It's Sunday night, freezing, and most major industry businesses are about to creak back to full power the next morning after a long holiday break -- the perfect time for a champagne jumpstart to this first of many awards weeks to come.
As Golden Globe nominee Connie Britton ('Nashville") caught up with Kate Bosworth over Brancott Estate wines on the patio at Cecconi's, "Homeland's" late Abu Nasir (Navid Neghaban) could barely polish off tiramisu at his corner table without interruption, infinitely more popular than he was at the same Audi Golden Globes kickoff party exactly a year ago.
A few feet away, Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber had a reserved table near Britton, illustrating the celebratory rally of both the TV and film worlds to come this week.
Here are your cocktail party talking points to use on the top social circles during what is now Oscar Nominations Week, Critics' Choice Week, and Globes Weekend. Who will be out where, and why will Prince Harry tilt the "international" slant of the Globes? Read on.
Critics' Choice Movie Awards *Top Pick*
Santa Monica's Barker Hangar, 5 P.M.
The CW nabbed this show away from VH1 just in time. With Oscar nominations announced just 10 hours earlier, this now becomes the debutante ball, further muzzling the Globes' awards relevancy.
For all the "eye-rolling" (as one insider called it) about Judd Apatow's Genius Award, the defense presents Exhibit A, his infamous off-the-cuff stand-up routine tearing down the Hollywood awards that he scribbled on his program during that dinner; and Exhibit B, the planned huddle of 30 Apatow "friends and family" just after the show for a Louis XIII Cognac toast that feels like a photo destined to land in a "Hollywood in the 2000's" coffee table book.
Critics' Choice After Party
Santa Monica Airport, Following the Show
No more Palladium means no more walking down Sunset Boulevard. The after-party is on-site.
AFI Awards - *Top Pick*
Four Seasons Beverly Hills Ballroom, Luncheon
Talent, not from concentrate. The top 10 movies and top 10 TV shows of the year are all voted winners, with a scholarship to the AFI Conservatory given for each one. With no speeches and almost no personal publicists or "teams," AFI's Bob Gazzale lets the mingling run its course. A tough invite, but worth it if you can get it.
Film Independent Filmmaker Grant and Nominee Brunch
Boa Steakhouse, Hollywood, 11 A.M.
Jeremy Renner and Salma Hayek co-chair six weeks before Film Independent's big Saturday by the beach.
BAFTA LA Award Season Tea - *Top Pick*
Four Seasons, Beverly Hills, 2 P.M.
Everyone from studio presidents to TV royalty, and many a guest with an actual title from the Queen. We have a few favorite deviled eggs eaters we'd like to see here, and most of their names end in Crawley.
However, this photo (right) of American royalty -- Leonardo DiCaprio and Meryl Streep -- is par for the course in one of the top rooms of the year.
Art of Elysium Heaven Gala
The 2nd St. Tunnel Downtown, 7 PM
Art of Elysium is refreshing its events, and having a black tie ball in a traffic tunnel should definitely do it.
Nine-time Academy Award nominee Colleen Atwood ("Chicago," "Memoirs of a Geisha") designed her vision of heaven ("where the sea meets the sky in the mist of the eye") for this fundraiser that brings arts programs to hospitalized children.
Gerard Butler (left), Jeffrey Katzenberg, Ryan Kavanaugh, Courtney Cox, James Franco, Ciroc, UTA, WME, ICM, Untitled, Revolution Studios and Brent Bolthouse and his young Hollywood crowd are all onboard.
G'Day USA Los Angeles Black Tie Gala
JW Marriott at LA Live, 6 PM
John Travolta's the headliner, but one of the two Aussies who played French this year (Hugh Jackman of "Les Miserables") will be downtown instead of down-under. Past honoree Russell Crowe, and Jackman's "Les Miz" co-star, may not be far behind.
38th Annual LA Film Critics Association Awards
InterContinental in Century City, 6 PM
"The Master's" best outing of the weekend. LAFCA president Stephen Farber presides over the already-announced winners including Paul Thomas Anderson (Director), Joaquin Phoenix (Actor), and Amy Adams (Supporting Actress), all from "The Master."
Showtime's Cast and Brass Dinner Party
Chateau Marmont, West Hollywood, 7:30 PM
Awards nominees from "Homeland," "Episodes," and Don Cheadle's "House of Lies" will gather.
