Viola Davis, Isabelle Huppert, Dev Patel and others party at Spago for pre-Oscars soiree

Several Academy Award contenders converged on Spago Beverly Hills this week when the Hollywood Reporter kicked off pre-Oscar celebrations by feting this year’s nominees.

The star-studded Feb. 6 affair drew Dev Patel (“Lion”), Naomie Harris (“Moonlight”), Isabelle Huppert (“Elle”), Jeff Bridges (“Hell or High Water”), Viola Davis (“Fences”), Justin Timberlake (“Can’t Stop the Feeling” for “Trolls”) and directors Damien Chazelle (“La La Land”) and Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival”).

Also in the mix were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Faye Dunaway, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Piers Morgan, 8-year-old Sunny Pawar (“Lion”) and others.

More than merely a cocktail party, the shindig boasted a performance by Aloe Blacc and a deejay set by Wiz Khalifa, and anyone desiring a memento was able get a picture taken in a photo booth, which offered 3-D animated GIFs.

Also partaking of the sushi bar, dinner buffet and other treats were several nominees hoping for other-than-acting Oscars.

Arianne Sutner, producer of the animated feature “Kubo and the Two Strings,” enjoyed the festivities from a banquette beside the stage, where Blacc had performed earlier that evening.

Another Oscar hopeful, Amanda Deering Jones, stood nearby alongside her co-producers of “Borrowed Time,” which is up for an Academy Award in the animated short category.

And how long did it take for the team to get to this star-studded night?

“We made the film working part-time for five years,” she said.

Ellen Olivier is founder of SocietyNewsLA.



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