George Clooney by Steve Granitz/ George Clooney by Steve Granitz/
Marion Cotillard is pinching herself. "Under the makeup [my arm] is blue," the French actress told reporters on Monday, showing off her bicep. As the writers' strike seems to be nearing its end, the honorees at the annual Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon could finally focus on something other than the looming threat of yet another show cancellation. And Cotillard, nominated for her performance in La Vie en Rose, is focusing on

George Clooney. "I'm very, very happy to share moments with [him]. It's like, 'Yeah, yeah, French girl. It's real.'" Clooney, who had recently returned from Darfur, managed to charm not only his fellow nominees but also the press. "I don't think you could hear her, but she asked how I look so good close up," he joked when asked about his competition in the best-actor category. The newly appointed U.N. Messenger of Peace has also been trying to facilitate negotiations between the WGA and the AMPTP and seemed hopeful that a solution is near. "There's a tentative agreement out there that needs to be ratified by the board. It looks very good. I think there's a lot of strike fatigue and I think that you start losing some of your negotiating power, so I would hope that [WGA, SAG and AMPTP] get into the tables very quickly, as quickly as possible." But for once, strike talk wasn't the topic of the day. Instead nominees discussed potential wardrobe choices, the honor of being nominated, and, yes, more George Clooney. "Do you get that in a gift basket? Is that part of the swag?" asked best-actress nominee Amy Ryan. We wish. - Carita Rizzo