The Golden Globe Awards
Beverly Hilton, International Ballroom. Red Carpet Starts at 3 PM
In the ballroom or just faking it an after party, study up on TheWrap Editor-in-Chief Sharon Waxman's inside account on why thousands of dinner plates go untouched (at 4:30 in the afternoon) and why you need Jean Valjean or Matthias Schoenaert's muscle profile to get tipsy.
NBC Universal Viewing and After Party
Roof of the Parking Lot
Time has run out on "Sunday Night Football" for the season, but the No. 1 network and Globes host will still rule on this Sunday night, with home team players Tina Fey and Amy Poehler at the helm.
E!'s newest reality darlings "The Saturdays" -- a popular Brit girl group, one of whom may or may not be Prince Harry's valentine -- will perform.
Poolside and Circa 55
An armada of above-the-title names, an indoor/outdoor hybrid locale and real-time reaction to "Girls," as Season 2 premieres simultaneously with the red carpet arrivals, should make this event a winner..
Despite a long line in the lobby they deserve an award for computerized check-in efficiency. Even if Larry David isn't there, beware. Last year, The Hollywood Reporter's Janice Min pulled a "chat-and-cut,"...on me.
Fox Searchlight, 20th Century Fox, and Fox TV Studios
Robinson's May Building Lot
A view of Fox's 2012 Golden Globes set up, and Gary Newman and Jim Gianopolus inside last year's bash.
The Old Trader Vics
This one features a "We Are the World" of talent.
The regulars include Madonna, Kim Kardashian, Jessica Alba, Cameron Diaz, Michael Douglas, a gaggle of Hiltons, Al Roker, Jennifer Lopez, and Lindsay Lohan (left, at the 2012 party).
Expect this year's crop of active Weinstein players: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Quentin Tarantino, Jamie Foxx, Don Johnson, Dustin Hoffman, David O. Russell, Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Tucker, Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, a bunch of financiers, three tents, two rooms, and never a line for the bathroom.
With a singing Maggie Smith in "Quartet," a Dowager Countess collaboration with party-regular Diddy born on this night could be tearing up Spotify by the Grammys.
Wherever you float in the Beverly Hilton, come back here late. Rumor has it there will be a Fatburger invasion after hours.
Freebies, Pampering, and Swag
Like Jamie Foxx's Django picking out his new bounty-hunter wardrobe, you can have almost anything you like in the suites. Load up.
InStyle's Beauty Lounge at the Four Seasons will push anyone who missed a wake-up call upstairs through a beauty carwash and spit them out ready for the AFI lunch in minutes: You can get makeup (L'Oreal), The Shave of Beverly Hills (for Ben Affleck-type scruff), and unisex manicures/eyebrow shaping. (Friday and Saturday, by appointment only with PR Dept.)
For sparkle and flair, there are spray tans, hair braids and buns, teeth whitening (thanks, Colgate), manicures, Koolaburra shoes and Mavi Denim at the Joico-branded Nine Zero One Salon in West Hollywood. (Friday and Saturday, by appointment only with Fingerprint Communications.)
Swag will be provided by Motorola, L'Oreal Paris, Tivo (yup, still "bleep-bleep-bleeping"), and Pandora at HBO's Luxury Lounge inside the Four Seasons.
And if all this makes you want to get away from it all, Kari Feinstein's Style Lounge at the W Hollywood has trips to Turks and Caicos and Miami. Their tiered system promises A-listers a gameshow-esque $5,000 in goodies on Thursday and Friday.
Remember, all of these events are private, by invitation, confirmation, and security clearance only. Even then, we're not sure they'll have anybody's name on the list when it matters.
Take two aspirin and drink lots of water.
Photo Credits:Beverly Hilton Atmosphere by Jason Merrit/Getty Images; Diddy and Lawrence Bender by Getty Images for Chopard; Fox Golden Globes Atmosphere courtesy of Fox; HBO Atmosphere courtesy of Jason Merrit/Getty Images; Leonardo DiCaprio and Meryl Streep by Todd Williamson/Wireimage for BAFTA LA; Moet by self; Newman and Gianopolus courtesy of Fox; Hugh Bonneville by self; Kate Bosworth and Connie Britton, Liev Schrieber and Naomi Watts by Wireimage/Audi; Judd Apatow and Ben Affleck by Christopher Polk/Getty Images; NBC Universal Atmosphere by Michael Buckner, Getty Images; Lindsay Lohan by Stefanie Keenan for Getty Images for Chopard; Gerard Butler by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.