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Real fun starts after the Globes

Special to The Times

The big Golden Globes after-parties, all to be held in the newly renovated Beverly Hilton, are now locked and loaded. About 6,000 guests are expected to make the rounds of five bashes, right after the televised awards show wraps on Jan. 16.

Here’s where everyone’s headed.

Universal, Focus Features and NBC will celebrate in high style on the hotel’s parking garage roof. And with 22 nominations -- including “Pride & Prejudice,” “King Kong,” “Munich,” “The Constant Gardener,” “Brokeback Mountain” and “The Producers” -- well, you do the star count.

This see-and-be scene, held in a lavish outdoor tent, will definitely be a hot ticket. So plan your party-going carefully. As with most things in life, timing is everything.

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“Last year the body count for that space was 800, and we’ll stick close to that number this year,” says Brian O’Connor, Beverly Hilton’s public relations director.

InStyle and Warner Bros. will gather in the newly renovated space called The Oasis, which has multilevel entertainment and seating. This is officially the largest party of the night with 1,000 guests expected. Look out for George Clooney and Charlize Theron, neither of whom is very hard on the eyes.

HBO, with 17 nominations, will have its usual packed pool party at the newly renovated Aqua Star Pool. And as in years past, the network bash will also take over Merv Griffin’s restaurant, which will be gutted immediately afterward to create an as-yet-unnamed new “fine dining experience” in the hotel.

The Weinstein Co., back in Harvey and Bob’s former Miramax party spot, Trader Vic’s, will also have a tented outside space with seating, bars and plenty of room to mix and mingle. Expect “Transamerica” switch-hitter Felicity Huffman, “Matador” leading man Pierce Brosnan and “Mrs. Henderson Presents” Judi Dench.

Rumor is that Showtime was going to take over the Stardust Room for its first big Globes party. But at the last minute, Fox jumped in and made the eighth-floor suite its den of festivities to celebrate potential wins (or mourn losses) for “Walk the Line” and “24.”

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Festivals offer a winning guarantee

Wanna hold a festival that will draw scads of A-list stars? Just give everyone awards.

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The upcoming 17th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival and the 21st annual Santa Barbara International Film Festival are growing in stature thanks, in part, to prominent actors and filmmakers who pop by to pick up an award in the weeks leading to the Oscars.

Curious about what award goes to which star? Thought so.

At the Palm Springs Gala (Jan. 5-16), David Cronenberg (“A History of Violence”) is receiving the Sonny Bono visionary award. Jake Gyllenhaal (“Brokeback Mountain”) is getting the Desert Palm actor achievement award. Terrence Howard (“Hustle & Flow”) wins the rising star award and Felicity Huffman (“Transamerica”) gets a breakthrough performance award.

“Sideways” producer Michael London, who just released “The Family Stone,” receives a producer of the year award. Shirley MacLaine (“In Her Shoes”) takes home the lifetime achievement award.

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In Santa Barbara, where the fest runs Feb. 2-12, George Clooney (“Good Night and Good Luck,” “Syriana”) will become a SBFF modern master on Feb. 3, honored for his achievements as an actor, director, writer and producer. The next day Naomi Watts (“King Kong”) gets the Montecito award.

On Feb. 8, Golden Globe nominee Heath Ledger will receive the breakthrough performance of the year award for “Brokeback Mountain.”

On Feb. 11, Philip Seymour Hoffman will get the American Riviera award, which, according to press material, goes to an actor “whose past achievements and continued perseverance in film has enriched society as a whole.”

Hoffman’s films include “Boogie Nights,” “Cold Mountain,” “Almost Famous,” “Magnolia,” “Happiness,” “Along Came Polly” and the upcoming “Mission Impossible III.” Not to mention his Golden Globe-nominated turn in “Capote.”

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Forget perseverance. Call it the versatility award.

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Phoenix walks to Folsom Prison

It was probably inevitable: Joaquin Phoenix is going to jail. Sort of.

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Reprising Johnny Cash’s historic appearance at Folsom State Prison, the Golden Globe-nominated actor will appear at a special screening of “Walk the Line” at the Represa, Calif., penitentiary on Tuesday.

The appearance is being promoted as being reminiscent of Cash’s Jan. 13, 1968, concert. Despite strong resistance from his record label, the singer performed at the prison after getting thousands of letters from inmates around the country about how his music put them on the path to redemption.

This time, Folsom’s Prison Fellowship and chaplain Larry West extended the invitation to the studio to screen the Cash biopic for inmates. As Joe Avila, California executive director of the prison fellowship, explains, “The lesson of Johnny Cash is that it’s never too late for a man to turn his life around, and that’s a story these men need to hear.”

Not to sound cynical, but from an Oscar campaign perspective, it wouldn’t hurt if news about this Folsom screening inspires more academy members to, um, walk the line.

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Elizabeth Snead writes “Styles & Scenes” as a blog for The Envelope (theenvelope.com), a Times website devoted to Hollywood’s awards season.


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