The Party Report: ‘Tis the Season for (Early) Oscar Campaigning

September means it‘s time for the studios to begin positioning their films for Academy Awards consideration

Benjamin Bratt and Willem Dafoe attend the U.S. premiere screening of "Dead For A Dollar" and Andrea Riseborough, Rami Malek, and Margot Robbie attend the 'Amsterdam' World Premiere at Alice Tully Hall on September 18, 2022.

With the Academy Awards not arriving until March 12, 2023, the term “long lead time” takes on a whole new meaning. But that’s not stopping anyone from getting on the campaign trail early.

It’s time, time for the parade of Oscar winners and multiple-time nominees to reveal their latest work and start the drums beating across the industry (and in the hearts of moviegoers, too) to get the buzz going. Who knows if these early contenders can beat out the Christmas releases? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, TV networks and streaming services are hard at it, showcasing their stars in a profusion of places to keep their shows at front of mind. Join us on a trip exploring the most interesting parties and premieres in recent weeks.

Alice Tully Hall, New York

Rami Malek, Andrea Riseborough, Margot Robbie and Christian Bale attend the European Premiere of 20th Century Studios and New Regency “Amsterdam” at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on September 21, 2022 in London, England.

The “Amsterdam” juggernaut of Oscar-winning actors (Christian Bale, Rami Malik, Robert De Niro) and multiple Academy Award nominees (director/writer David O. Russell has five, star Margot Robbie has two and Michael Shannon two) took to the road in September, premiering that wacky and weird film in London and New York, then bringing it to Los Angeles for special screenings at El Capitan and the Imax at AMC Century City, with Bale, Malik and Russell all making the scene in the City of Angels.

This stylized melange of ’30s thriller married with today’s crazy political times also stars a bunch of our favorite actors, including John David Washington, Chris Rock, Andrea Riseborough, Timothy Olyphant, Mike Myers and a totally wiggy Anya Taylor-Joy (though reviews, including TheWrap’s, haven’t been thrilled). The film opens wide on October 7, so we’ll all soon know if the world heads to theaters. And with Taylor Swift giving an effective supporting role performance opposite all these acting powerhouses, we’re pretty certain the Swifties of the world are going to “Run” to their closest movie palace to see her in action.

“Dead for a Dollar”
Directors Guild of America, Los Angeles

(L-R) Paolo Mastropietro, Jill Hennessy, Benjamin Bratt and Talisa Soto attend the U.S. premiere screening of “Dead For A Dollar” at Directors Guild of America on September 28, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Quiver Distribution)

“Dead for a Dollar” rode into town in Hollywood just before its opening day (September 30) with almost all of the Walter Hill-helmed Western’s big guns along for the ride – and gathered a posse of friends to join in the hoedown. Bad guy Benjamin Bratt wore Prada black from head to toe in keeping with his character, but in real life he was the friendliest guy at the pre-screening reception held in the DGA’s garden. He and his wife, Talisa Soto (who still looks like a ravishing Bond girl, 30 years later), brought pals Jill Hennessy and her hubbie, Paolo Mastropietro, to the party, where they ran into more “Friends of Walter” — including Keith and Robert Carradine, Jacqueline Bisset, John Savage and Caylee Cowan.

The film’s stars all turned out en masse, except for New Yorkers Rachael Brosnanhan and Brandon Scott – two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz and four-time nominee Willem Dafoe made the rounds along with Bratt, all drumming up the buzz, while Hamish Linklater huddled in a garden corner, seemingly avoiding the crush. Breakout lead Warren Burke joined his co-stars Otgadahe Whitman-Fox, Fidel Gomez, Diane Vilegas, Guy Burnet, Scott Peat and Luis Chavez in feeling the excitement, and Dafoe waxed ecstatic to us about returning to work with Walter Hill after, almost 40 years.

Willem Dafoe, Walter Hill and Christoph Waltz attend the U.S. premiere screening of “Dead for a Dollar” at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles, California. (Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Quiver Distribution)

“We made ‘Streets of Fire’ in 1984,” Dafoe remembered, “and Walter hasn’t changed at all. He’s still a magnificent screenwriter, it is all about the story for him. This film has so much in it that is relevant to today, with a central female character that isn’t that stoic pioneer woman nor the girl looking for love that we are used to seeing in Westerns. I heard Walter tell Rachel that in this movie, she’s a woman looking for respect. That’s a very different take on a Western, I think.” Watch the trailer here to get a taste of this oater that Hill told the audience was all about the cast. “I was privileged to have a splendid cast,” the 80-year-old writer-director said modestly. “I’m permanently in their debt. And I’m pleased to still be here!”

