''Eat Pray Love'' star hosts a private screening of Javier Bardem's ''Biutiful''

Having A-list friends can come in handy. On Jan. 4 in Los Angeles, Julia Roberts hosted a private screening of Javier Bardem’s Spanish-language drama Biutiful for industry insiders in hopes of scoring a Best Actor nomination for her friend and Eat Pray Love costar. ”I think it’s unexpected for a man to expose himself so deeply,” Roberts told EW at the event, raving about Bardem’s performance as a street hustler battling a terminal illness. ”I just have a great appreciation for what he went through to show us all this. I know it had to hurt.” Bardem needs the boost: The 2008 Supporting Actor winner for No Country for Old Men has been completely shut out of all the big pre-Oscar prizes and is a long shot for a nod. ”I think the movie hasn’t gotten the exposure,” Roberts said. ”It’s like this hidden little jewel. Especially in this particular season, people don’t hunt for things. They just take what you throw in their face.” But if Bardem is Roberts’ No. 1 pick, where does that leave her other EPL love interest, James Franco, a Best Actor contender for 127 Hours? ”Oh, God, don’t put me in that position!” she said. ”It’s apples and oranges. He’s hosting the Oscars, so he might have an edge.”