In a Hitfix report about Friday night’s Fox Searchlight “holiday” gathering at Cecconi’s (which I would have loved to attend), Gregg Ellwood says something startling (to me anyway) while referencing a chat with 12 Years A Slave star Chiwetel Ejiofor. I’ve been hearing all along that the Best Actor situation is between Ejiofor vs. All Is Lost‘s Robert Redford. But Ellwood says it’s “clearly” between CE and Dallas Buyer’s Club‘s Matthew McConaughey for the win. That wasn’t the 11.6 consensus among the MCN Gurus of Gold, although the Gold Derby gang is sensing more of a three-way toss-up. So there’s a McConaughey surge?

There was a concurrent celebration at West Hollywood’s Fig and Olive for Universal’s Despicable Me 2. Ellwood declares that Fig and Olive is “about a mile away” from Cecconi’s — I make it closer to a half-mile or two-thirds at most. (Robertson/Melrose to La Cienega/Melrose Place is only about five or six blocks.) I dislike Fig and Olive and Cecconi’s equally. They’re both noisy as hell and really expensive. Cecconi’s describes itself as a traditional Italian restaurant. Well, it is if you believe that Italian restaurants should reflect the interior design stylings of Uday Hussein. I’m sorry to sound like an asshole but I have this arcane idea that Italian restaurants should look and feel like Italy — silly!