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THE PARTY PAGE

Oscar crowd breaks bread

February 11, 2007|Elizabeth Snead

THERE were no power tables at the 79th annual Oscar Nominees Lunch on Monday. "This is a power room," academy prez Sid Ganis told the Beverly Hilton ballroom filled with 140 nominees including 1. Martin Scorsese, Eddie Murphy, Abigail Breslin, 2. Will Smith, Clint Eastwood, 3. Leonardo DiCaprio (greeting Djimon Hounsou) 4. Forest Whitaker, Steven Spielberg and Mark Wahlberg. 5. Jennifer Hudson was first on the scene in an empire waist beige frock, signing autographs outside the ballroom. 6. Penelope Cruz, looking fresh in a white cotton shift, did the same. 7. Inside the cocktail party, Peter O'Toole, nursing a glass of merlot that matched his burgundy shirt, sounded like a true gambler. "I've been dealt a pretty good hand, so I might as well play it." After the official "class" photo, names were called to accept nomination certificates. Marty got the lion's roar of applause, followed by whoops for O'Toole and 8. a royal wave from Helen Mirren.

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No party is complete without . . .

... the annual nominee roll call. This year, instead of going from A to Z, it went from Z to A, leaving poor 9. Alan Arkin very near the end. But hey, as he told film critic Leonard Maltin when asked how he was enjoying the awards attention: "I live for this."

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Director fun, far from the bowling alley

Steve Carell, center, was so sick when he got to the Feb. 3 Directors Guild of America Awards that he had to lie down in the Green Room. But, 10. he rallied to present a DGA nomination plaque to "Little Miss Sunshine" directors Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, telling the room about the directors making the cast hang out and go bowling for 10 days. "And that's 10 days of my life that I will never get back." But he admitted, "I hope to someday have an experience as wonderful, but I know I will never have one that is better." Awwww. More emotional moments: 11. Presenter Leonardo DiCaprio congratulating "The Departed" director pal Martin Scorsese, who finally got the top DGA honor. Now give the six-time Oscar nominee an Oscar! 12. Who gets the DGA Breast-Dressed Award? Presenter Leelee Sobieski. She had a brief Janet Jackson/Super Bowl moment onstage in her low-cut Aurelio Costarella gown, causing, 13. presenter Steve Martin to explain, "I've been backstage trying to convince Leelee that the best way to remove double-stick tape is with saliva." 14. Directors Guillermo del Toro, left, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Steven Spielberg.

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A night of Reef Check madness in Pasadena

15. Eco-friendlies Kelly Hu, left, Greg Hodgson, Gale Anne Hurd, Daryl Hannah and Penelope Ann Miller were the first to see the Reef Inhabitants dancers perform at the Reef Check Foundation's dinner at Hurd's new Vertical Wine Bistro in Pasadena on

Jan. 30.

Snead writes the Styles & Scenes blog at TheEnvelope.com

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