OSCARS fever is building in Los Angeles this week as stars turned out for the annual pre-lunch event for nominees,

The Academy Awards nominees luncheon at the Beverly Hilton Hotel had all the glitz and glamour expected from the A-list Oscars hopefuls.

More than 150 nominees - from hairstylists and makeup artists to auteur directors and A-list actors - were invited to attend Monday's affair in Beverly Hills.

Each nominee for best director is 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 January 25 Directors Guild Awards, this year's last major contest before the March 2 Oscars.

Academy members will begin to cast their Oscar votes later this week.