Spielberg praises stellar year of cinema as Oscars nominees converge

February 13, 2024

US director Steven Spielberg said it had been a particularly strong year for film (Robyn BECK)Steven Spielberg praised a stellar year for cinema as Oscars rivals gathered in a packed Beverly Hills ballroom for the Academy's annual nominee luncheon Monday. "Oppenheimer" is widely thought to be leading the race for best picture at the Academy Awards on March 10, but Spielberg -- a producer on rival movie "Maestro" -- said it had also been a banner year beyond Christopher Nolan's atomic age drama. "Maestro," Bradley Cooper's biopic of legendary conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein, "is Bradley's triumph," said Spielberg. And while Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig may have been "snubbed," according to some, in the Oscars' best actress and best director categories, both attended on behalf of the blockbuster movie anyway. - 'Global' nominees -Praising "an amazing year for cinema," Academy president Janet Yang noted the highly "global" makeup of this year's nominees, who were selected by voting members from 93 different countries.