Photo courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
The 95th Academy Awards are returning on Sunday, March 12 to the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles—where the year's biggest films, including Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Banshees of Inisherin, Elvis and The Fabelmans, will vie for Best Picture. But before Hollywood's crowning night, here's a look inside the flurry of events (benefits, gifting suites, fashion brand parties and more!) celebrating the industry and this year's contenders.
Photo by Michael Kovac/ Getty Images for Elton John AIDS Foundation
Hosted by Sir Elton John and David Furnish with special guests Eric McCormack and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, the 31st annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party returned to West Hollywood Park and raised over $9 million for the global effort to end the AIDS epidemic. Presenting sponsors of the coveted annual bash included Bob and Tamar Manoukian, NEURO Drinks, Chopard, ELTON JOHN EYEWEAR, Gilead Sciences, A+E Networks, Cheryl and Haim Saban, and Robert K. Kraft.
Among the guests who enjoyed a sit-down dinner while screening the show were Donatella Versace, Emma Watson, Wiz Khalifa, Heidi Klum, Dove Cameron, Hilary Duff, Brooke Shields, Rege Jean-Page, Sharon Osbourne, Sophia Bush, Smokey Robinson and Michael Imperioli. Dinner guests left with a Spotlight sunglass frame from the Elton John Eyewear collection—but not before hearing a high-energy performance by Rina Sawayama, and a duet between Sawayama and John, who sang the song “Chosen Family.”
Rina Sawayama and Elton John performing "Chosen Family"
Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman and Kristen Stewart, Photo by Matteo Prandoni/BFA.com
On Oscars eve, stars from the entertainment and fashion worlds gathered at the iconic Beverly Hills Hotel for CHANEL and Charles Finch's 14th annual Pre-Oscar Awards dinner. Due to founder Gabrielle Chanel's personal connections to film, the House of CHANEL has long supported the art of filmmaking and honored its history and future.
Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman and Kristen Stewart caught eyes—and camera flashes—when they arrived at the Polo Lounge for the starry dinner. CHANEL ambassador Stewart wore a black and white sequined knit top with matching shorts from the brand's Spring-Summer 2022/2023 Ready-to-Wear collection, while ambassador Cotillard opted for a black lace embrodered petticoat dress with black and silver dog motifs. Kidman sparkled in a blue and silver tweed jacket, with a matching mini backless dress embellished with black silk tulle flounces.
Best actress Oscar nominee Andrea Riseborough, dressed in a CHANEL black embroidered leather jacket and dress, caught up with last year's best actor winner Andrew Garfield. Other notables who mingled and dined in honor of CHANEL and cinema's big night included Ariana DeBose, Brie Larson, Danielle Deadwyler, Daniel Kaluuya, Jonathan Majors, Kerry Condon, Michael B. Jordan and Sarah Polley.
Andrea Riseborough and Andrew Garfield, photo by Billy Farrell/BFA.con
WIF CEO Kirsten Schaffer, Marlee Matin, Sian Heder and WIF Board President Emerita Cathy Schulman, photos by Stefanie Keenan/ Getty Images for WIF
Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, Women In Film (WIF) kicked off Oscar weekend with its 16th annual celebration of females in the entertainment industry and this year's 65 women from in front of and behind the camera who've been nominated for an Academy Award. A bevy of supporters (including Ashley Greene, Nina Dobrev, Raven-Symone, Lake Bell, Nicola Peltz Beckham and Nicky Hilton) and talent from the year's biggest films braved the rain for the festive event at NeueHouse Hollywood, presented by sponsors Johnnie Walker, Mercedes-Benz and longtime partner Max Mara—who's been working with WIF for over 15 years and dressed many of the VIPs.
Co-hosts Cathy Schulman, Oscar-winning producer and WIF Board President Emerita; Oscar-winning actor Marlee Matlin; and director and Oscar-winning screenwriter Siân Heder rallied the room with inspiring addresses. Noting that she was the first deaf performer to receive an Oscar, Matlin noted that Elvis' Mandy Walker could be the first woman to win an Oscar for cinematography. Heder spoke to the camaraderie among women filmmakers right now. "I feel like the louder we are for each other, the more that we can amplify each other’s voices, support each other’s stories, shout about each other’s movies—that’s how we move this forward,” she said.
