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SURROUNDED BY STARS

It’s impossible to be blasé when I’m in a sea of famous faces. My weekend began by interviewing Glenn Close at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Sunday (where she received the Maltin Modern Master Award, so named because I’ve conducted these interviews for nearly 30 years).

This was followed by Monday’s Oscar nominee luncheon, an oasis in the chaotic award season that I’m privileged to attend. Seeing each nominee walk up, accept their certificate and join their peers on the bleachers is truly something special. I am nobody’s idea of a great photographer, but it’s fun to take snapshots just the same; here are some of my favorites from this year’s gathering.

Six-time Oscar nominee for cinematography Caleb Deschanel, Roma’s
multi-award favorite Alfonso Cuaron, and seven-time nominee Glenn Close taketheir places on the bleachers for this year’s “class photo.”
First-time directing nominee Spike Lee was the first name called, thus the
first person to share the bleachers with a giant Oscar
The first two nominees asked to mount the bleachers greet each other warmly: first-timer Spike Lee and six-time nominee Amy Adams
The happiest man in the room was unquestionably Richard E. Grant, up for
Best Supporting Actor for Can You Ever Forgive Me?, seen here with an
equally buoyant Spike Lee
Laura Dern, who’s been nominated twice and serves on the Academy’s Board of Governors, got to read the names of this year’s roster–including former
winner Rachel Weisz 
Two terrifically talented people, both Oscar contenders this year,
graciously posed for my camera: Regina King and Mahershala Ali
No longer carrying the weight he put on to play Dick Cheney in Vice,
Christian Bale looked like himself again, posing with Sibi Blazic luncheon
Oscar newcomer Lady Gaga welcomes another contender to the stage, while Marvel Studios honcho Kevin Feige (in his ever-present baseball cap) and Shoplifters director Hirokazu Kore-eda applauds in another candid moment on the bleachers

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