'Women in Hollywood' thank their peers, idols

"What keeps me in the business is hope, and that's the hope that women of color are also part of the narrative," actress Viola Davis shared with an audience that included Barbara Streisand, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

So inspiring were the 46-year-old's words, that attendees of ELLE's Women in Hollywood dinner on Monday received her with a standing ovation. Davis was one of the nine, fierce, strong women honored at the star-studded, annual event. In August, Help director Tate Taylor told former Inquirer critic Carrie Rickey, "the source of Viola's strength comes from how she handles adversity."

Viola Davis, left, and Jennifer Aniston. (Images courtesy of ELLE)

Like Davis, many of the women who were honored at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills last night also encountered criticism and rejection throughout their acting careers. The purpose of the award is simple: It empowers women in the entertainment industry to pursue their dreams and inspire- not only within the limits of Tinseltown, but on a broader scope, worldwide.

Naturally, Hollywood's hottest feted the celebratory evening in style. Here's a look at the honorees and what they wore.


From left, Elizabeth Olsen, Viola Davis and Jennifer Aniston. (AP Photos)

Elizabeth Olsen received the Calvin Klein Collection Emerging Star Spotlight Award. She donned a flowy floor-length gown by the designer. Viola Davis opted for a knee-length sheath dress. It was simple, chic and straight-forward. She also shared the name of her new daughter: Genesis. Jennifer Aniston stepped out in a sparkly, sleeved Kaufman Franco mini-dress with a plunging v-neck.

Looking ahead to Spring

From left, Naomi Watts, Freida Pinto and Amber Heard. (AP Photos)

Naomi Watts celebrated the evening in a nude dress. Meanwhile, Freida Pinto enjoyed the special evening in a white, Calvin Klein Collection dress. To the far right, Amber Heard looked super-svelte in a playful, pink dress and Calvin Klein T-strap stiletto pumps. The actress looked great, despite the recent cancellation of her show, The Playboy Club.

Other honorees (not-pictured) included Evan Rachel Wood, Reese Witherspoon, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dreamworks CEO Stacey Snider, and Barbara Streisand, who was the recipient of the evening's top award.

View photos from the event, here.