They snuck in through the kitchen, held hands through the evening and laughed heartily at each other’s jokes. To many witnesses of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie‘s recent surprise date at the Directors Guild of America Awards, the pair’s affection was the real deal.
“They were a loving couple,” says a guest who spent time with them throughout the Jan. 30 event. “It was nothing you could fake. You could feel it, and you could see in their body language that it’s just a beautiful relationship. They were very sweet and tender with each other.”
Pitt, who was there to present a nomination medallion to his Inglourious Basterds director Quentin Tarantino, was attentive to Jolie, with whom he has six children. “Angie just decided to go to DGAs to support Brad. They had a great time,” says a source close to the couple.
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Coming in the wake of rumors that the couple had called it quits, cynics had raised questions about the outing. But people who saw the couple say they not only stayed through the entire four-plus hour event but remained afterwards to chat with guests and sign autographs.
“You read all those things about them, but it is hard to believe any of it based off of how they were together,” says a second guest. “Those two were very much together.”
For more about Brad and Angelina’s night out, pick up PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.