What Oscar nominees luncheon image charmed even this awards-season hating Grinch?

Last night in Santa Monica, I moderated a Q&A with George Miller, who I've been interviewing repeatedly since March of last year, at the intermission of a double feature of Mad Max: Fury Road and The Road Warrior.

We had some time to talk before the Q&A, and he was in terrific spirits. He spent the afternoon at the Oscar nominees luncheon, and he seemed to have a terrific time. I mentioned Rooney Mara's outstanding quote from yesterday (“Sometimes [awards season] feels like you're celebrating the same person's birthday for months on end”) and he laughed, then added “But it's a wonderful party.” There are few people more cynical about awards season than me, and if you want a dose of that, read the opening part of my Coen Brothers interview yesterday. Seeing Miller's obvious pleasure yesterday cut through that cynicism, and I found myself really rooting for him to wrap up this year with a trip to the stage to collect an Oscar.

But let's be honest… is there anything more charming on the awards circuit this year than the ongoing story of Jacob Tremblay?

The young star of Room gave an enormously mature performance, and it's easy to forget that he's just a normal (if talented) little kid. Watching how much he's enjoyed himself over the course of what can be a real grind for even the most polished of adults has been impressive. Yesterday, he was at that same luncheon, and his dad was taking pictures and sharing them via Twitter. The best of them… well, let's just take a look…


Come on. What's not to love about that? Stallone's been making plenty of jokes about his age, and how long it's been since he was last at the Oscars for the first Rocky, and Tremblay is at the very start of a career. He's young enough that really anything could happen. We may be talking about this as one of many great performances in a decade, or we may look back at this as a lovely single moment for him. We'll see.

But today, at that luncheon, there was clearly a sincere giddy joy shared by all of these people, and it's so sincere that it's even making my tiny black Grinch heart feel something. I'm sure it will pass, but I figured I'd share my brief change of heart.