Sunday, May 26, 2024

Oscar Week: “King’s,” “Kids,” “Fighter” Party On, “Social Network” AWOL


Last night– Wednesday–felt like the kick off for “Oscar Week.” But where oh where is the gang from the critically praised box office hit, “The Social Network’? They are AWOL while the other Best Picture nominees begin to celebrate their films.  “The Social Network” is not very social, it seems. There’s nothing scheduled for them, and no sign of anyone except the affable Armie Hammer. Producer Scott Rudin missed the Writers Guild Awards on February 5th because of pneumonia, and then kind of disappeared. There is a dinner this week for “True Grit” and the Coen Brothers, but no sign of  Rudin, who produced both that film and “The Social Network.”  I’m told that the reason for no “Network” event may be traced to internal disagreements between Rudin and Sony, which released that film. It’s odd, because Sony Pictures Classics is having its own annual nominees dinner as usual, this year to celebrate Jacki Weaver.

Rudin, by the way, says I protest too much: he’s in New York starting a movie and has three  Broadway shows all opening and previewing. “Sony’s done everything for us,” he insists. So there!

Meanwhile, the other films are mostly all present: Last night, for example, Dior held a swanky dinner for Harvey Weinstein at the Chateau Marmont. Sharon Stone, Ridley Scott, Halle Berry, Olivier Martinez, Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, Adrien Brody, Anne Hathaway, Chelsea Handler (with Chateau owner Andre Balazs), and lots of French people swarmed the Chateau lobby and gardens, all decked out very elegantly. “The King’s Speech” and “Blue Valentine” also get a party on Saturday night.

Over at Cecconi’s, the “Kids Are All Right” producer Celine Rattray and director Lisa Cholodenko entertained their crowd. And there’s more: for the last few days there have been all kinds of stealth parties and lunches for David O. Russell, director of “The Fighter.” When James Franco arrives, there will be at least two parties connected to “127 Hours,” not to mention two other parties thrown by Fox Searchlight–one tonight, for their anniversary, with no press, and one on Sunday. That will also take care of “Black Swan” and Natalie Portman.

More parties: the “new”  Hollywood Reporter is giving the exact same party the “old” Hollywood Reporter gave last year, even though they fired Eric Mika, the former publisher, who invented the idea of using Mayor Villiaragosa’s residence. Nothing will ever top last year’s party, which featured guests Mel Gibson and Oksana Grigorieva who looked like they’d been sleeping in their clothes and then suddenly remembered they had a party at attend. It was their last public appearance before the fighting began through lawyers. Even “Mad Dog” Beckman can’t top that!

The Hollywood Reporter, now a weekly glossy, is a mystery to everyone here. They have no ads, but lots of expensive photo shoots and a big overhead with salaries. Last week their issue carried seven “house” ads — touting themselves–and one commercial page, from Armani. Even the inside back page, on heavy stock, was a house ad.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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