Awards season. It’s enough to make an A-lister’s heart flutter and a producer’s ulcer flare. Meanwhile, film critics and pundits are sharpening steely prose and crafting lofty praise for their loved and loathed projects. Not everyone of course is going to make it to the podium during this year’s 86th Annual Academy Awards, being held Sunday, March 2. But there actually is one category where everyone comes out a winner: Visitors. If you’re lucky enough to be in LA during Oscar time, you don’t have to sit on the sidelines even if you haven’t secured a spot on the red carpet. The following is our Hollywood cheat-sheet of how to enjoy this highpoint of the LA social calendar even if you’re “Almost Famous.”
• Check Out the Heroes Exhibit at AMPAS
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is Oscar’s boss. As in the governing body which votes for nominees and is comprised of a who’s who in the industry. The Beverly Hills headquarters’ Grand Lobby also regularly features exhibitions during awards season. This year the focus will be on celebrating movie heroes, which will also be the theme of the Oscar ceremony. Open through March 5, the exhibit features photos, posters and film clips from 80 films spanning nine decades ranging from The Grapes of Wrath to The Dark Knight.
• Dressed for Success, Hollywood Style
Often overlooked but really one of the most remarkable elements of filmmaking are the incredible costume designs that set the tone for people, places and time periods. Each year, LA’s FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising) mounts an exhibition of the previous year’s Oscar winner for Best Costume Design, which means that through April 26, you can view the gorgeous designs for Anna Karenina designed by Jacqueline Durran.
• Party Like an A-lister at the Global Green USA Event
There’s nothing Oscar likes better than a party, so why not join the fun? Especially when it’s the greenest of all the Oscar parties, raising funds for environmental causes. You don’t have to be a nominee or even a Hollywood type to attend. Just be willing to fork over anywhere from $125 to $1,250 for individual tickets to rub elbows in the heart of Hollywood with 1,000 of your closest new friends including celebs like Orlando Bloom, Willie Nelson and Helen Hunt. This year’s pre-Oscar party is scheduled for Feb. 26 and features a live performance by Moby and a DJ set by The Crystal Method.
• Stay Stylish at Kimpton During Awards Season
Maybe you’re hosting a watch party or just want to kick it up a notch during your next LA stay. Kimpton’s Hotel Wilshire in the Miracle Mile district and Hotel Palomar Westwood both feature suites and packages designed to let you stay like a star and celebrate in awards-season style any time of the year. Hotel Wilshire options include our 1,100 square foot Penthouse suite and The High Life package featuring a couples’ massage, a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Champagne and a special amenity prepared by our celebrity chef, Eric Greenspan. The Hotel Palomar Westwood dials it up with suites featuring soaking tubs, living rooms and panoramic views of the city skyline. And the hotel’s BLVD 16 restaurant serves tempting fare including in-room options like the Made In LA package — it’s brimming with goodies like blue corn tortilla chips, fresh pico de gallo and warm cinnamon churros perfect for your viewing party.
— Eric Hiss