Parties heat up on Hollywood's biggest night

HOLLYWOOD — The hot topic at the Governors Ball on Sunday was the Oscarcast. Sophia Loren called it “the best I have ever seen in all the years I’ve come to the Oscars” and Harvey Weinstein said, “Tonight we saw the revitalization of the Oscars. Bill Condon and Larry Mark deserve an Oscar for the show.”

The Hollywood & Highland Grand Ballroom quickly filled up with the “Slumdog Millionaire” gang. Pic’s Anil Kapoor said, “Every few years America surprises people. When America embraces something, the world embraces it. It happened with ‘Crouching Tiger,’ and we were saying ‘Why China and not India?’ “

Co-star Madhur Mittal said after shaking hands with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie he “won’t wash this hand for the next 25 years.”

Helmer Danny Boyle was one of the last to arrive. He scarfed down a quick dinner and danced in the aisle with his Oscar.

At the Vanity Fair party an astronaut who landed on the moon chatted to a pilot who landed on the Hudson. Even the most jaded dropped a botoxed jaw at the sight.

It’s the wide spectrum of guests that ranges from Apollo 11’s Buzz Aldrin to US Airways’ Chesley Sullenberger that gives the VF party its edge. How often does an eclectic mix including Jerry Seinfeld, Rupert Murdoch, Berry Gordy, Tina Fey, David Geffen, Jeff Koons, Ron Perelman, Barry Diller, Tom Ford and Ken Starr gather for what “Milk” producer Dan Jinks called “a celebrity petting zoo?”

This was the party’s first outing at the Sunset Tower Hotel and VF editor Graydon Carter said the setting “was more like I imagine Hollywood to be — more glamorous, better view.”

Over at the Pacific Design Center, guests such as Carrie Underwood and Simon Cowell were treated to perfs by Raphael Saadiq and Elton John at the 17th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation party, which raised nearly $4 million. At the bash, Richard Jenkins treated himself to Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, thesp Angie Harmon and husband Jason Sehorn indulged themselves at the Godiva chocolate bar, and Ryan Seacrest talked up Oscar host Hugh Jackman. “He was the perfect choice,” Seacrest said. “He knocked it out of the park.”

At Fox Searchlight’s affair at One Sunset the young stars of “Slumdog Millionaire” were feted just as much as the Oscar-toting victors.

“It was Danny’s idea to bring everyone on stage,” said Fox topper Jim Gianopulos of Boyle. “What a great TV moment.”

(Shalini Dore and Justin Kroll contributed to this report.)

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