Monday, April 15, 2024

Vanity Fair Faces Oscar Night Competition For Its Last Successful Offering: The Party

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The tents are up on Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills. The Vanity Fair Oscar party is back this Sunday.

But a lot has changed in recent years. The party that Graydon Carter created so successfully has a lot of competition now. It’s not what it was under the current regime. The magazine — with dwindling circulation and less internet traffic than ever — is not a must read. Often the covers have nothing to do with Hollywood at all.

And then there’s the magazine’s Hollywood issue, on sale now. Aside from Bradley Cooper, there are few other Oscar nominees and a lot of television people. The magazine could not get anyone from “Oppenheimer,” the expected Best Picture winner. Back in the day, Carter and his people would feature the heavy hitting stars of the day. Now the VF cover seems like it’s more about who would show up.

The party itself will get more attention than the magazine, that’s for sure. There will be plenty of red carpet photos of the stars. But many of these will be photo ops, stop-by’s on the way to other activities that didn’t exist in the old days.

For one thing, Universal Pictures is throwing a gala competing event for “Oppenheimer” and “The Holdovers” following the Oscar show. The studio is not fooling around. Apple is having a party for “Killers of the Flower Moon,” with Lily Gladstone — who’s expected to win Best Actress.

There’s also the Elton John party, which grabs a lot of attention from Vanity Fair, and raises money for the singer’s important AIDS Foundation. They will have Sir Elton, David Furnish, and plenty of stars including co-hosts Tiffany Haddish and Neil Patrick Harris.

And then there are overlapping after-after parties. Madonna and manager Guy Oseary pull a lot of the Vanity Fair crowd from the magazine’s red carpet right up into the Hollywood Hills. (No press allowed.) Jay Z and Beyonce welcome Black Hollywood to the Chateau Marmont, also by invite only and with a lot of security. There are major Black actors nominated for awards this year, none of whom have been on the cover of Vanity Fair. Where do you think they will go?

Vanity Fair is owned by Conde Nast, which has laid off hundreds of employees over the last couple of years. The magazine publisher is much diminished from its halcyon days. It won’t be lost on those who’ve been laid off that this annual event costs a lot of money and in the end, winds up being a meeting — according to my sources — now stuffed to the gills with ad reps.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
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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