Starry, starry night

The Governors Ball may have been sleepy, but the other must-stop Oscars afterparty, thrown by Vanity Fair at the Sunset Towers in Los Angeles had wind-up energy.

At its height it felt like a starry sea where everyone from Hollywood and the worlds it touches bobbed in to do a lap.

There was Taylor Swift and Jake Gyllenhaal, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, JJ Abrams, Larry David and Sacha Baron Cohen.

Martin Short and Billy Crystal, of near equal stature, kibbitzing in a corner.

50 Cent stopped by, chatted with Timberlake, who was talking to Rufus Wainwright, who had brought the designer Zaldy to the gig.

Steven Tyler sat in a booth with his daughter Liv and Eva Mendes, and leaped up to take a photo with a soldier who came with Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington, the directors of Restrepo.

Their film lost best documentary to Inside Job, but Hetherington was sanguine about it.

“When a person gets up on stage and says they’ve been nominated 19 times and only won twice, it kind of puts it in perspective,” he said.

The celebrity force field at Vanity Fair was occasionally punctured by rarified civilians, like the guy who said he builds custom bicycles for one of the magazine’s bigwigs and the Australian jewellery designer who came wearing a pendant she’d found in a thrift shop.

“It’s a monkey looking in a mirror – it just says everything about the Oscars, don’t you think?” she said.

But mostly, it’s a glittery, hair-down celebration, fed by flutes of Champagne and comfort food like doughnut holes and In-n-Out burgers.

Late into the night, a truck from the fast-food chain was parked outside, near the valet stand, offering free burgers to VIP guests and workers waiting in the cold for their cars, as LA a moment as you can get.

Most of the winners were in attendance, if sometimes briefly: Melissa Leo; Natalie Portman; Colin Firth; and Tom Hooper, who came with his parents, Meredith and Richard (wearing the same pastel bowtie he’s sported through most of his son’s awards events).

Danny Boyle, the director of 127 Hours, rushed to congratulate them.

Luke Matheny, the mop-topped Brooklynite who won best live-action short for God Is Love, was easy to spot as he moved about the room, Oscar in hand.

Even in the bathroom line, a giddy Anne Hathaway accepted congratulations for her energetic hosting.

Though his artistic posse – Ed Ruscha, Richard Prince – made appearances, Hathaway’s co-host, James Franco, did not.

He was said to be having an afterparty at his new bar, the Writer’s Room, but he was also said not to be there, perhaps the first time on Oscar night his whereabouts were not accounted for.

(We didn’t even spot Grandma Mitzie.) – New York Times Syndication


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