As the stars gear up for Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony, many hit the red carpet in Santa Monica for the 28th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards. There, Oscar contenders Jennifer Lawrence, David O. Russell and Helen Hunt each won big in their respective categories, while Quvenzhane Wallis hit the stage to introduce her film, Beasts of the Southern Wild.
But the Spirit Awards certainly wasn’t the only pre-Oscar festivity Saturday. There were big events at the Chateau Marmont and Soho House, along with the THR-sponsored “Night Before” party benefiting the MPTF (which limited press coverage, but photos can be seen here.)
The Hollywood Reporter catches all the action from Hollywood’s hottest Saturday Oscar fetes …
10:30 a.m.: Guests begin trickling in on the red carpet during the early hours of the Spirit Awards.
11:30 a.m.: Montblanc’s brunch at the Hotel Bel-Air is an indoor/outdoor affair. Designer Domenico Vacco, who previously announced he was dressing Daniel Day-Lewis and Alan Arkin for the Oscars, gets congratulated, while Aussie actress Rachel Griffiths confesses she was due in L.A. on Monday but popped in a few days early. Emmy Rossum wore a fit ‘n’ flare black-and-white cocktail dress by Naeem Kahn. Also in the bagel-sated crowd: Stacy Keach, Arkin, Danny Huston, and Kathy and Rick Hilton.
1:50 p.m.: “I wanna know what’s in the best first screenplay’s punch,” quips Matthew McConaughey onstage at the Spirit Awards. Derek Connolly, who won best first screenplay for Safety Not Guaranteed, appears visibly intoxicated during his rambling acceptance speech.
2:45 p.m.: “I’m gonna break your f—ing neck, seriously,” Jeremy Renner threatens Spirit Awards host Andy Samberg, who introduced the actor after an off-beat comment in which he declared Michael Jordan the greatest basketball player of all time. At the end of the ceremony, Samberg retorted: “Jeremy Renner, I will see you in the parking lot.”
3:20 p.m.: Dennis Quaid, before announcing Silver Linings Playbook as best feature at the Spirit Awards, compares the film industry and awards circuit to a David and Goliath story. “Today, here, we are honoring David,” he says.
3:30 p.m.: Wallis’ introduction onstage to present a Beasts clip at the Spirits is screwed up by the teleprompter, so as everyone is leaving, she has to do it again for the taping. Everyone files out, and she stays onstage, reading her lines.
7:30 p.m: “There’s a lot of butts,” says the young son of a guest, surveying the opening of a show of photographs by fashion and celebrity photographer Mario Testino at the Prism Gallery on West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip. In one photo, mesh shorts barely masked one woman’s rear end, shot in tight focus and enlarged to in-your-face proportions. Another shows a model heaving herself out of the ocean, a large city in the background, butt in the foreground.
7:30 p.m. One of the best-dressed guest lists in town starts arriving to Madeo restaurant for the fifth annual Charles Finch and Chanel night before Oscar parties: January Jones, Jessica Chastain, Kate Bosworth, Rose Byrne, Bella Heathcote, Felicity Jones, Chloe Moretz, Zoe Kravitz and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley were all dressed in Chanel — chic black and white –while Bret Easton Ellis held court at the bar with Adrien Brody and Huston.
10 p.m. Eary arrivals at Saturday’s Chateau Marmont party hosted by WME’s Warren Zavala, Mandate Pictures president Nathan Kahane and Anonymous Content’s Michael Sugar and Doug Wald include Good Charlotte band brothers Joel Madden and Benji Madden, Josh Hartnett and Pamela Anderson, who took over a booth in the indoor room with a group of friends.
10:25 p.m. While everyone else drops off their car with valet in the driveway and then gets in line for the check-in desk (including Arbitrage screenwriter Nicholas Jarecki), an SUV pulls right up to the check-in desk and lets out Tobey Maguire, who walks right in.
10:33 p.m.: Focus Features head James Schamus noshes on appetizers while chatting with a journalist at Chateau Marmont.
10:45 p.m.: Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick orders a white wine from the bar at the crowded outdoor back patio at the Chateau. When he turns around with his drink, he’s blocked by a group of women making its way to the bar. “You are in nobody’s way, darling,” he says to one woman who apologizes to him. After he leaves, she says to her friend, “I just wanted to lick his face off.”
10:59 p.m.: It’s an indiegasm as Greta Gerwig and Diablo Cody chat with different people in the lobby of the Chateau. Cody is excited about former Baywatch star Anderson being at the party.
