Our LA reporter LEAH SYDNEY taking note in December: With the kudos of a Golden Globe Nomination, Angelina Jolie’s moving new film, “In the Land of Blood and Honey,” the movie also got a thumbs up from General Wesley Clark, a retired General who also ran for President in 2004. At the premiere in Hollywood The General told us, “I was there during that war, and this film was hard to watch but totally truthful. Extremely realistic and terribly moving.” The General then had a chat with Angelina.
We then asked Angelina if the heaviness of the scenes ever go to her.
Angelina: “It was a kind and gentle set. Both sides came together, especially during the heavy scenes. My cast and crew were just amazing.”
Andrea Bocelli launched his new foundation with a performance at the Beverly Hilton. With David Foster at the piano, Heather Headley sang ‘I can’t Falling in Love With You’ and Michael Bolton also sang. Andrea sang his classics, ‘Ava Maria,’ ‘ Amazing Grace,’ ‘More’ and ‘New York, New York.’
Chaka Khan told us: “This is special for me. I love him as a singer, there’s a sensitive and beautiful human being. He is living out his calling of helping others. Hopefully we’ll sing something together.”
Chaka had a nonstop greeting line of well wishers. How does she feel about that?
Chaka: “I love everybody, nothing wrong with love. That’s what the world needs now to quote my pal Dionne [Warwick].”
We asked what’s coming up?
Chaka: ”I’m working on a duet CD of all the duets I’ve done for the 40 years I’ve been in the business. Everybody from Miles Davis, to all of them, they’re on there. I’ve sung with almost every guy in the business! It should be out by the summer. “
Quincy Jones got the inaugural Humanitarian award presented by Bocelli. ”Andrea and I met in 2004. I love him from the bottom of my soul.”
Quincy told me he just ran into President Obama and Hillary Clinton. “I last saw Obama a couple of weeks ago with Hillary in Bali when they were there for convention. I went up to surprise him. He said to me, “what the hell are you doing here? Amazing…”
Also at the event: Harvey Weinstein, Haim and Cheryl Saban, Natalie Cole, and Taylor Hackford. The evening benefited educational outreach for The Grammy Museum and MIT research.
And L.A. kept spinning in December with…
Barbra Streisand presenting the Dream Foundation Founder’s Humanitarian Award in Santa Barbara to her dear friend Donna Karan calling her, “the most scattered, disorganized human being you’ll ever meet.”
Helen Mirren recited David Mamet poetry and Tim Robbins sang at his Actor’s Gang Studio in Culver City at a benefit for ‘Get Lit,’ which provides poetry/literature programs in arts deprived inner city Los Angeles schools. James Franco also sent a special pre-recorded message.
Iconic hair stylist Jose Eber welcomed guests into his brand new flagship salon in Beverly Hills. Betty Buckley admired the space, which was formerly owned by Christie’s Auction House. Jose’s good pal, the late Elizabeth Taylor, inspired the rich purple and luxurious décor. “Dancing With the Stars” Kym Johnson also browsed the latest red carpet jewelry from Jacob & Co and Palladium jewelry.
Carmen Electra chatting with beautyundercover.com’s Susan Campos and Holly Baril at their event benefiting P.S. Arts in Beverly Hills.
Kristin Chenoweth wowed the Divine Design crowd at the Beverly Hilton with two songs, “What Would Dolly Do?” and “Boy” from her new album “Some Lessons Learned,” as well as, “ It Had to Be You” at the 20th annual Divine Design Gala. The event honored “The Help’s” Viola Davis, Chef Thomas Keller and Costume Designer Patricia Fields.
Guitarist/Songwriter Aaron McLlain who has played with Marc Anthony, Beto Quevas and Air Supply among others, jamming at the hip Hollywood club The Mint.
IFC’s Dan Pasternack chatting with Sarah Silverman at the ‘Comedy Bang, Bang Benefit’ at the Montalban Theater in Hollywood.
Eyewear Designer Sheila Vance with Jewelry Designer Loree Rodkin chatting with VIP’s at Sheila’s private showroom at Sama in West Hollywood.