HOLLYWOOD — After what Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences prexy Frank Pierson called a “snappy,” three-hour and 10-minute kudocast, some 1,700 guests commenced round one of the post-Oscar party lap around town at the time-honored Governors Ball.
When emcee Chris Rock entered Hollywood & Highland’s Grand Ballroom, he likened the atmosphere inside the Kodak to “the excitement of a fight night.” As for the audience, Rock said, “When you play L.A., there’s always a lot of stars.”
“I didn’t see much of the show,” Barbra Streisand told Daily Variety, which at first sounded like she had a bad seat, until husband James Brolin explained they had been in transit to present an award late in the show. “It’s all TiVo’d,” Brolin said.
Meanwhile, from his table near the entrance, “Million Dollar Baby” producer Al Ruddy, who was holding his second Oscar — the first was for “The Godfather” — said, “I don’t think anyone has gone 33 years between winning. I guess they didn’t think ‘Cannonball Run’ was important.”
Most of the talk of the ball, of course, was about “Baby,” and why it snatched the golden prize.
“The three most important things about movies are emotion, emotion and emotion,” said Focus Features’ James Schamus, quoting helmer Sam Fuller.
Among industry faces not often seen at public events was Jerry Perenchio, who has a longstanding, iron-clad policy of never talking to the press. Asked if he’d like to make an exception to comment on the Oscars, the Univision topper declined: “I don’t want to break my streak.”
By the time the clock struck midnight, much of the Oscar elite had flocked south from Hollywood & Highland to the second stop of the night, Vanity Fair’s fete at Morton’s.
It was there that Hersholt Humanitarian Award honoree Roger Mayer took a moment to laud nominee Imelda Staunton. “You were just brilliant in ‘Vera Drake,’ and I want you to know that,” Mayer said, clutching his trophy.
Julie Delpy was like a kid in a candy store, running around snapping pictures of Adam Sandler and the like with her digital camera. Sandler, meanwhile, spent a large chunk of time in a huddle with wife Jackie Titone and Meg Ryan.
Not one to be left out of a main event, Donald Trump, who turned up with new wife Melania Knauss, was heard dishing his review of the kudocast to another couple — who didn’t waste even 10 seconds before gushing to Trump, “We TiVo ‘The Apprentice’ every week.”
“I liked the way they grouped the nominees onstage,” said Trump, “but I’m not sure I get why they showed presenters in the audience. It just looked too forced.”
Elton John’s annual AIDS fundraiser saw some changes this year, including a new locale and sole sponsor (jeweler Chopard, who took over for InStyle). Held in a tent at the Pacific Design Center, fete included a high-energy perf by the Scissor Sisters, who were joined by John.
Pointing to her co-lead singer’s ripped leather pants, Ana Matronic said, “Jake Shears busts his trousers any time he’s in front of Elton John. Last time, it was when we were performing in Kent, England.”
Event, which brought out Salma Hayek, Josh Groban, Lawrence Bender and Jeffrey Katzenberg, among others, raised $1 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. At a live auction after the viewing dinner, the first two in a series of limited edition Yamaha Signature Red Pianos signed by John were sold for $150,000 each.
Sunday also saw a handful of smaller parties that competed for big name guests. Maybe what the turnout proved is there are only so many major stars to go around. However, there does seem to be an almost limitless supply of stunningly beautiful models more than eager to fill out a guest list.
Esquire magazine’s fourth annual Oscar viewing party at the Abbey drew a decent crowd, but quickly lost them once the kudofest wrapped. Among those who attended were Jon Heder, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Erika Christensen.
Premiere Magazine and Ted Field hosted a late-night affair at the producer’s home that went until dawn. Guests included Michael Bay, Vin Diesel and Terry George. At Koi, Ron Burkle, Jeffrey Best, Alan Finkelstein and Nick Haque hosted a chic affair that had Jack Nicholson as a guest.
And, then there was the for “Super Size Me” shindig for helmer Morgan Spurlock at Cinespace — guess what film got booed when it nabbed the docu prize?)
(Shalini Dore and Addie Morfoot contributed to this report.)