy and Annette Bening must be comparing haircuts,” the netizen who posted the video on X (formerly Twitter) noted.

Meanwhile, Robert Downey Jr, who is in the race for Best Supporting Actor, was spotted wearing very RDJ-esque pants and shoes beneath his tux, grabbing all eyes. When his name was announced for the class photo of the entire group of nominees, RDJ was greeted with heavy applause.

Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, whose snubs in the best director and best actress categories, respectively, caused a major stir, were both present at the luncheon. They’ve been nominated in different categories. In another million-dollar picture from the event, the legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese and his internet celebrity daughter Francesca were seen interacting with Maestro actor-director Bradley Cooper. Actors Daniel Kaluuya and Da’Vine Joy Randolph were also spotted chatting nearby.

But all the attention immediately went to Messi, as soon as the canine star walked in. Even the biggest celebrities couldn’t resist getting pictures with him. Gracious as he is, Messi posed patiently with his fans, including Barbie stars Ryan Gosling and America Ferrera. Despite the overwhelming attention, Messi managed to take a brief nap before continuing to charm everyone with his adorable presence.

While Messi may not be up for an Oscar, he received recognition at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, winning the Palm Dog Award for his performance. After Messi accepted the award, Triet told The Hollywood Reporter that Snoop in the film “was not just another character or some animal running around [but] as much a part of the film’s ensemble as any of the other actors.”

The luncheon is a warm, feel-good, and egalitarian affair where little-known first-time nominees in categories like best animated short get to rub shoulders and share tables with bigwigs in the industry. The 2024 Oscars will be held on March 10 (March 11 in India) at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood in Los Angeles. Jimmy Kimmel will return as the host.

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