Regal LA Live Theaters, DTLA

Guy Branum and Judd Apatow attend the Los Angeles Premiere of Universal Pictures’ “Bros” in Los Angeles.

Not too surprisingly, most of the bros who made the L.A. premiere of “Bros,” the new gay rom-com from Universal Pictures, were guys. Star Billy Eichner, along with his co-writer, director Nicholas Stoller, went positively demure in their dress, sticking with suits, as did Luke Macfarlane, who plays Eichner’s love interest. But (and we love talking about what the men are wearing) then the fashion-plate co-stars showed up, with Jai Rodriguez sporting a dark rose and black patterned suit accessorized with fingerless leather gloves and Guy Branum going all out for Instagram fame in a pastel floral look (garden party hat included) that had to be seen to be believed.

It’s all in good fun for the first mainstream gay romantic comedy from a major studio (Universal), as producer Judd Apatow told TheWrap on the red carpet. “We were really excited to work with Nick Stoller and Billy Eichner to make a gay rom-com,” he recalled, “and we didn’t really think about the fact that there hadn’t been any, when we started it. then as we got closer to the release, we realized, ‘oh yeah, they don’t really do movies like this very often!’ And we realized how meaningful it is.” – Red-carpet reporting by Elijah Gil

“Bros” co-writer and star Billy Eichner attends the film’s L.A. premiere with co-stars Jai Rodriguez and Luke Macfarlane at the Regal LA Live theaters. (Momodu Mansaray/Getty Images)

Tudum Theater, Los Angeles

Stars Jurnee Smollett (left) along with Allison Janney and Ridley Asha Bateman (righ) attend Netflix’s Los Angeles special screening of “Lou” at Tudum Theater in Hollywood. (Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix)

“Lou” is Allison Janney’s new Netflix action thriller, the tale of a loner named Lou whose single mother-daughter neighbors (Jurnee Smollett, Ridley Asha Bateman) run into a heap of trouble. Happily, as Janney told TheWrap on the red carpet at the Netflix Tudum Theater in Hollywood, she (and her character) were up to the challenge. “Daniel Bernhardt is the fight choreographer, he’s an extraordinary fight choreographer. I learned the moves, these fights are like dances, really,” the lithe 62-year-old actress remembered. “I’m someone who comes from a dance background and very athletic. So it was just a new language of body movement and learning it was really exciting for me, because I’ve never been so rehearsed and ready to do something. I felt it was a great opportunity for a woman of my age to be offered something like this and to to show how badass I can be!”

Meanwhile, Jurnee Smollett weighed in on seeing a Black actress, Halle Bailey, play Ariel in Disney’s new live-action version of “The Little Mermaid,” check that out here. Spoiler alert: She loved seeing a “more inclusive” mermaid. – Red-carpet reporting by Elijah Gil

“A Jazzman’s Blues”
Tudum Theater, Los Angeles

“A Jazzman’s Blues” writer-director-producer Tyler Perry with Netflix head Ted Sarandos at the film’s Los Angeles premiere. (Leon Bennett/Getty Images for Netflix)

Tyler Perry’s latest is a far cry from his “Madea” films: “A Jazzman’s Blues” is a murder mystery tale set against the prejudices of the Deep South in the burgeoning days of jazz and spans a 40-year timeline. Ted Sarandos and Perry joined forces in Los Angeles to present a special screening of the Netflix film that is currently streaming, along with stars Milauna Jemai Jackson and Brad Benedict and composer Aaron Zigman. On the red carpet, Perry told TheWrap that “I don’t know if people understand fully the power of having representation on the screen . . . for people who have been marginalized and struggle.” The film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and is streaming on Netflix now. – Red-carpet reporting by Elijah Gil

The Academy Museum, Los Angeles

Cher and Oprah Winfrey bring big-star wattage to the “Sidney” documentary premiere at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles. (Eric Charbonneau for Apple TV+)

It was a star-studded family affair at the “Sidney” premiere at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures as Sidney Poitier’s five daughters joined the documentary’s producer Oprah Winfrey and a huge crowd of famous faces for the Apple TV+ celebration of the beloved actor’s life and work.

