View Slideshow

“There is incredible energy in the room,” said Helen Mirren as she surveyed the scene at this year’s Women in Film pre-Oscar cocktail party, held on Friday night at West Hollywood eatery Fig & Olive. “It’s wonderful to see women appreciating other women.” The Oscar winner had caught up with nominees June Squibb and Lupita Nyong’o just before taking to the dais, presumably to dole out acceptance speech pointers.

Nyong’o, who arrived early with her mother Dorothy, was perhaps talked out from hitting one too many events; she saved her voice as she swiftly was ushered inside. Squibb proved more chatty, but admitted she looked forward to slipping out of all those gowns and back into her pajamas. “[The lead-up to] Sunday has been a long haul, so to speak. It will be time for all us to go back to our lives, because we’ve kind of lost them in the midst of all this,” she said.

Nominees aside, the night — which was presented by Perrier-Jouët, MAC Cosmetics and Max Mara — attracted a well-heeled bunch including Gabourey Sidibe, Lake Bell, Mandy Moore, Jaime King, Elisabeth Röhm, Cloris Leachman and Estée Lauder’s John Demsey.

“Shut up because mama’s in the house!” shouted Mirren, who succeeded in silencing the buzzy crowd. “I don’t often wish that I’m younger because I think it’s really cool to be older. What I love the most about being older is that lovely ‘I don’t give a f–kness’ kind of thing. You know, you young things, don’t be afraid of getting old because it’s f–king great! But tonight, looking at this audience, I do wish I was about 40 years younger just so I can see what happens next. It’s not that I want to have a better body or remember my husband’s name. Remind me?”

“Taylor Hackford!” called out a guest.

“Yes, Taylor! Thank you!” she laughed.