Brits in L.A. celebrate landmark Oscar nomination year
The event: “The Great British Film Reception,” staged at the London Hotel in West Hollywood Friday, paid tribute to Britain’s Oscar nominees, this year numbering 40 in 20 categories.
The number includes two made-in-Britain best picture nominees, “The Imitation Game” and “The Theory of Everything;” leading actress nominees Felicity Jones, Rosamund Pike and Julianne Moore - who is British and American - and two leading actor nominees, Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne.
“Both actors play genius scientists, who changed the world and the way we understand it, which is absolutely wonderful,” said Chris O’Connor, Great Britain’s Los Angeles consul general, who hosted the party along with the British Film Commission.
FULL COVERAGE: Oscars 2015
The scene: Between conversations over cocktails served with flashing red ice cubes, guests checked out director Arnold Schwartzman’s Oscar for the 1982 documentary “Genocide,” and the WWII Enigma machine, referenced in the film, “The Imitation Game.” Looking similar to a typewriter, the machine – on loan from tech entrepreneur David Bohnett - encrypted secret messages in code, which the film’s characters had to decipher in order to win the war.
The crowd: Actors Patrick Stewart, Nigel Lythgoe, Jacqueline Bisset, Carmen Ejogo, Kate Burton, George Lazenby and Julian Sands, songwriter Diane Warren and Lord Frederick Windsor mixed with nominees, who included Ido Ostrowsky, Nora Grossman, Anthony McCarten, Joanna Natasegara, Orlando von Einsiedel, Roger Deakins, Hugo Guinness, Paul Franklin, Dick Pope, Anna Pinnock, Ben Wilkins, Charlotte Watts, Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, Gary Yershon, James Lucas, Mark Coulier, Mat Kirkby, Michael Lennox and Suzie Davies and others.
The films: Among 2015 films in which British filmmakers played a role are “Gone Girl,” “Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Interstellar,” “Into the Woods,” “Maleficent,” “Mr. Turner,” “Selma,” “Still Alice,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Unbroken.”
Quote of note: “Last year, we thought we had a landmark year with 26 nominees. Now we have 40 nominations and that is extraordinary,” said O’Connor, adding that in one category, production design, that number includes all 5 nominees. “So we can guarantee right now that there will be a Brit holding up an Oscar on that stage on Sunday night for production design.”
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