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The Oscar Nominees Have a Free Lunch Together + Pretend to Actually Like Each Other

Oscar Nominees Lunch
Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images

The annual Oscar Nominees Lunch was held at the Beverly Hilton on Monday (Feb. 4), which meant free food, free booze and a ‘Highlander’ style fight to prove that there can be only one.

LOL JK, that’s what Oscar night is for.

Nominees enjoyed a quiet meal at the event, away from the prying eyes of the press who were only allowed to accost them and yell loudly when they arrived and when they departed.

The only requirement for the event was everyone had to get together for a big class photo and hope they didn’t blink.

Many of the best actor/actress nominees were in attendance, but notably absent was Daniel Day-Lewis, who was expected to attend but who came down with the flu at the last minute. Director Quentin Tarantino was also missing, being sick with the flu himself (or engaged in battle to avoid being someone’s monkey, take your pick).

Also MIA: Oscar host Seth MacFarlane (who’s also nominated for Best Song from his film ‘Ted‘), although his name was apparently mentioned anyway.

Ben Affleck received a lot of praise at the luncheon as well as 9-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis (the youngest Best Actress nominee ever), who received raucous applause when her name was announced. And despite once saying awards are stupid, even Joaquin Phoenix was said to be pretty agreeable.

At one point in the day, Wallis and her mother approached Denzel Washington for a photograph and he jokingly told them it would cost $50. When Washington figured out who she was, he asked her to mention him in her speech if she won. She said she wouldn’t, which not only makes her the youngest nominee, but also the sassiest.

Academy President Hawk Koch was on hand to remind all potential winners to keep their speeches short, and we imagine him glaring at Anne Hathaway the whole time. (You can drop the breathless pretend shock, Annie H.)

The Oscar ceremony will air on Sunday, Feb. 24. After the academy sacrifices a goat to the gods of cinema, of course.

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