A ball with ‘Mansfield’

Chasen's hosts after-preem party

Appropriately, for a film based on a Jane Austen novel, Monday’s “Mansfield Park” preem after-party was held in a room with a social pedigree worthy of an Austen heroine.

For decades before becoming the new Chasen’s, the Canon Drive site housed the Bistro, where an original investor was Billy Wilder. His “Irma la Douce” art director, Alexander Trauner, designed the eatery in the style of Paris’ Brasserie Lipp.

As for Austen, the 19th century writer got the kind of praise few contemporary screenwriters hear. Director Patricia Rozema said the author has “mischievousness that goes alongside an emotional gravity. She’s ironic but open-hearted, that’s the trick.”

Star Francis O’Connor called the author “an acute observer of her characters’ true motivation. She knows the polarity of surface intelligence and base desires.” Embeth Davidtz said her villainous character had a “stylish wickedness. And I think Hollywood appreciates wickedness.”

Among those on hand to appreciate the Miramax film were Lawrence Bender, Kevin Huvane, David and Jackie Foster, Anne Sterling and Seymour Cassell.

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