More than one-hundred Academy Award nominees from 23 Oscar categories met in Beverly Hills Monday for the annual Academy Awards luncheon.
Even though 80 percent of the nominees will leave next week's ceremony empty-handed, they will be basking in their new status as Academy Award nominees.
A record number of nominees attended the 17th Annual Nominees Luncheon in Beverly Hills Monday where they talked about how their lives have been changed by the honor.
Newcomers like Good Will Hunting's Matt Damon are up against veteran nominees like Jack Nicholson for the Best Actor Award.
James Cameron's Titanic has garnered the largest number of nominations - seventeen.
Cameron says that no matter what happens at next week's ceremony - nothing can spoil his Titanic high.
"It's not a career maker or breaker sort of thing, so for me it's all upside. It's either gonna be fun and we'll get drunk afterwards or we'll lose and get drunk afterwards. But I'm not gonna sit around moping about it the next day if it doesn't go our way."
SUPER CAPTION: James Cameron, Director of Titanic
Some actors will enter the Oscars ceremony with a few other awards already under their belt.
The previous evening, Titanic actress Gloria Stuart and LA Confidential's Kim Basinger tied for the Screen Actor's Guild Best Supporting Actress Award.
Both Titanic and LA Confidential have also won a number of key awards at the Golden Globe Awards.
The LA Confidential crew agreed that the Academy Award nominations have been a boon to the movie's success.
"The movie has been in the theatres for 23 weeks. It's still hovering in the top ten. The picture is doing really well, and you know it was a difficult movie to get a handle on from the marketing point of view because it's a complex movie that is different than the kind of movies usually made by the major studios, which is part of the reason why I wanted to make it."
SUPER CAPTION: Curtis Hanson, LA Confidential director
The Best Actress category is unique this year because As Good As It Gets actress Helen Hunt is the only American nominated.
Britain's Helena Bonham Carter found that the newfound attention does have its drawbacks.
"It's the one point in one's life when you're probably gonna receive the most exposure ever, but one's least equipped to deal with it because one's so exhausted with being excited. Then there's the dress issue, you know."
SUPER CAPTION: Helena Bonham Carter, Best Actress Nominee
This year's nominees in the Best Actor category include veteran actors such as Robert Duvall, Peter Fonda, and Dustin Hoffman, and Jack Nicholson, making Matt Damon the only relative newcomer.
The Nominees Luncheon was initiated 17 years ago to bridge the gap in publicity between the nominations and the ceremony itself.
The nominees enjoyed a four course lunch before listening to acceptance speech advice that included suggestions to keep their speeches short.