Thursday, June 13, 2024

Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, Colin Firth, SoHo House: Oscar Party Wars


On a night when traffic was gridlocked all over Hollywood thanks to parties, designer Tom Ford, Nick Jones of SoHo House, and art gallery owner Larry Gagosian were winners. The Hollywood Reporter was a loser. It’s basic arithmetic. The Reporter threw a party for the top 10 movies. The only acting nominee who showed, sources say,  was Amy Adams. (Did she lose a bet?) The rest of the pics are of the lovely celebs who circulate on an awards weekend like Sharon Stone and Heather Graham.

The big winners? SoHo House, where I think the whole world seemed to converge around 11pm, after “Single Man” director and fashion designer Tom Ford pulled out big guns for his snazzy Rodeo Drive store launch: In short order–and in close quarters– I ran into Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, Colin Firth (who starred in “Single Man”) and his bw Livia, Harvey Weinstein, Norman Lear, Brad Grey, Graydon Carter, Mitch Glazer and Kelly Lynch, Jacqueline Bissett, Elizabeth Banks, Eva Longoria,John Stamos, Gina Gershon, Colleen Camp, Milla Jovovich, Valentino, Suzanne Somers and Alan Hamel, Ginny Goodwin, Kirsten Davis, — all catered by Wolfgang Puck, who was standing at the top of the stairs with a Cheshire cat grin. It’s nice to cook for the A list!

BTW: Tom Ford told me will make another film. “I have to open these stores to pay for the films,” he told me with a wry laugh.

Around the corner at Larry Gagosian’s art gallery, famed Los Angeles artist Ed Ruscha premiered his Psycho Spaghetti Western paintings–they are great–for rockers like Michael Stipe, Robbie Robertson. and Anthony Kiedis, Hollywood heavyweights like Michael York (and wife Pat), Barbara Davis (and odd grandson Brandon), Adrien Brody, Drew Barrymore, Suzanne Somers and Alan Hamel, Stephanie March, Bobby Neuwirth, the great Beach Boys songwriter Van Dyke Parks, artists Ed Moses and Andy Moses, Bryan Lourd, and Sasha Alexander. Steve Martin and Mick Jagger didn’t make the show, but they went to the annual dinner afterwards at Mr. Chow.

But the hot night ended not at Mr. Chow but at SoHo House, where Nick Jones threw a private party for friends like Lionel Richie, Donna Karan, Harvey Weinstein, Jon Hamm, Anthony Mackie, Virginia Madsen, LA Reid, Benny Medina, Leonardo DiCaprio, Alexander Skarsgaard, David O. Russell and his parents, Donovan Leitch, and so on. I ran into four of my favorite show biz ladies–Nikki Haskell, Loree Rodkin, Jane Rose, and Joann Hurwitz, all looking ready for Oscar weekend.

The big night culminated with a wild frenzied spectacular piano performance by Eric Lewis, aka ELEW, who if you haven’t seen or heard you must. Harvey Weinstein was so wowed that he hired ELEW on the spot to play at his Saturday night gala. Lewis’s hands move in a blur and I think he goes into a trance as he reinvents pop classics into free form jazz masterpieces–he mashed up the Stones’ “Paint it Black” with Vince Guaraldi’s “Peanuts” theme music–it was amazing.

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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