Marlee Matlin adressing the crowd at WIF's Oscar Party
Then, per tradition, each nominee came to the stage and introduced herself, with the crowd showing particular love for ladies including Ruth E. Carter (Best Costume Design, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), Diane Warren (Best Original Song, Tell It Like a Woman), Sarah Polley (Best Adapted Screenplay, Women Talking), Walker (Best Cinematography, Elvis) and Shirley Kurata (Best Costume Design, Everything Everywhere All at Once). Before drinking and dancing into the night, the nominees congregated on stage for a class photo and raised their glasses in a toast.
Arnaud Michon and Ariana DeBose, photo by Virisa Yong/ BFA.com
At a stunning home with sweeping views on Blue Jay Way, Arnaud Michon, President & CEO of Swatch Group/OMEGA US Brand President, hosted an intimate pre-Oscar celebration honoring OMEGA Ambassador and Academy Award Winner, Ariana DeBose. Guests including Everything Everywhere All at Once supporting actor Oscar nominee Ke Huy Quan, Phil Dunster, Paloma Garcia-Lee, Angela Sarafyan, Luke Hemmings, Rob Raco, Gavin Casalegno, Calum Worthy, Sasha Luss and Darren Criss, enjoyed cocktails before sitting down to a three-course dinner with dishes including a trio of beef tenderloin tartare, oysters andhearts of palm; NY strip steak, seabass and cauliflower steak; and a duo of strawberry shortcake and chocolate ganache tart for dessert.
"We immediately recognized in you the OMEGA DNA, the OMEGA values," said Michon to DeBose, whom he thanked for being a part of the OMEGA family. "Because you're so committed to the precision of what you do. Looking at you in West Side Story dancing, doing all those notes as Anita, it was us—it was OMEGA." Then DeBose, who admitted she hadn't planned on speaking, rose and thanked guests for being there.
Ariana DeBose addressing the room at the OMEGA pre-Oscar party
The Australian Oscar nominees, all Australian Oscars Nominees Reception photos by Greg Doherty
From the penthouse of Chateau Marmont, Australian Consul-General Los Angeles Ambassador Jane Duke, Ausfilm, Screen Australia and Australians in Film (AiF) toasted to Oscar weekend and Australia's nominations in 10 categories with a celebratory soiree. Guests including Mandy Walker (director of photography, Elvis), Baz Luhrmann (director, Elvis), Catherine Martin (costume designer, Elvis) toasted to the Oscar nominations for the 2022 biographical drama—which took over two years to film during the pandemic, one guest who worked on the production relayed. While enjoying breathtaking views of the city, partygoers mingled and enjoyed passed hors d'oeuvres from mushroom tartlets to spinach puffs.
Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin with their daughter Lillian Lurhmann (center)
When she arrived, Tar best actress nominee Cate Blanchett summoned attention in her sparkling gold custom Louis Vuitton paillette sweater made of repurposed sequins and black leather pants. All guests left with a copy of the “Red Carpet: Oscars” book courtesy of Thames & Hudson, which features a foreword by Blanchett and an introduction by Giorgio Armani.
Cate Blanchett in Louis Vuitton
The Canadian Oscar nominees and Zaib Shaikh (right), photos courtesy of Canada & The Oscars
The Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles, Zaib Shaikh and Telefilm Canada welcomed this year's Canadian Oscar nominees and VIP guests to Canada's House for a festive poolside celebration of Canada's 2023 Oscar nominees. Among the nominees mingling and enjoying cocktails and passed hors d'oeuvres were Women Talking director and nominated adapted screenplay writer Sarah Polley; The Whale star Brendan Fraser and makeup artist Adrien Morot; and Turning Red director Domee Shi. The annual event—and Shaikh's lively adress calling out the nominees—is a favorite for uniting the Canadian film community.
