From Ago restaurant to Spago, Oscar parties kicked off in earnest on Thursday night in Los Angeles -- before the rain.
LOS ANGELES, Calif -- American Hustle Director David O Russell is a popular guy.
At a Vanity Fair party to celebrate the film's 10 Oscar nominations, Russell had trouble entering the party because he was so besieged by well-wishers. Among them: one of the film's stars Amy Adams, and, oddly, Brady Bunch's Florence Henderson (a major Russell fan).
"I've been standing here for an hour and a half and I haven't even made it close to inside," Russell laughed, holding a glass of red wine about two feet from the red carpet at the event.
For Russell it was all about celebrating the end of the Oscar publicity campaign.
"It's funny, there was an annual director and writer's dinner for nominees (Wednesday) night and everyone kept saying how tired I looked," said Russell. "That's always great to hear. Thank you (Gravity director) Alfonso Cuaron."
Russell pointed out that the Oscar publicity machine was particularly long this year due to the Winter Olympics. But now he's just looking forward to attending the big show on Sunday.
"You go in and expect nothing on Sunday," said Russell. "You sit there and be grateful you are there. It's a blessing."
Russell said he will relax Sunday before the Oscar telecast.
"I try to spend time with my family. There's a nice corner in Santa Monica where there's a park and a church," said Russell. "I might go in there and have a talk. It's all about being peaceful and present."
Elsewhere in Hollywood, parties spanned from Ago restaurant to Spago restaurant -- all before the expected torrential rains began.
There was tribute party to mark the 100th anniversary to Charlie Chaplin's The Tramp at Soho House and an official Oscar concert in Westwood celebrating the nominated songs from Sunday's ceremony.
At a Paramount Pictures party at Spago, best supporting actor Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street) and Johnny Knoxville joked about the upcoming ceremony. Knoxville said he would attend the Oscars because his film, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, was nominated for best make-up. Nominees Bruce Dern and June Squibb also enjoyed the party with their Nebraska co-star Will Forte.