Some people at today’s AFI luncheon in Beverly Hills wondered why Apple chief Tim Cook was in the room?
Answer: he paid $25 million for “CODA,” and part of the deal was getting a cold roll and a hard chair at a long afternoon luncheon.
The crowd applauded him and for good reason: Cook and Apple are now players in the film business. Apple might become the first streaming service to win Best Picture.
Many potential AFI lunch buddies were absent, having gone to London for Sunday’s BAFTA Awards. But among the film people, Steven Spielberg with his “West Side Story” stars Ariana DeBose and Rita Moreo, and Guillermo del Toro with his “Nightmare Alley” star Bradley Cooper were the biggest names, along with Jane Campion and “Power of the Dog” gang, plus Andrew Garfield, a stunning, gray haired Andie McDowell, and lots of TV people from shows like “Succession” and “White Lotus.” But conversely, plenty of the TV people didn’t show, as they were working. The event was postponed from January, which lessened its impact.
Also not present: actors and directors from the movies snubbed by the AFI including “Being the Ricardos,” “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” “The French Dispatch,” and “Respect.” There was no sign of anyone from “The Tragedy of Macbeth,” as well.
On the plus side, Morgan Freeman made an appearance as the voice of God.