Some congrats are truly international. At last night’s Audi AFI (aka AFI Fest 2011 by Audi) premiere of “The Artist,” director Michel Hazanavicius surprised everyone with his understanding of Yiddish. When one enthusiastic party goer went up to Michel and told him how much she loved the film, she wished him mazel tov with it. She said “you probably don’t know what that means.” He quipped back, “I’m a Jew from Paris…I do!,” as he laughed. The AFI party at the chic Little Door in West Hollywood was a hit.
Our LEAH SYDNEY spoke to James Cromwell, who plays the faithful butler in the universally loved silent film. He said:“There is such joy in this picture. No cynicism and no irony. It’s a straight telling of a wonderful story that people relate to because the audience creates the narrative. They create the story in their own head. It’s not the screenwriter, it’s not the dialogue the actors say, it’s what they see inside the frame, the pictures and the montage. Even in this jaded audience in Hollywood, they sat there in silence watching this silent film, exactly as they did in the 1920’s when the movie is set in. This film is a magnificent work of art and a sheer delight. I hope nobody misses it.”
AFI also premiered the Weinstein Company’s “My Week With Marilyn” at Grauman’s Theater in Hollywood. Harvey Weinstein introduced Michelle Williams, “Michelle has a four am call tomorrow in Detroit, but she is so gracious for being here.” Michelle kept her comments brief and sweetly told the crowd, “Thank you for being here, I hope you like it.” Harvey then came back on stage and said, “I forgot to say how humble she is.” Harvey surprised the crowd with “a personal kick” with the famous pianist Lang Lang playing the “Marilyn Theme,” by the French film composer Alexandre Desplat.
Lang Lang then went to Disney Hall to play a concert. Harvey then introduced the director Simon Curtis by saying, “This project took seven years to make, this is Simon’s from top to bottom.” Simon was as lovely and brief as Michelle, “this is a dream of mine to premiere the film here. Again, I hope you like it!” This amazing film will be released on November 23rd. The AFI premieres Fox Searchlight’s “Shame” and Steven Spielberg’s Dreamworks/Paramount “Tintin” this week. They’re each in the Oscar hunt.
Screenwriter Steve Zaillian, accepting congratulations for his “Moneyball” and upcoming “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo,” while being honored at the Final Draft Hall of Fame Award at the Paley Center in Beverly Hills. Zaillian told us the hardest part about being a screenwriter? “You’re alone a lot. That’s sometimes good and at times not so much.”
At the recent Hollywood Pantage’s opening of Twyla Tharp’s “Come Fly Away,” the Broadway hit featuring the vocals of Frank Sinatra and choreographed, conceived and directed by Tony Award winner Twyla Tharp, we caught up with Nancy and Tina Sinatra’s, the crooner’s daughters. Frank Jr. was on the road. Nancy told Leah that “I’ve seen this show in four different cities, and it gets better each time I see it. Just brings tears to my eyes every time. “ Tina agreed and added, “Twyla is truly talented.”
The Sunset Marquis hosted Cuba Gooding Jr and his upcoming “Red Tails” castmates Nate Parker and Elijah Kelley where they celebrated the launch of Playground Sessions — a new software application that is poised to change the way people learn to play musical instruments. “Red Tails” is the George Lucas produced story of the Tuskegee Airmen which hits theaters in January. The trio listened to the tunes of David Sides on the piano . Sides, a Youtube sensation with over 15 million fans, is the face of Playground Sessions — which teaches people to play piano by teaching them pop songs by Beyonce, One Republic and The Jackson Five. Playground Sessions app launches on November 1st. Go to http://www.playgroundsessions.com/ for more info.
Fresh after her shabby treatment by “The Talk,” Holly Robinson Peete, is still popular as ever. She was given the Privilege Award by Hennessy for her tireless advocacy work on behalf of autism and Parkinson’s disease with her HollyRod Foundation, at the Chateau Marmont.
“Private Practice’s” Tim Daly is also the President of the The Creative Coalition. He hosted a book party for the new Creative Coalition book, “Art and Soul,” at Ago restaurant in West Hollywood.
Actor Jason Priestly and NFL sports reporter Jay Glazer talking fitness with former pro hockey player turned chiropractor, Max Health’s Dr. Robert Pomahac and celebrity trainer Randy Rene at Blu Jam restaurant in Hollywood.
Wireimage Founder and Photographer/Producer, Jeff Vespa, greeting guests Marisa Tomei, Rosario Dawson and David Arquette at his new Beverly Hills hot spot restaurant Pici Enoteca.