Sarah Polley, Brendan Fraser and Domee Shi
Laura Harrier (right) and a guest at The Kiosk: Oscars Edition, photo by Loamis Rodriguez
After throwing pop-up events all over the world, Arman Naféei and his Are We On Air? interview series hosted The Kiosk: Oscars Edition with Oliver Peoples at the transporting Garden at Horses. Nafeei's worldly and creative friends, and guests including actress Laura Harrier and musician Mario, enjoyed passed pizzas, specialty cocktails and a DJ set by Moodymann, who kept them dancing into the night.
In advance of the 85th Oscars Governors Ball, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences previewed the food, beverages and decor guests can expect at this year's post-Oscar celebration—which immediately follows the awards on Sunday, at the Ray Dolby Ballroom. Master chef Wolfgang Puck will be catering the event for the 29th time. “We do probably 40 to 50 different things, and it’s all on small plates,” said Puck, who recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of his catering company, Wolfgang Puck Catering. "But everybody can taste different things, which is great."
Wolfgang showcases his liquid nitrogen-dipped chocolate Oscar cigars
Among the dishes on the menu are his smoked salmon Oscars matzah, chicken pot pie, cod bouillabaisse and English pea agnolotti. As an explosive dessert, he's doing chocolate Oscar cigars that are dipped in liquid nitrogen. From a new central bar with towering Oscar, guests will be sipping Tequila Don Julio cocktails—such as the Showtime Margarita or the Best Picture Paloma (see video on how to make it below)—as well as Domaine Clarence Dillon wines and Miraval Champagne.
Rendering courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Mixologist Andy Seymour demonstrates how to make Tequila Don Julio's Best Picture Paloma. Find the recipe here.
Christina Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver and Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt, photo by Araya Doheny/Getty Images for Visionary Women
A sea of fierce females flocked to the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills for Visionary Women's International Women's Day Celebration. After mingling and enjoying bubbly and passed hors d'oeuvres, the women migrated into the ballroom for an inspiring program and awards presentation. In their first-ever joint appearance on a public stage, Maria Shriver and daughters Katherine Schwarzenegger Pratt and Christina Schwarzenegger—Visionary Women's 2023 Changemakers of the Year for their service as journalists, authors and documentarians—engaged in a discussion led by Emmy award-winning journalist Giselle Fernandez.
"Especially in a town like this, it's very easy to feel small, it's very easy to feel invisible, it's very easy to feel like you don't matter, when you're surrounded by the Oscars, and this and that," said Shriver. "But I have learned in my journalism, my advocacy, is that we all matter, and that we can all make a tremendous difference in another human being's life by acknowledging them, by encouraging them, by giving them a hand." Christina, 31, spoke about making the 2018 Netflix documentary Take Your Pills following her own struggle with Adderall. Katherine, 33, a best-selling author, spoke about the interviews she did with women from Elizabeth Smart to Tanya Brown for her book The Gift of Forgiveness. Each woman in the audience left with a copy of her new children's book, Good Night, Sister.
Ruth E. Carter's Black Panther: Wakanda Forever costumes. Photo by Alex J. Berliner/ABImages.
For over 20 years, FIDM Museum has been celebrating costume design and the Oscar nominees with the Art of Costume Design in Film exhibit. This year's display includes costumes from 23 films from the 2022 season—including from all of the Oscar costume nominees (Babylon's Mary Zophres, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever's Ruth E. Carter, Elvis' Catherine Martin, Everything Everywhere All at Once's Shirley Kurata and Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris' Jenny Beavan. Additional work is also on display from famed costume designers such as Salvador Perez Jr. (former president of the Costume Designers Guild) and Arianne Phillips (who Reese Witherspoon famously enlisted to design the Time's Up pin for awards season in 2018). Designers such as Perez, Carter, Kurata, Mary Zophres, Graham Chuchyard and more attended the opening cocktail fete, and the exhibit will be open to the public at FIDM Museum through May 6.
Oscar nominee (and prior winner) Ruth E. Carter, photo by Benjamin Shmikler/ABImages.
Shirley Kurata with her costumes from Everything Everywhere All at Once, photo by Benjamin Shmikler/ABImages.
Photography by: Photo courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences