Revving up for Oscar weekend parties

Praise the Tylenol and pass the Motrin. It's Oscar party weekend!

This year's awards weekend party scene feels slightly low-key with studios like Warner Bros., Universal and Focus Features holding what they dub "private" pre-Oscar filmmaker get-togethers for "friends and family" with "no press."

But the big three Oscar post-parties on Sunday night remain the same. The always star-studded Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science's Governors Ball will be held after the awards show in the Kodak Ballroom high atop the Hollywood & Highlands complex. Literally every guest, presenter and nominee (winner or loser) piles in there first to pay their polite respects to the academy, toss back the bubbly and snarf some food before heading out to the next bash.

Next there's the most coveted ticket: the Vanity Fair after-party at Morton's in West Hollywood. But attendance is even more limited this year with a drastically cut-back guest list. "Asking for a plus-one is like asking for a gold bullion," whined one VF guest who wanted to actually bring a date.

But expect all the big winners to show up with entourages, especially those featured in Tom Ford's nudie Hollywood issue like George Clooney, Patricia Clarkson, Viggo Mortensen, Eric Bana, Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Terrence Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, Peter Sarsgaard, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and cover girl Keira Knightley -- and maybe even Scarlett Johansson.

Then there's the always entertaining 14th annual Academy Award party that benefits the Elton John AIDS Foundation thrown by Sir Elton John and David Furnish. The shindig will be held out on the Pacific Design Center's outdoor plaza with a cocktail reception, five course meal/preview dinner party, and post party with Grammy winner John Legend performing around 10:30 p.m.

Expected to attend: Sir Elton and Furnish, Dolly Parton, Beck, Diana Krall, Donatella Versace, Eric McCormack, Geena Davis, John Legend, Kevin Zegers, Macy Gray, Ozzy & Sharon Osbourne, Phil Collins, Sharon Stone, Tab Hunter and more, more, more.

A new entry on Sunday's post-party slate is Us Weekly/Rolling Stone's bash inside the Pacific Design Center, conveniently within strolling distance for guests who get bored at Elton's or VF's crowded bashes. Expected guests include: Mischa Barton, Paris Hilton, Ludacris, Jessica Alba, Molly Sims, Rose McGowan, Amber Tamblyn, Shane West, Robbie Williams, Macy Gray, Joy Bryant, Elizabeth Banks, Kim Raver, Natasha Henstridge, Dave Navarro and Carmen Elecra. And the 16th annual Night of 100 Stars Black Tie Oscar Dinner will also be held in the Beverly Hills Hotel, but it's a more a viewing party than a post-bash.

There's also plenty going on before the big bash. Friday night is the fifth annual Celebration of New Zealand Filmmaking at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where Kiefer Sutherland, Sam Neill, Charlize Theron and Anthony Hopkins may show up. Also, ICM talent agent Ed Limato will be throwing his annual pre-Oscar party at his home.

Saturday afternoon is the Independent Spirit Awards, held in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, with an after-party -- sponsored by IFC -- at Shutters on the Beach hotel. Confirmed guests include Allison Janney, Amy Adams, Catherine Keener, Craig Ferguson, Danny Huston, Dennis Quaid, Felicity Huffman, Jeremy Piven, Jimmy Kimmel (his girlfriend Sarah Silverman is hosting), John Leguizamo, Josh Lucas, Keanu Reeves, Laura Linney, Luke Wilson, Mark Ruffalo, Michelle Williams, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright Penn, Sandra Bullock, Steve Zahn, Thomas Haden-Church and William Hurt.

Following the Indie Spirits, the Motion Picture & Television Fund's Night Before Oscar bash at the Beverly Hills Hotel, which garnered a cool $4 million last year, should be the most star-studded event.

Scattered beauty events include Dior's private dinner for feverish fashionistas and hot stars at the Chateau Marmont on Thursday night.