Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Oscar Thursday: Elton John Blesses Art Show, Leo Bans Press, Chris Rock On the Scene


Oscar Thursday means everyone’s out and about, favors are being returned, or ignored, friends and enemies are crossing paths in Hollywood…

At Larry Gagosian’s annual art gallery opening in Beverly Hills, Sir Elton John and husband David Furnish arrived at the mid point. They parted a sea of people like Moses, and Elton gave his blessing to the show of witty large canvasses painted by Alex Israel and inscribed by Bret Easton Ellis.

At one point it was impossible to move through the two cavernous white rooms because people– almost of none of whom I recognized– were thickly arranged hoping for glimpses of more celebs. Adrien Brody was spotted, and so was Eli Roth. Someone said they saw Cate Blanchett, but that may have been wishful thinking…

Last year Leonardo DiCaprio floated into the Gagosian sea wearing his clamped down baseball cap and sporting a big beard. He said he was shooting a movie in northern Canada, in the wet and cold. Flash forward a year and “The Revenant” is up for several Oscars. Leo is the leading candidate for Best Actor, and his campaign is based on the fact that he’s been nominated 6 times and waited 20 years to get an award.

Tonight Leo will appear at the Giorgio Armani boutique on Rodeo Drive during the cocktail hour. And get this: there’s no press allowed. As with all of Leo’s Oscar campaign press is banned from being near him. Also, the invitees to the Armani store have been sent emails instructing “no selfies, no interviews, don’t speak to the star.” Haha. what fun! Very different than past Best Actor winners…

…Meantime, all the action last night was at the Sunset Tower hotel dining room. Even thought a party for “Room” next door was lackluster, the dining room was buzzing with Chris Rock, Mark Ruffalo and lots of actors, producers, and even Hollywood legend Nikki Haskell. Chris demurred when anyone tried to ask about his Oscar monologue. The place was so busy that extra tables had to be added in the lobby of the hotel! Someone said, “What’s next? Tables in the driveway?”

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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