Margot Robbie, Penélope Cruz, Robert De Niro, Tracee Ellis Ross and Michael Keaton were among the stars who turned out for the Chanel and Charles Finch pre-Oscars dinner held at the Beverly Hills Hotel’s Polo Lounge on Saturday night.
With a celebratory mood in the air, Robbie shared her practical perspective on Oscar nominations. “It just means that hopefully more people will watch the movie,” said the “Bombshell” star. “I particularly want men to see the film. Awards recognition can do that. So it’s a wonderful thing.”
As a Chanel ambassador, Robbie has worn a variety of looks by the luxury label throughout awards season, including a metallic-and-white jumpsuit at the Golden Globes in January; a blue plaid ruffled dress at the Screen Actors Guild Awards last month; and a black lace gown at the British Academy Film Awards a week ago.
Robbie said she enjoyed collaborating with the French fashion house. “You end up going through a lot of archival images and a lot of images that I recognize from being young and seeing the Oscars from the outside [looking in],” she said of working with Chanel to nail down the right ensemble. “To feel [like] a part of that is surreal but special. Creating what that look is going to be and, in doing so, paying homage to the brand and everything you’ve always known about it and also being a part of where it goes in the future is a lovely line to walk.”
For the 12th year, the intimate cocktail party and dinner attracted a who’s who of tastemakers from the worlds of film and fashion. Per tradition, a mariachi band was at the soiree’s entrance.
“It’s like a mariachi greeting committee,” Demi Moore said with a laugh, heading inside with talent manager Jason Weinberg.
Chanel-clad guests also included Sofia Coppola, Lucy Boynton, Camila Morrone, Rashida Jones, Annabelle Wallis and Caitriona Balfe, in addition to Chris Pine, Danny Huston, Jared Harris, Arianne Phillips, Minnie Driver, Harvey Keitel, Dylan McDermott and Joan Collins.
Guests dined on Caesar salad, the Polo Lounge’s classic fried chicken, steak frites and roasted cauliflower steak. As ice cream sundaes were served, a band played Beatles cover songs.
Cruz wandered the party with “Pain and Glory” writer-director Pedro Almodóvar. “It’s a really strong year,” Cruz said of the nominees, singling out performances by Scarlett Johansson, Laura Dern and Renee Zellweger as among her favorites, in addition to that of her costar Antonio Banderas. “It’s not so different from other years because I’ve been at the Oscars a few times with Pedro. So it’s the same group of friends.”
“Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood” star Margaret Qualley reflected on what being a part of the Oscar-nominated film meant to her. “I’ve loved Quentin Tarantino and all of his movies forever,” she said. “I feel really lucky.” Qualley, who also stars in Chanel’s new spring 2020 eyewear campaign, said she hoped to sleep in on the morning of the Oscars. “Hopefully, I won’t be too anxious,” said the actress, who later caught up with “Booksmart” star Kaitlyn Dever.
Judd Apatow kept close to his wife, actress Leslie Mann. “We always wonder who we’re going to be seated next to,” Apatow said. “That’s the big talk during the day. … Last year, we sat next to Sam Rockwell and Leslie Bibb.” This year, they discovered they were seated next to Robbie and director David O. Russell.
Apatow is gearing up for the SXSW Film Festival, which will debut his dramedy “The King of Staten Island,” starring “Saturday Night Live” comedian Pete Davidson. “It’s a very personal story that’s fictional but inspired by his life and his feelings about everything that he’s gone through,” Apatow said. “And it’s a very sweet, very moving but funny performance. I’m excited for people to see it.”
Singer Maggie Rogers hung out with Carson Meyer, an actress and doula. Rogers reminisced about the vintage embroidered Chanel dress she wore to this year’s Grammy Awards. The 25-year-old said she often preferred to wear vintage. “I think about my carbon footprint,” she said. “As a musician, I’m on a plane all the time, which is unavoidable for my job, but when I stop to think about what my impact on the environment is, it really stresses me out. Anything I can do to minimize it is important to me.”
The singer, who was nominated and performed at the Grammys, said the past year had been surreal. “So many dreams beyond dreams have come together this year,” she said.
After posing for photographers, Apatow and Mann did a comedy bit, channeling characters from their 2012 comedy “This Is 40.”
“Now, after you’ve taken all your pictures, I’m fixing your tie,” Mann said, straightening Apatow’s decorative tie. She assessed her handiwork and then shook her head. “Whoops! Wait. Is that right? It doesn’t seem like that’s tied right.”
“It probably isn’t,” Apatow said.
“But what a cute tie! Isn’t that a cute tie?” Mann pointed to the tie’s quirky red hearts. “He [picked] that himself. What does that mean? Hearts on his tie? What do you want? What are you after?”
“I was trying to be, like, fancy,” the director said. “It is Valentine’s Day next week, you know.”