Michel Hazanavicius’s extraordinary–and I mean that word–silent black and white homage got the thumbs up last night from a lot of Hollywood vets. At the premiere at the Paris Theater, legendary “Singing in the Rain” director Stanley Donen and writer-director Elaine May were each wowed by the knockout film. Donen even got a shout out from Harvey Weinstein and another from Hazanavicius.
Co-star Berenice Bejo–who’s a shoo in for a Best Supporting Actress nod and is also the wife of the director–spoke when the film ended. “We apologize to Stanley Donen if our tap dancing wasn’t as good as it could be.” (It’s pretty damn good. Audiences are falling in love with Bejo.) Co-star Penelope Ann Miller nearly stole the evening, looking as glamorous as the stars in the movie.
Others who were singing the film’s praises included Broadway star Phyllis Newman, whose late great husband Adolph Green co-wrote “Singing in the Rain”; Mary Lumet, widow of Sidney Lumet, and Kathryn Altman, widow of Robert Altman. Bob and Lynn Balaban loved the movie, as did Bob Dishy and Judy Graubart. Oscar winner Geoffrey Fletcher (he wrote “Precious”) agreed. Other guests included famed journalists Brian Ross and Bo Jamiesen.
Later, at the Royalton Hotel’s 44 Restaurant, Hazanavicius, Bejo, and star Jean DuJardin looked gleeful as they posed for pictures with actress-activist Trudie Styler, famed doc filmmaker DA Pennebaker, director Whit Stillman, and actress Parker Posey, among others. Stillman had along with him young actor Hugo Becker, who stars in his upcoming “Damsels in Distress” (set for March 2012).
When Becker was introduced to Posey, she replied: “I think the first movie I ever saw at the Paris Theater was Metropolitan”–Stillman’s 1990 debut. Becker, it should be noted, was 4 that year. Parker Posey, already reminiscing? She’s the one actress who should have a hit comedy show on HBO or Showtime. Hello?