This story first appeared in the Jan. 18 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
By the downstairs pool
The pool had its moment of glory in 1999, when Angelina Jolie jumped in after her best actress win for Gia. There probably won't be any pool jumps this year -- just the traditional HBO tribal gathering. But it's a large tribe. The cabler has 17 nominations, with Game Change leading the way with five. Fresh faces most likely to attend are Lena Dunham with Girls, Veep's Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jeff Daniels with The Newsroom.
NBC/Universal Pictures/Focus Features
There will be great joy in the tent atop the sixth-floor parking area if Les Miserables wins for best comedy/musical. (If not, there could be some jumping -- and we're not talking into pools.) There's a secret trick to bypassing the elevators and getting to this party using a hotel corridor, but we never would mention such a thing. If Hyde Park on Hudson nominee (and recluse from the Hollywood scene) Bill Murray makes it to a party, it will be this one.
This is the most lavish and complex affair. For example, it takes more than a week to construct the octagonal tent in the Oasis courtyard. One standout feature is Michelle Pesce DJ'ing for 1,200 guests who actually dance. At a Hollywood party, people actually dancing? Amazing. This -- and HBO's -- are the parties that usually stay lively the latest. What could bring major joy to this bash is if Warner Bros.' Ben Affleck film Argo wins big.
The Weinstein Co.
This is in two tents set near the old Trader Vic's space, which technically is not part of the Beverly Hilton -- so TWC can have outside catering (yes!) from House of An: Crustacean. Plus there's a DeLeon Tequila bar. If you've ever had the hotel food, you know these are good things. Last year, TWC had a big win with The Artist; this year, its best shots are Silver Linings Playbook, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, and Django Unchained.
The fifth-floor venue is the least sought-after (it has elevator access only and is oddly shaped), but a couple years ago, Sony made it the night's most happening fiesta when The Social Network won. Now AMC wants the same type of night with Breaking Bad and its star Bryan Cranston.
20th Century Fox
Tent on the old Robinsons store parking lot
With the company being the international distributor of DreamWorks' Lincoln, starring Daniel Day-Lewis, plus nominations for Life of Pi and Searchlight's The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel as well as its TV noms, Fox has many potential reasons to celebrate. The affair takes place in a tent that's a bit of a hike from the hotel but, as with the Weinstein party, has the advantage of outside catering.