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A total of 163 nominees at the 89th Oscars attended today traditional Hollywood Academy luncheon, where celebrities were able to take a deep breath and relax in a relaxed atmosphere while the less well-known candidates enjoyed chatting with their idols.

Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles (California) hosted this event where actors, directors, scriptwriters, composers and sound engineers among others gather around the same table to get a closer look at the ins and outs of their professions, leaving nerves and the pressure of advertising campaigns.

The Academy invited a few media representatives to the event, and EFE shared a table with Justin Timberlake (nominated for the best original song with Trolls), Mahershala Ali (nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Moonlight), Ted Sarandos (responsible for Netflix content) and Dustin O’Halloran (nominated for the best original soundtrack for Lion).

“They told me that to enjoy these events, I had to leave behind the fear of meeting the people who really inspire you, coming to greet and chat with them,” O’Halloran, who did not hesitate to approach Steven Spielberg, told EFE. Spielberg was sitting a few feet away, tell him that the soundtrack to Close Encounters of the Third Kind was what led him to devote himself to music.

La La Land

One of the first to arrive at the previous cocktail was Damien Chazelle, director of the musical , director del musical La La Land, the Oscar favorite with 14 nominations.

“I’m still assimilating it. It’s surreal,” he told EFE accompanied by his girlfriend, Olivia Hamilton. “I never imagined this,” he added. “For me, the victory was already making the film because it took me a long time to raise the project. It’s a dream come true”, he added.

Those 14 nominations matched the historic record of Titanic y All About Eve.

“All that has come after has been honey on flakes. I still do not finish processing all this,” he confessed.

Another rookie in this was Taylor Sheridan, candidate for best original screenplay for Hell or High Water.

“It’s really overwhelming. It’s a real treat,” said Sheridan, who has a sequel to Sicario, titled Soldado.

“Benicio del Toro was fantastic in the first half.You have to watch what he did in the second.It’s incredible,” Sheridan advanced as she enjoyed a glass of champagne and some sushi pieces for which a pregnant Natalie Portman was fighting and an exultant Mel Gibson, who did not taste a drop of alcohol.

The public address warned the guests that it was time to sit down to taste a menu consisting of a spinach salad, sea bass with couscous, natural tomato and carrots and, for dessert, banana cream tart with almonds and chocolate sauce.

Minutes later, the president of the Academy, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, welcomed the participants and recalled the progress of the institution in terms of inclusion and diversity.

“What a difference compared to last year,” she said, relieved, referring to the number of black artists nominated in this edition, especially in the categories of best actor and best actress.

“We have made real progress and I am sure it will continue in the future, we want to be diverse and lead by example, we have become agents of change,” she said.

Donald Trump

Isaacs, aware that the artists will talk about U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies at the ceremony, did not sidestep the issue.

“We all know there are some empty chairs in this room today, and that makes us all activists,” she said, referring to the absence of Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, an Oscar nominee for The Salesman, who recently announced he will not attend. The ceremony in response to the immigration measures decreed by Trump.

“Art has no borders, strong societies do not censor art but celebrate it. We can not allow borders to detain any of us”, words of Isaacs received with great applause and cheers from the audience.

After her intervention, a humor video starring Kate McKinnon was shown, which reminded the fundamental rules in case of winning the prized golden statute: be concise, be prepared and speak from the heart.

Finally, the 163 nominees met together for the traditional group photo.

“It’s a memory for history. You’re a film giant and serve as inspiration for generations to come,” Isaacs said.

The 89th Oscars will be held February 26 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood and will be broadcasted in live in more than 225 countries and territories.

February 7, 2017, EFE/Practica Español

Grammar notes: review of the irregular verbs, haber + participle

Comprensión del texto C.1 (Comprehension C.1)

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Question 1
En el texto se dice que...
Hubo una cena con todos los nominados a los Óscar.
Artistas y actores se reunieron para comer a mediodía.
Todos los galardonados con un premio Óscar estuvieron almorzando.
Question 2
Según el texto, ese almuerzo...
Genera mucho estrés a los nominados.
Permite que los nominados liberen la tensión que puedan tener.
Es la causa de que los nominados tengan los nervios a flor de piel.
Question 3
¿Dónde tuvo lugar el almuerzo?
En la misma ciudad en la que se entregarán los Óscar.
En la capital de Estados Unidos.
En una ciudad próxima a Los Ángeles.
Question 4
O'Halloran afirmó que...
No logró vencer el miedo en ese almuerzo.
Es imposible pasar un buen rato en estos eventos.
Debes relacionarte con los invitados para disfrutar del evento.
Question 5
Isaacs hizo referencia...
A las políticas del actual presidente de Estados Unidos.
A los artistas que apoyan incondicionalmente al presidente de Estados Unidos.
A las políticas del presidente saliente de Estados Unidos.
Question 6
En el texto se dice que...
Es muy posible que haya artistas críticos con Trump en la ceremonia de los Óscar.
Ningún artista internacional asistirá a la ceremonia de los Óscar.
Ningún artista aludirá a las políticas de Trump en la ceremonia de los Óscar.
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