Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Oscar Eve Brings Out DiCaprio, JLO, Colin Firth, A List for King’s Speech


Oscar alert: Michelle Williams, nominated for Best Actres in “Blue Valentine,” is battling a cold. She’ll be at the Oscars, but maybe in a ski parka considering the frigid– for Los Angeles–weather. Scott Rudin, producer of both “True Grit” and “The Social Network” is now said not to be coming. The blogger Nikki Finke has been punished by the Academy for publishing what she thinks is the rundown of the entire Oscar show and pronouncing it a bore–very dumb. Charlie Sheen has taped an ABC TV interview without advise or counsel of his publicist, Stan Rosenfield.

But the Oscars go on, as they must! Harvey Weinstein, bracing for a “King’s Speech” win, threw the best party of the weekend so far at SoHo House with dozens and dozens of stars from Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter to web moguls Jeff Bezos (the founder of and Sean Parker (of Facebook fame). Indeed, Harvey’s party spilled onto the edge of the Soho House patio overlooking West Hollywood with Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Brett Ratner and Bradley Cooper–then the very large presence of Quinton Aaron of last year’s “The Blind Side” appeared, and yours truly scooted back up the stairs to terra firma where more sensible people like Gerard Butler and Jamie Foxx were doing their shmoozing less like sardines.

And everywhere you went in Soho House you ran into old friends or refugees from Jeffrey Katzenberg’s The Night Before party at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Maybe because the Motion Picture Fund has settled its scandalous situation with the Motion Picture Fund, more stars arrived at the BHH at least for the photo op and some kind of gift bag. In the famed Polo Lounge, though, because they’d arrived early, I ran into a hot threesome at a small table by the lounge singer: Jude Law, Robert Downey Jr. and his very smart, beautiful producer wife Susan, who’s guided these two guys now through their second “Sherlock Holmes” movie. Watch out for that Susan Downey, kids: she knows what she’s doing! Soon Reese Witherspoon arrived, the gang had a drink in a banquet and then braced themselves for the evening.

And in the lobby: Hugh Jackman and wife Debra Lee, looking like movie stars in black tie; Amy Adams and Darren LeGallo, 14 year old nomineee Hailee Steinfeld, and so on.

Meanwhile, wait, back at Harvey’s, sponsored by Montblanc for the Princess Grace Foundation, I sat down with Helena Bonham Carter and Tim Burton, while Melissa Leo was introduced to Jenny Lumet–granddaughter of Lena Horne. There’s a tribute to Lena tonight on the Oscars. Who else? Gorgeous Kerry Washington, Zack Braff, Adrien Brody, Oscar Isaac (who is up for the lead in the new “Bourne” movie), CNN’s Piers Morgan, Gabrielle Union, Jeremy Piven, Malin Ackerman, Stephen Moyer of “True Blood,” Ryan Phillippe, Chris Evans, and the famed photographer Ellen von Unwerth were just more of Harvey’s guests–not to mention his mom, Miriam, who’s getting ready for that red carpet tonight!

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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