Recent tradition has made Friday the night of the big talent agency gatherings, with Ed Limato of ICM, Bryan Lourd of CAA and Ari Emanuel of Endeavor throwing their hot-ticket celebrations, usually held at their palatial homes. So hot, as one past attendee of the Limato party describes: “Door opens: Tom Cruise. Door opens: Russell Crowe. Door opens: Steven Spielberg. Door opens: Charlize Theron. And so on for the next hour.”
So which of the big three will host the biggest names in Hollywood? In past years, the big guns hit them all. As one insider confides, “If you don’t go to all three, you’re obviously not one of the big players in this town.”
However, 2007 brings a small twist, as Lourd is trying to keep news about his party quiet, instructing representatives to say that it’s not even a CAA affair at all — though it’s debatable whether this represents any palpable change.
But less than 48 hours from the awards ceremony, Friday will remain a big night in Oscar’s Big Week. It also might be the last late night out for nominees and A-list stars, some of whom won’t want to party hearty Saturday night and then show the effects the next day as they stroll the long — and usually very sunny and unforgivingly lit — red carpet into the Kodak Theater.
BIG WEEK BLOWOUTS
Night Before the Night Before party
Where: Cut Restaurant, Beverly Wilshire Hotel
When: 7 p.m.
Who: Reps from Night Before party sponsors AOL, Center Staging, Lexus, L’Oreal, McDonald’s, HP, Target and Variety
Backstory: A small, relaxed dinner for the sponsors and their guests to meet each other and be introduced to Jeffrey Katzenberg. Historically, it is dinner followed by a performance; this year’s musical guests are Tim McGraw and Faith Hill.
Warner Bros. Annual Nominees’ Dinner
Where: Hotel Bel-Air ballroom
When: 7 p.m.
Who: Invitees include Leonardo DiCaprio, Djimon Hounsou, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, George Miller, Thelma Schoonmaker, Steven Rosenblum, Thomas Newman, Steven Spielberg, Robert Lorenz and Graham King.
Backstory: Ultra-private party — no nomination, no invitation!
Ari Emanuel/Endeavor party
Where: Brentwood home of Endeavor partner Ari Emanuel and wife Sarah Addington
When: 7:30 p.m.
Who: A slew of filmmakers and nominated actors, the casts from nominated films and an impressive mix of studio heads and politicians.
Backstory: Last year’s party saw studio heads Brad Grey, Amy Pascal, Harvey Weinstein, Bob Shaye, Michael Lynne, Rick Sands, Jim Gianopulos, John Lesher, Jon Feltheimer, Tom Freston and Tom Rothman posing for group photos while previous Oscar winners Diane Keaton and Frances McDormand congratulated nominees Keira Knightley and Amy Adams. Mark Wahlberg caught up with Dustin Hoffman, and Leslie Moonves huddled with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
Ed Limato/ICM party
Where: Limato’s Beverly Hills home
When: 8 p.m.
Who: ICM clients and others, along with studio honchos and heavy hitters from other talent agencies.
Backstory: For 15 years, this gathering of the so-called “Hollywood 500” has been off limits to press, photographers and outsiders. Only the creme de la creme get inside to see Limato in his specially designed, different-every-year Donatella Versace shirt that he wears for this one night only and retires.
Bryan Lourd/CAA party
Where: Undisclosed location
Who: CAA’s stable of actors, writers and producers, along with studio execs and other VIPs.
Backstory: Last year’s shindig drew Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Tom Ford, Mick Jagger and many from the younger set (Scarlett Johansson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams).
Instituto Italiano di Cultura Honors Ennio Morricone
Where: Instituto Italiano di Cultura in
When: 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Who: Celebrating Italians in American cinema, including honorary Oscar winner and five-time original score nominee Ennio Morricone as well as 2007 costume design nominee Milena Canonero (“Marie Antoinette”) and makeup nominees Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano (“Apocalypto”).
Backstory: Annual cocktail party given by the Italian Film Commission.
Multicultural Motion Picture Assn. Student Filmmakers Scholarship Luncheon
Where: The Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills
Who: MMPA honors outstanding student filmmakers with financial scholarships and a chance to meet Academy Award winners and nominees.
Backstory: Last year’s lunch drew Hilary Swank, Clive Owen, Djimon Hounsou and Renee Zellweger in support of the future of filmmaking.
Platinum Guild International Jewelry Preview
Where: Undisclosed luxury hotel penthouse in Beverly Hills
When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Who: High-end jewelry designers Neil Lane, Erica Courtney, Mikimoto, Sol Rafael and Jacob & Co. showcase more than $14 million worth of gem-encrusted platinum jewels, ready to loan to stars for the big night.
Backstory: Mixing astonishing jewels with spa treatments and swag, this is the suite ticket of the day.