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Oscar nominees arrive for annual luncheon

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — From hairstylists to A-listers, more than 150 Oscar nominees gathered in sunny Beverly Hills on Monday to celebrate the joy of just being nominated at the motion picture academy’s annual nominees luncheon.

Honorees in all 24 of this year’s Oscar categories began arriving before noon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, including Lupita Nyong’o of “12 Years a Slave.” The actress has been stunning on every red carpet this awards season and Monday was no exception as she added some flair with a pair of purple suede pumps.

But it’s her whirlwind success as a best supporting actress nominee that has her inspired.

“There’s no way that I could have dreamt any of this stuff up,” said Nyong’o. “It’s just been an incredible journey and it continues to be that. A very exciting one. A very rewarding one. And a very revealing one.”

Other arriving nominees walking the media gauntlet included Cate Blanchett, Leonardo DiCaprio, and June Squibb of “Nebraska.”

“It’s very exciting,” said the supporting actress nominee. “I feel like I’m a part of a community. It’s great fun.”

The guest list also included “American Hustle” stars Amy Adams, Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper; Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto of “Dallas Buyers Club”; Sandra Bullock of “Gravity”; Bruce Dern of “Nebraska”; and many more.

Each nominee for best director was also on the guest list, including Alfonso Cuarón, Steve McQueen, Alexander Payne, David O. Russell and Martin Scorsese.

With the 86th Academy Awards coming in less than three weeks, the race for best picture remains a three-way contest between “American Hustle,” ”Gravity” and “12 Years a Slave.” ”Gravity,” however, appears to have a slight edge following its win at the Jan. 25 Directors Guild Awards, this year’s last major contest before the March 2 Oscars. Academy members will cast their Oscar votes Feb. 14-25.

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Follow Jessica Herndon on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/SomeKind

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