Before competing against one another at the upcoming 85th Academy Awards, this year's Oscar nominees gathered around for a luncheon party taking place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Monday, February 4. High caliber people in movie industry were flocking the International Ballroom of the hotel for the cocktail party, including the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Joaquin Phoenix and Christoph Waltz.
The Academy publicists said that 21 of the 25 nominees in acting and directing categories were on hand to support the luncheon. Those who missed the high-wattage gathering were Best Actress nominee of "Amour" Emmanuelle Riva and her director Michael Haneke. Best Supporting Actors nominees Alan Arkin ("Argo") and Philip Seymour Hoffman ("The Master") were also absent.
During the event, Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron delievered short speeches to welcome the nominees. They also announced some rules for whoever wins during the upcoming awards event, "We honestly need your help. We ask you to please speak from the heart," said Zadan. "Not from a piece of paper. This will be watched by over a billion people in over 225 countries. We ask you to prepare. The viewers are watching hoping you inspire them."
As a tradition, the luncheon also featured an annual class photo session where the nominees were called individually, starting from team "Lincoln". Interesting moment happened when Hugh Jackman helped Chastain walk on her towering heels, while Tim Burton giggled with Amy Adams. Phoenix, seemed to be in good mood, was spotted hugging Ben Affleck around the waist, while youngest Oscar nominee ever, Quvenzhane Wallis, gave a high-five to Academy President Howard Koch.
During the fun-filled lunch, Adams joked about flirting with male actors at the event. "Sorry, you just interrupted my flirting with Bradley Cooper and Christoph Waltz," she said. "I'd say it's going to be a very good lunch for me." Cooper, meanwhile, gushed, "I know I wasn't here for The Hangover. I'm enjoying every minute of this."
On the other hand, Hathaway admitted that she hadn't prepared anything for the Oscars. "No preparation yet. I need to get on that, don't I?" she said. "It was the Super Bowl. I couldn't think about dresses with all that delicious fried food."
Also spotted at the event were such big names as Denzel Washington, Naomi Watts, Robert De Niro, Helen Hunt, Sally Field, Katie Couric, Kathryn Bigelow, Ang Lee, Suraj Sharma, Steven Spielberg, David O. Russell and Benh Zeitlin.
This year's Academy Awards is set to take place on February 24 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood & Highland Center with Seth MacFarlane serving as the host. The show will be broadcast live on the ABC Television Network in more than 225 countries.