Thursday, February 22, 2024

George Clooney, A List Pals Celebrate Monuments Men at Gala Premiere


Just before another storm hit New York, it was time for an A list movie premiere. George Clooney hit town last night at the Ziegfeld with “Monuments Men,” followed by Columbia Pictures’ swanky party at the Metropolitan Club. The whole cast did the night, although Cate Blanchett skipped the soiree lest some new wanker blame her for Woody Allen’s family problems. The poor woman!

Anyway, Clooney was in good company with Matt Damon, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray, Hugh Bonneville (that’s Lord Grantham to you, from “Downton Abbey”) and producer Grant Heslov. And they were in good company with the likes of Joel Coen showing up, as well as Regis and Joy Philbin, Vanity Fair’s Graydon Carter, Vogue’s Anna Wintour, actor Richard Kind, art dealer Larry Gagosian, and “Gravity” director Alfonso Cuaron among the guests.

Clooney was accompanied by his parents, the affable Nick and Nina, not to mention his singer god-daughter Nora Sagal, niece of Katy Sagal. Nora entertained with her band in one of the rooms at the Metropolitan Club. She also has a featured singing spot in the movie.

I also ran into an old friend– the delightful actor and writer Malachy McCourt (his brother was Frank McCourt, author of “Angela’s Ashes”). McCourt’s wife’s cousin is the widow of one of the real Monuments Men, who saved all the European art from the Nazis.

Bill Murray posed with some West Point cadets who came down for the screening. Women flocked to George as if he were wearing catnip. Jean DuJardin, Best Actor two years ago for “The Artist,” proved he can speak in English and also dazzle the ladies. Clooney had some long chats with Cuaron (remember, George is in “Gravity”). The Metropolitan Club was bursting and bubbling.

Best story of the night happened in the theater. Regis, in form, walked right down the aisle at the Ziegfeld and plopped down in the wrong seats. They belonged to Graydon Carter and his wife Anna. “I don’t know, someone put me here,” said Reege, as if gathering material for the next morning’s show. Joy looked exasperated. Finally, ushers were deployed to figure it all out.

Quipped Graydon with perfect comic timing: “I often come into my office in the morning, and there he is, sitting there.”

photo c2014 Showbiz411

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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