The late acting legend’s daughters – Beverly Poitier-Henderson, Anika Poitier, Pamela Poitier, Sherri Poitier and Sydney Poitier – joined director Reggie Hudlin and everyone from Cher to David Oyelowo, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Dennis Haysbert, Loretta Devine and Colman Domingo in remembering the Bahamas-born man who seismically changed the way white American moviegoers perceived men of color on the big screen.

Sidney Poitier’s five daughters attend the “Sidney” documentary premiere at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles. (Eric Charbonneau for Apple TV+)

Netflix’s Date Night Celebration
The London Hotel Penthouse, West Hollywood

Cameron Hamilton, Lauren Speed-Hamilton, Vanessa Lachey and Nick Lachey attend Netflix’s Date Night Event celebrating unscripted and stand-up talent at The London on September 22 in West Hollywood. (Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Netflix) 

Everyone who got the Netflix’s “Date Night” party invite was ready for love as they ascended to the penthouse of The London Hotel in the heart of West Hollywood. The over-the-top bash was to remind everyone that Netflix has a boatload of unscripted and stand-up comedy shows, so it was no surprise that Nick and Vanessa Lachey acted as the night’s hosts, with a nod to their Netflix hit reality shows “Love Is Blind” and “The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On.”

From the jump, guests discovered that it really was a date night: To grab a flute of champagne, you had to choose a colored “Love Is Blind” goblet based on your relationship status. Silver was “taken,” red was “single” and gold was “it’s complicated.” That ice breaker mixed things up fast as the flirting began, while we overheard some who actually asked for dating advice from those with the silver chalices. Others just went for the sliders and fried shrimp while rubbing shoulders on the jammed rooftop with the streamers’ reality favorites, including Jason and Brett Oppenheim, Fortune Feimster, Jacques Torres, Antoni Porowski, and Natalie Lee.

Cameron Hamilton and Lauren Speed-Hamilton, one of the success stories from the Lacheys’ popular “Love Is Blind” series, stuck close to those two, who have been married for 11 years and have three children. At least for those two, love was still in the air as the happy crowd mingled under the stars and grooved to excellent Top 40 music. We’re not sure any new love matches were made, but it was a great Hollywood party! – Elijah Gil

Cool Comedy • Hot Cuisine
Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Beverly Hills

Susan Feniger, Amy Yasbeck and Kathy Griffin cut up at the Cool Comedy Hot Cuisine: A Tribute to Bob Saget and Benefit for the Scleroderma Research Foundation in Los Angeles. (Tiffany Koury/ABImages)

The love for Bob Saget was palpable at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel as his friends and family gathered to remember him and keep his charitable legacy legacy alive. That’s the Scleroderma Research Foundation (SRF), which Saget championed for over 30 years in honor of his sister Gay, who succumbed to that autoimmune disease. Helping raise money to find a cure was Saget’s life goal and one that over the years has earned over $25 million toward the cause.

This bittersweet event (Saget passed away in January) at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel brought together a who’s who of comedy in America, as well as Saget’s “Full House” family and real-life one as well. Famed L.A. chef Susan Feniger (Border Grill, Socalo) serves on the SRF board and curated the event, which was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, John Mayer and Jeff Ross. Her exemplary food paired perfectly with the laughs (and a few tears) that made the night a real celebration – and earned $1.2 million for the SRF.

The comedy gang’s all here, as Joel McHale, John Mayer, Jeff Ross, Dave Chappelle, Jimmy Kimmel, Howie Mandel and Kevin Nealon all attend the Cool Comedy Hot Cuisine 2022 charity event in Beverly Hills.  (Ben Shmikler/ABImages)

Dave Chappelle surprised the stellar assemblage, turning up to do a comedy set early on in the evening, then Bill Barr made a surprise performance as well. Howie Mandel and Kevin Nealon added their own comic routines and John Mayer played music. Regina King, another SRF board member, introduced Mayer and reflected on Saget’s unforgettable influence.

“Bob’s presence can never be replaced. This meant so much to him, so [now] we can honor his work, his legacy and his spirit,” she said.

