Film

Good-looking trio Casey, George and Javier were certainly in high spirits at the lunch, laid on annually for Academy Award hopefuls
Photo: Oscars.org
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British star Julie Christie, in the running to take home her second gold statuette, was a glamorous presence at the Hollywood event
Photo: Getty Images

Ellen Page, who turns 21 three days before the official Oscars ceremony, revealed she found the lunch experience "surreal"
Photo: Getty Images

Casey, George and Javier join hopefuls at Oscars luncheon

5 FEBRUARY 2008
With the Hollywood event of the year just around the corner this year's Oscar nominees have been given a chance to mingle with the competition. On Monday the cream of Tinseltown's acting talent, including hunky trio George Clooney, Casey Affleck and Javier Bardem, gathered for a glitzy pre-awards luncheon in Beverly Hills.

"It's nice to be wearing a suit again," revealed well-dressed George, who's recently been in Africa in his role as United Nations messenger of peace. The photogenic star, who's in the running for the best actor gong for his role in thriller Michael Clayton, shared a joke with best supporting actor nominees Casey and Javier ahead of tucking into the four course gourmet meal laid on for the glamorous guests.

Also feasting on the lunch of grilled goat cheese, hickory smoked chicken with mango salsa, grilled shiitake mushrooms and scallions and a chocolate mousse dessert was elegant Away From Her actress Julie Christie. The British star is no doubt hoping to walk away with her second Academy Award, after picking up the best actress award in 1965 for her role in Darling.

Newcomer Ellen Page was also present and rubbing shoulders with the Hollywood heavyweights at the event - a fact which certainly hadn't escaped her attention.

"It's very surreal. It's very bizarre!" revealed the modest 20-year-old star of Juno, who's up against Cate Blanchett, Julie Christie, Marion Cotillard and Laura Linney for the best actress gong. "It doesn't always feel right when you are associated with four women you have so much respect and admiration for," she continued, joking: "It feels like 'Are you sure? You want to double check that."

Also at the event was Sicko documentary maker Michael Moore, who took time to catch up with best actor hopeful Viggo Mortensen, and French bombshell Marion Cotillard who wowed in her yellow and black statement frock.