Oscar celebrates the night before

Click here for the complete Night Before photo gallery.

The traditional double celebration at the Night Before added two more layers at Saturday’s BevHills Hotel event.

As in past years, the ninth Night celebrated the year’s Oscar contenders as it raised millions for the Motion Picture & TV Fund — this year, a whopping $6.5 million. The event also observed the Fund’s 90th birthday and saluted its just-announced deal with Providence Health & Services California and UCLA, which ensures care for all 60,000 patients and thus ends two years of fretting over the org’s economics.

As an added bonus: no protesters (as there have been for the past two years) and no rain.

The event followed the usual format, which eschews a red carpet and press (present company excepted) in favor of strictly casual dress and buoyant, off-the-record conversations. The evening was marked by high energy — the result of cautious optimism about the economy; appreciation of some great film work; and relief both that the awards season was almost at an end and that the night entailed no speeches, no winners or losers, just a lot of schmoozing and gifting.

It’s always fun to see almost-unlikely people interacting: Jennifer Aniston talking with Elton John and Valentino; Captain America chatting with Thor (Chris Evans and Chris Hemsworth); and Olympian Shaun White lingering at the exit wishing people like Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez a good night.

“The support of our corporate sponsors, the companies and the hundreds of individuals who provide such generous donations to the MPTF help make the Night Before one of the most successful fund-raisers each year in the industry,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg, chairman of the MPTF Foundation, noting that the $6.5 million raised was the second-biggest total in its nine-year history.

This year’s presenting sponsors were HP, Target, L’Oreal, Legendary Pictures, McDonalds, Relativity Media and AOL. The sold-out event was again held inside the hotel instead of poolside, as it was for the first six years.

Click here for the complete Night Before photo gallery.

Also on the list:

MPTF biggies: Bob Beitcher, Ken Scherer

Honchos: Rupert Murdoch, Tim Armstrong, Tom Bernard, Rob Friedman, Jim Gianopulos, Alan Horn, Robert Iger, Donna Langley, Leslie Moonves, Rich Ross, Stacey Snider, Harvey Weinstein

Performers: Tim Allen, Annette Bening, Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Julie Bowen, Adrien Brody, Josh Brolin, Kate Capshaw, Chace Crawford, Kristin Davis, Viola Davis, Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Aaron Eckhart, Chris Evans, Jamie Foxx, Jon Hamm & Jennifer Westfeldt, Tom Hanks & Rita Wilson, Samuel L. Jackson, Elton John, Joel McHale, Eva Mendes, Lea Michele, Helen Mirren, Matthew Morrison, Gary Oldham, Teresa Palmer, Gwyneth Paltrow, David Spade, Hailee Steinfeld, Eric Stonestreet, Taylor Swift, Sofia Vergara, Mia Wasikowska

Producers and execs: Ashok Amritraj, Mark Canton, Gary Gilbert, Anne Globe, Chris McGurk, Hawk Koch, John Palermo, Jamie Patricof, Joel Silver, Nancy Utley

Directors and writers: Gil Cates, Lisa Cholodenko, Taylor Hackford, Michael Mann, Kenny Ortega, Adam Shankman, Aaron Sorkin

Agents: Ari Emanuel, Richard Lovett, Chris Silbermann, Patrick Whitesell

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