February 5, 2008 / 1:48 AM / 10 years ago

New stars and old mingle at Oscar lunch

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - New stars such as Ellen Page of “Juno” and veterans like Hal Holbrook from “Into the Wild” bathed in the Oscar spotlight on Monday with little difference between generations when it came to being nominated for the world’s top film honors.

Director Ivan Reitman (L) arrives with his son, Oscar nominated director Jason Reitman at the 80th annual Academy Awards Nominee Luncheon in Beverly Hills, California February 4, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

“It’s very surreal, very bizarre, and it doesn’t always feel right to be associated with ... people you have so much respect for and so much admiration for,” said Page, who turns 21 this month.

“It’s like: Are you sure? You want to double-check that?,” she joked about her best actress nomination for her role as a pregnant 16-year-old girl in “Juno.”

“It’s hard to describe. It’s a tremendous thrill,” said Hal Holbrook, 82, about his supporting actor nomination.

The Oscars will be given out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on February 24, and each year nominees gather for a casual luncheon before the gala awards ceremony.

A-list celebrities like George Clooney (“Michael Clayton”) and Laura Linney (“The Savages”) mingled with the likes of French actress Marion Cotillard for “La Vie en Rose.”

Among the younger set, the word “surreal” was mentioned often. Sarah Polley, 29, said she could not have dreamed the movie she wrote and directed, the Alzheimer’s drama “Away From Her,” would earn her a nomination for best adapted screenplay.

“I never expected to be here, but it’s totally thrilling to meet so many filmmakers you admire,” she said.

Clooney, nominated for best actor in legal thriller “Michael Clayton,” said even he can be a little star-struck at the Oscar luncheon.

“There’s something kind of exciting hanging around” other nominees, Clooney said. “You don’t really run out of things to say just because it’s a bunch of actors.”

Director Ivan Reitman, 61, was most excited about one person in particular — his son Jason, 30, who was nominated for best director for “Juno.”

Reitman told of how Jason, as a 12 year-old, once asked why his father never went to the Oscars.

Reitman, director of movies like “Ghostbusters,” replied that he didn’t want to go if he was not nominated, and the 12-year-old asked, “What if I get nominated, will you come?”

The father looked at his son and said: “So I’m here, thank you.” Then with big grin, he told reporters, “I love this guy.”

Editing by Dan Whitcomb

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