Recession Forces Oscars To Cut Back On Parties


When last year’s post-writer’s strike Oscars rolled around, there was a lot of talk about how it wasn’t appropriate to hold lavish parties. But Vanity Fair, which cancelled last year’s shindig but is throwing a smaller, cozier affair at Graydon Carter’s buddy’s restaurant, already indicated that a worldwide recession is no reason to keep from partying. Just do it tastefully.

“You want to celebrate nominations but at the same time be respectful of the fact that a lot of people have lost jobs, and it’s a bad economic climate,” one studio exec involved with event planning told Variety. “You want to have an appropriate level of celebration without being ostentatious.

So, here’s this year’s list of Oscar parties, cobbled together from the above report in Variety, including who’s scaling back, who’s bowing out and who’s partying on.

Friday night is all about the agencies:

  • CAA’s Bryan Lourd is throwing his annual houseparty, which clients Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer will probably be attending.
  • endeavour’s holding a reception for its nominees at Ari Emanuel’s house.
  • WMA’s Ed Limato, who just signed Frost/Nixon nominee Frank Langella, will not having his party this year.

Saturday is a big party day:

  • There’s the Independent Spirit Awards and its IFC-hosted after-party at Shutters.
  • Universal/Focus and DreamWorks Animation will be hosting separate brunches for nominees.
  • Barry Diller and Diane Von Furstenberg will be holding their annual luncheon honouring Graydon Carter.
  • The Motion Picture & Television Fund, which needs a benefit this year, is holding its seventh annual Night Before party on Saturday at the Beverly Hills Hotel. But there will be no gift bags, and the Friday-night event has been axed.
  • Saturday night, Miramax and Disney will celebrate their nominations on the rooftop of the London Hotel.
  • Focus Features will have a party at BLT Steak.
  • Sony Pictures Classics will throw a bash at Cecconi’s. 
  • Paramount and Warner Bros. are not having parties (even though we imagine Warner Bros has enough Dark Knight, Yes Man, Gran Torino, He’s Just Not That Into You and Friday the 13th money to do so).
  • The Weinstein Company is magnanimously throwing a party for all nominees at Andaz West Hollywood.

Oscar night, Sunday:

  • The “East Meets West”- (aka “Slumdog Millionaire wins”)-themed Governors ball is expected to host 1,500 guests.
  • Vanity Fair will be at the Sunset Tower for its viewing and after-party, at which roughly 800 guests are expected.
  • Elton John will have his viewing party to raise money for the Elton John AIDS Foundation at the Pacific Design centre. 650 guests are expected as is a performance by Raphael Saadiq.
  • Demi, Madonna and Guy Oseary will host their second-annual Oscar after-party at Oseary’s house. It’s a bit hard to get into, in person, at least, but will Demi and Ashton be twittering from inside?
  •  InStyle will have its 10th annual viewing party at the new club, My House, and is expecting 250 guests.
  • Leeza Gibbons, Olivia Newton-John and David Foster are having a charity viewing and after-party at Mr. Chow.
  • Jennifer Love Hewitt will be hosting APLA’s charity viewing party at the Abbey.
  • And Prince is expected to have his uber-late house party at his Beverly Park estate.
  • And finally, Fox Searchlight will be partying at One Sunset after the show—better hope you win all the awards you’re expecting to get.