Kate WinsletThis month’s Academy Awards will have lots of new things, Sid Ganis, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, told the contenders invited to the annual nominees luncheon. He did not say anything more, but the nominees had lots to share.

Going zero-for-five on her previous Oscar nominations, best actress contender Kate Winslet said the experience has given her a “good losing face”. Penelope Cruz, with her second Oscar nomination, this time for supporting actress, said that winning would be great, but she simply wants to cherish the whole Oscar ride.

Robert Downey Jr. has not been up for an Oscar in the 16 years since he earned a best actor slot for the title role in Chaplin. Downey found irony in his supporting actor nomination for Tropic Thunder, in which he is cast as an obsessed actor who undergoes a medical procedure to darken his skin to play a black soldier.

“The funny thing is, I was playing an Oscar-crazed weirdo whose every motivation was somehow geared toward accolades,” he said.

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