Javier Bardem, Julia Roberts

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You can add Julia Roberts to the list of folks (including yours truly) who think Javier Bardem better be nominated for an Oscar for his work in his new film Biutiful.

Just how passionate is Roberts about her Eat Pray Love costar being recognized at the Academy Awards? Read on to find out…

Just last night, the Erin Brockovich Oscar winner hosted a special screening of Biutiful at talent agency CAA in Los Angeles.

"I feel great that as an actor, I can look him in the eye and see what he has accomplished, like a magic trick and a miracle all together," Roberts said. "Enjoy this man revealing himself in a way he has never done before."

Asked why she doesn't think Bardem was nominated for a Golden Globe or a SAG Award, Roberts told my Entertainment Weekly pal Dave Karger, "I think the movie hasn't gotten the exposure. You don't know where it is. It's like this hidden little jewel.

"Especially in this particular season, people don't hunt for things," she continued. "They just take what you throw in their face."

In Biutiful, directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, Bardem plays a man dying of cancer trying to get his life in order for his two young children.

If he is overlooked by the Academy (nominations will be announced on Jan. 25), Roberts griped, "If there's no hope for talent, then we're f--ked."

But don't ask her to choose between Bardem and her other Eat Pray Love costar, James Franco, for his work in 127 Hours. "Oh God, don't put me in that position," Roberts said. "It's apples and oranges. He's hosting the Oscars, so he might have an edge."

Among the guests at last night's packed screening were Kyle MacLachlan, Jacqueline Bisset, Esai Morales and Jesse Williams. Roberts also enjoyed dinner at Craft restaurant with her hubby Daniel Moder and Bardem and his mommy-to-be wife Penélope Cruz.

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