Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Oscar Notes: Tom Ford Gets a Who’s Who of Something, Oscars Gets First Female Conductor, “1917” Celebrates End of “War”


Oscar celebrating has begun in earnest, although it’s not what it used to be since the main player, Harvey Weinstein, is on trial in New York.

But the beat goes on. On Friday, fashion designer and part time film maker held a fashion show  with a Who’s Who of something,I’m not sure what, at Milk Studios. Ford’s Oscar get was Renee Zellweger, who sat in the front row. The rest of the guest list — and the models– were more like ripped from the pages of Us Magazine with Jennifer Lopez, Miley Cyrus, Demi Moore, and Kate Hudson leading the pack. The show was very Jennerous, with Kris Jenner clucking over various members of her family, while tabloid subjects such as Jason Momoa and Lisa Bonet, Rob Lowe, and Patrick Schwarzenegger roamed the room. Jon Hamm came in a strange silvery suit. Miley Cyrus’s brother, her escort, is tattooed from head to foot and everywhere in between. It was very high and low, with the emphasis on low. No Leo, Brad, Joaquin. No Oscar timed fashion show will ever compete with Armani’s literally all A list runway years ago at Ron Burkle’s mansion. But life goes on…

Also on Friday night, Women in Film threw their annual bast at the Sunset Room in Hollywood, with a nod to Idina Menzel, who will sing from “Frozen II” at the Oscars on Sunday night. She can’t “let it go” and why should she?  I ran into the adorable Beanie Feldstein right away (they should package her for mass consumption, everyone would be happy), and there was a big representation from women in music like Diane Warren (11th nomination for Best Song) and Regina Spektor (who got screwed out of a nomination for her “Bombshell” song because of unfiled paperwork!). Spektor emigrated with her family from Moscow to the Bronx in 1989, she told me. What a success story! Now she’s a proud New Yorker. Even though she’s not in this year’s Oscar mix, my guess is she’ll be back soon enough. She was signed to Sire Records years ago by the great Seymour Stein, the man who made Madonna, the Ramones, Pretenders, and Talking Heads. Seymour’s stars have longevity, that’s for sure!

I also ran into Eímear Noone, the very first female conductor of the Oscars orchestra. She’s from Dublin, has a long, stellar career already but now adds this historic honor. She will also conduct the 42 piece orchestra right from the Kodak Theater. Eimar told me that rehearsals have been terrific, beyond her expectations. She has been particularly impressed with Chrissy Metz, who will sing Diane Warren’s “I’m Standing with You” and stars in “This is Us.” Eimar says: “She’s going to blow away the audience.” Eimar has one foot in her hometown of Dublin, and one in Los Angeles, where she’s married to composer-producer Craig Stuart Garfinkle, brother of Broadway producer David Garfinkle. With that connection, I hope we see her in New York soon conducting a hit show!

One of the weekend’s first get togethers was for Sam Mendes’s “1917” at Universal Pictures’ annual soiree at Spago. Mendes hadn’t gotten to town yet from London, but his star, George Mackay, was there and brought his family. The great Jacqueline Bisset was on hand before taking off for a film shoot in Eastern Europe. All the Universal leaders were here including Ron Meyer and Donna Langley, and of course Wolfgang Puck, who looks like he’s getting younger. It must be the pizza with smoked salmon! Universal had a rollercoaster season with “1917” making more than $100 million and winning awards, and “Cats” clawing its way to the bottom. But that’s how it works in big studios. If they win tomorrow night, it will be no surprise.



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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