11 p.m.: At the Chateau, Anderson still turns heads as she holds court. More low key in the booth next to her is U.K. rocker Morrissey, who manages to go unnoticed by many.
11:30 p.m.: After spending some time in the outdoor tent at the Chateau party in the back talking to a brunette friend, Russell Brand speaks briefly with musician Kimbra, who had arrived much earlier in the night.
11:30 p.m: At The Weinstein Co. party at Soho House, Harvey Weinstein accepts congratulations for Silver Linings Playbook‘s domination at the Spirit Awards.
11:59 p.m.: Quentin Tarantino pushes past fans to make his midnight exit at Soho House.
12:00 a.m.: After walking around the Chateau party with a male friend, Twilight star Taylor Lautner sheds his brown leather jacket, showing off a form-fitting white t-shirt when he and friends gather at a booth in the inside room that featured the DJ and a bar.
12:00 a.m.: At Soho House, party planner Peggy Siegal holds court in the lobby at the bottom of the stairs leading up to the party, grabbing and greeting all big names that pass her in either direction, including Django Unchained supporting actor Oscar nominee Christoph Waltz, with whom she exchanges kisses on both cheeks.
12:05 a.m.: Oscar-winning producer Jeremy Thomas mingling upstairs near Soho House bar.
12:05 a.m.: Emma Watson makes her way into the Chateau Marmont party wearing dark makeup and a sophisticated side bun. Other partygoers include Lizzy Caplan, Patricia Clarkson, Miranda Cosgrove and Michael Gladis.
12:10 a.m.: At Chateau Marmont, Morrissey speeds down the staircase toward the valet as a gaggle of (female) fans debate whether to follow.
12:11 a.m.: Security begins limiting entry to the garden area — the coolest gathering spot — at the Soho House, and people begin flipping out as they wait in line forever while random people get waved in ahead of them.
12:15 a.m.: Warner Bros.’ Sue Kroll and Blair Rich arrive at the Chateau from the “Night Before” party. Kroll receives a giant bear hug from manager Sugar, who reps Argo writer Chris Terrio. Sugar, one of the hosts of the party, says he wants it to become an annual tradition but that the event needs a name. He and the other organizers thought about calling it “The Late Night Before,” but he worries “Night Before” host Jeffrey Katzenberg might not approve.
12:15 a.m.: Brody, who is celebrating the 10th anniversary of his best actor Oscar win for The Pianist, is escorted into and through the Soho House Weinstein party.
12:20 a.m.: Couple Dave Franco (James’ bro) and Alison Brie (Mad Men, Community) chat with people stuck in line waiting to get into the garden at Soho House, as does Chase Crawford (who eventually gives up and takes off).
12:30 a.m.: Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet appears on the ledge at Chateau Marmont overlooking the DJ booth and bops his head to the music. He makes his way into the main room, agreeing to take photos with several partygoers along the way.
12:30 a.m.: Paul Haggis makes the rounds at the Chateau Marmont party, which is sponsored by Grey Goose Vodka.
12:30 a.m.: Anna Faris joins her manager, and one of the party hosts, Wald in the center of garden. Faris’ husband (and Zero Dark Thirty co-star) Chris Pratt also is in attendance. Nearby, Terrio chats with Franklin Leonard of Black List fame. Leonard has a thank-you credit on Silver Linings Playbook because he read the script early and got Sydney Pollack to buy it. (Leonard left Pollack’s company before the movie got made.)
12:30 a.m.: Stanley Tucci checks himself out in the mirror before entering the Chateau party and joining friends like Clarkson.
12:40 a.m.: Tuxedoed Jesse Tyler Ferguson and fiance Justin Mikita cross paths with The Big Bang Theory‘s Johnny Galecki. Emily Owens, M.D. star Mamie Gummer and Southland‘s Ben MacKenzie are behind them (not together). John Krasinski (sans wife Emily Blunt) is nearby.
12:44 a.m.: At Soho House, Weinstein and friends get walked into the garden as he tells an associate, “The fire marshal’s about to shut this down.”
12:54 a.m.: Inside the garden area at Soho House, Django Unchained star Jamie Foxx is the biggest name and focus of a lot of attention, graciously greeting all comers. Weinstein is chatting with True Blood star Alexander Skarsgard.
1:15 a.m.: Joaquin Phoenix hops into his black Lexus SUV and speeds away as paparazzi and autograph-seekers yell from behind a gate across the street at Chateau Marmont.