Friendly, casual vibe highlights annual gathering of nominees at the Oscar luncheon

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- The year's official class of Oscar nominees gathered for the annual Oscar luncheon.

The friendly nature of this event lets everyone take a deep breath during a long awards season. It has a casual vibe and is geared more toward camaraderie rather than red carpet pressure.

After the invitees eat lunch, each and every nominee in attendance is called up to a stage for the "class photo."

One of the biggest rounds of applause went for former Laker Kobe Bryant, whose movie "Dear Basketball" is nominated for best animated short film. There were also plenty of first-timers, like Bryant, plus dozens of Oscar "veterans."

Gary Oldman was there once before, when he was nominated in 2012 for "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy." His nomination this year is for playing Winston Churchill in "Darkest Hour," a role he calls "once in a lifetime."

"The whole Churchill experience has been extraordinary," Oldman said. "And it is a thing of, I think, when a part, a role, and an actor just come together - who would have thought? I am truly gob smacked and humbled. It's a moment in the sun. And I'm enjoying it."

Next up for all the nominees: Oscar Sunday on March 4.