And honor him they did, as the room filled with his most beloved joined in the celebration. His widow, Kelly Rizzo, and daughters Aubrey and Lara felt the love from John Stamos, Jodi Sweetin, Lori Laughlin, Tom Bergeron, Amy Yasbeck, Kathy Griffin, Rosie O’Donnell, Joely Fisher and Norman Lear, who had all made sure to be in the ballroom as this emotional, important event continued in Saget’s memory.

Willis Wonderland Foundation “Night of Wonders”
Valentine Restaurant, DTLA

At the Willis Wonderland Foundation “Night of Wonders” the models for the Fashion Parade took their jobs very seriously! Front row (left to right): Jeff Stein, Mindy Sterling, ChadMichael Morrisette, Tiffany Daniels; second row: Lesley Ann Warren, Gigi Tocquigny, Rose Abdoo, Holly Payne and more. (Photo courtesy of Willis Wonderland Foundation)

The “Night of Wonders” was pretty wonderful, a lot like songwriter Allee Willis, whose legacy was remembered with the launch of the Willis Wonderland Foundation’s joyous gala. Willis, whose famous tunes include Earth Wind and Fire’s “Boogie Wonderland” and “September” as well as her most-remembered song, “I’ll Be There for You,” aka the “Friends” theme song, loved Pop Art fashions and design, which led to the creation of the Willis Wonderland, her North Hollywood Art Deco home filled with a huge collection of kitschy pop-culture items.

The “Night of Wonders” was pretty wonderful, a lot like songwriter Allee Willis, whose legacy was remembered with the launch of the Willis Wonderland Foundation’s joyous gala. Willis, whose famous tunes include Earth Wind and Fire’s “Boogie Wonderland” and “September” as well as her most-remembered song, “I’ll Be There for You,” aka the “Friends” theme song, loved Pop Art fashions and design, which led to the creation of the Willis Wonderland, her North Hollywood Art Deco home filled with a huge collection of kitschy pop-culture items.

The night’s festivities saw Allee’s longtime partner and the foundation’s CEO, Prudence Fenton, take the stage to give a touching tribute. “Everything she did was all about making people happy,” she said. And Allie would have loved this bash, teeming with guests wearing outlandishly fun outfits and dancing in the “Boogie Wonderland” Studio 54-ish setting. It seemed like a disco scene, too, as RuPaul Charles made his way through the crowd, out of drag and rocking his signature black shades, while Lily Tomlin, Christopher McDonald, Jackee Harry and Luenell turned up dressed to impress in colorful outfits that would have made Allee smile.

We found ourselves in line to get an improv Haiku poem created just for us by a character dressed in a lobster suit enhanced with glittered red lipstick. Continuing on, a faux Andy Warhol lured us under a palm tree for our very own Polaroid shot with a Campbell’s soup can. Once the fashion show began, with models ranging from Lesley Ann Warren and Tiffany Daniels to Mindy Sterling and Rose Abdoo, the crowd was memorized by the stories and outfits auctioned off as the show progressed. Some of Allee’s most memorable pieces of attire were sold to benefit the foundation, which supports the arts in underserved communities. – Elijah Gil

New York Ballet 2022 Fall Fashion Gala
David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, NYC

Theatrical producer Jordan Roth (left) and actor Billy Porter attend the New York Ballet 2022 Fall Fashion Gala showcasing very different styles for men on the red carpet at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on Sept. 28 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Autumn came to New York City with a swirl of eye-popping fashion choices at the New York Ballet 2022 Fall Fashion Gala held at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on Sept. 28. We’re not quite sure what’s going on with post-pandemic fashion, but thought you’d like a gander at a few of the looks that people are wearing on the red carpet, marking a distinctly different New York style set than we’ve seen in the recent past.

Actress Julia Fox went for the Reynolds Wrap look on the red carpet at the New York Ballet 2022 Fall Fashion Gala at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
New York Ballet Corps de Ballet dancer Gilbert Bolden III attends the New York Ballet 2022 Fall Fashion Gala at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
Queen Latifah’s rapper style has been left behind as she attends the New York Ballet 2022 Fall Fashion Gala at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
Yes, in a red-carpet fantasy for the ages, even 6-foot-3-inch Gwendoline Christie can be a ballet dancer during the New York Ballet 2022 Fall Fashion Gala at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. (Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

Please send event invitations to Jenny Peters at