If anyone wondered what attending glamorous, black-tie parties in a police state would be like, Sunday’s Golden Globes answered the question.
It wasn’t so much like attending parties. It was more like going through repeated security checks at the Baghdad Airport — while Saddam Hussein was still in charge.
For the past half-dozen years, the Globes could rightly say they were the best at one key kudocast element: the after-parties. (If anyone thinks it’s popular for the keen insight of the award choices, now would be a good time for them to exit showbiz.)
The only joy of the evening — aside from winning — was the lively flow of guests scurrying from one lavish after-party to another. It was actually fun. Yes, right here in Hollywood, world capital of the party-as-business-by-another-name, it was fun.
Sunday was not fun. It’s just not fun to have to deal with so many — so, so many — security guards at every juncture. And it’s not that they weren’t doing their job. They were, in spades. And in such incredible numbers and painstaking detail that a guest wouldn’t be wrong in thinking Sunday would have been a bad night to fly out of LAX: All the guards were at the BevHilton.
Then there’s the fact that having half the Beverly Hills police force (including the SWAT team), reps from the office of Homeland Security and squadrons of black-suited guards hovering around doesn’t exactly contribute to a festive atmosphere. It was all quite a wet blanket for the fun to percolate through.
However, joy did emerge at the New Line party, where the Tolkienites were celebrating victory for “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.”
Mark Ordesky said, “Recognition is a lovely thing”; Toby Emmerich said, “I might be the only exec in Hollywood not taking credit” for his studio’s biggest success; and topper Bob Shaye said helmer Peter Jackson “didn’t have final cut, but of course he did.”
Right next door — they shared a cloth-wall partition — revelers savored “Mystic River’s” double-thesp win at the InStyle/Warner Bros. Studios party.
“My boys did well,” helmer Clint Eastwood said, referring to Tim Robbins and the absent Sean Penn, who cornered the male acting honors, drama division. “They deserved it.”
He said looming Oscar nominations didn’t distract him from the kudos at hand. “Maybe if you were 21,” Eastwood said. “I just enjoy each day.”
Robbins, who was surrounded by his family and well-wishers at the party, also brushed aside the notion of Oscar preoccupation due to this year’s shortened awards season. “They should have them all back-to-back,” he suggested.
However, Warners’ Jeff Robinov admitted he couldn’t help but think about this morning’s announcement. “It’s hard not to,” he said. “You’ve always got your fingers crossed.”
The party drew a steady stream of revelers — from the empty-handed “Last Samurai” crew to Jane Fonda and son Troy Garity plus Globe glamour girls such as Scarlett Johansson — and a heavy concentration of comedy heavyweights, including Robin Williams, Eric Idle and Christopher Guest with his Globe-nominated wife, Jamie Lee Curtis.
On the other side of the building, Universal Film & Television and Focus were celebrating on the parking garage rooftop — with a bit more celebrating on the Focus side, since its “Lost in Translation” won big and U’s “Seabiscuit” didn’t.
The U execs were waiting to see what happens at the wire with the ‘Biscuit’s position in the Oscar race. Helmer Gary Ross said he was “a guy with a film that came out in July” and he was happy to be there.
Mary Parent said Jackson “deserved it,” considering the magnitude of his undertaking, and said his “King Kong,” a U project, “will be a walk in the park for him after that odyssey.”
The massive HBO party took over the Aqua Star area, visible from the roof. Revelers there buzzed about a crasher who somehow got hold of an HBO exec’s ticket (it’s believed he stole it) and got a front seat inside the ballroom. He got bounced when it was discovered the ducat was in a woman’s name.
Miramax was over at Trader Vic’s, where topper Harvey Weinstein was happily ensconced in a booth with Globe winner Renee Zellweger and nominee Diane Lane. Aside from the glittery retinue from “Cold Mountain,” there were plenty of drop-ins by the unaffiliated, including Tom Cruise, whose path did not cross with Nicole Kidman.
“Mountain” helmer Anthony Minghella was gracious in the wake of the film’s 1-for-8 showing. “I felt proud to be here because those eight nominations were like arrows pointing at the film, saying, ‘Check me out!’ ”
NBC hosted its bash with partners “Access Hollywood” and Target from the Stardust room, where reality newlyweds Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey entertained partygoers drinking in the view on the hotel’s top floor.
On Saturday, the big daytime event was BAFTA/LA’s tea party at the St. Regis, where board member John Houlton described the affair as “the classy calm before the storm.”
BAFTA/LA chair Gary Dartnall took a genteel dig at the studios when he said, “We’ve had to see so many films since we didn’t get the screeners, this is our first chance to relax and have a cup of tea.”
That night Showtime had its Globe-eve party at Alex, where the mega-name guest — the 747 landing at the regional airport — was Barbra Streisand.
True to her reputation as a perfectionist, after the setup pictures were taken with her, husband James Brolin and the execs, Streisand sat for 15 minutes with the photographer choosing photos on the digital camera.
Friday, at the Pacific Design Center’s chilly plaza, W Magazine hosted a party that was a mix of crowds: fashion, Hollywood/West Hollywood and serious jewelry.
“Visually it’s a good mix,” said one guest regarding the milling guests who came from different career universes, “but I don’t know who’s here.”
(Diane Garrett and Dade Hayes contributed to this report.)