Strong showings for "Eighth Grade" and "You Were Never Really Here" highlight the Independent Spirit Award nominations                Review: Round-Up: "At Eternity's Gate", "The Clovehitch Killer", "Jonathan", and "The Last Race"                "Green Book" is a crowd pleaser of the highest order and a definite Oscar contender                Steve McQueen and a phenomenal ensemble cast help make "Widows" look effortless                "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" offers something for every type of Coen Brothers fan                Updated Academy Award predictions for early November                Review Round-Up: "Dr. Seuss' The Grinch", "El Angel" "The Long Dumb Road", and "Outlaw King"                Taking a look at potential Best Documentary Feature contenders                "The Front Runner" is a terrific and timely film for right around Election Day                Hollywood Film Awards Marked the Launch of Awards Season                Taking a first crack at Golden Globe predictions                “The Favourite” and “The Front Runner”: Films to see in November                Awkwafina to Host 22nd Hollywood Film Awards                Review Round-Up: "Bodied", "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms", and "The Other Side of the Wind"                Rosamund Pike is a force to be reckoned with in "A Private War"        

Oscars: DiCaprio, JLO, Colin Firth, A List for King’s Speech

By Roger Friedman Oscar alert: Michelle Williams, nominated for Best Actres in “Blue Valentine,” is battling a cold. She’ll be at the Oscars, but maybe in a ski parka considering the frigid– for Los Angeles–weather. Scott Rudin, producer of both “True Grit” and “The Social Network” is now said not to be coming. The blogger Nikki Finke has been punished by the Academy for publishing what she thinks is the rundown of the entire Oscar show and pronouncing it a bore–very dumb. Charlie Sheen has taped an ABC TV interview without advise or counsel of his publicist, Stan Rosenfield.

But the Oscars go on, as they must! Harvey Weinstein, bracing for a “King’s Speech” win, threw the best party of the weekend so far at SoHo House with dozens and dozens of stars from Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter to web moguls Jeff Bezos (the founder of and Sean Parker (of Facebook fame). Indeed, Harvey’s party spilled onto the edge of the Soho House patio overlooking West Hollywood with Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Brett Ratner and Bradley Cooper–then the very large presence of Quinton Aaron of last year’s “The Blind Side” appeared, and yours truly scooted back up the stairs to terra firma where more sensible people like Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx were doing their shmoozing less like sardines.

And everywhere you went in Soho House you ran into old friends or refugees from Jeffrey Katzenberg’s The Night Before party at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Maybe because the Motion Picture Fund has settled its scandalous situation with the Motion Picture Fund, more stars arrived at the BHH at least for the photo op and some kind of gift bag. In the famed Polo Lounge, though, because they’d arrived early, I ran into a hot threesome at a small table by the lounge singer: Jude Law, Robert Downey Jr. and his very smart, beautiful producer wife Susan, who’s guided these two guys now through their second “Sherlock Holmes” movie. Watch out for that Susan Downey, kids: she knows what she’s doing! Soon Reese Witherspoon arrived, the gang had a drink in a banquet and then braced themselves for the evening.

And in the lobby: Hugh Jackman and wife Debra Lee, looking like movie stars in black tie; Amy Adams and Darren LeGallo, 14 year old nomineee Hailee Steinfeld, and so on.

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