Ticket to the Oscar After-Party
The awards were just the beginning of the night for the stars. Jacob Bernstein talks to Jeff Bridges and more at the Vanity Fair party. Plus, our gallery of the party circuit and arrivals.
The petting zoo for celebrities that is the Vanity Fair Oscar party took over the Sunset Tower Hotel Sunday night and it did not disappoint.
Sandra Bullock clutched her Oscar and gamely posed for photographs with the famous and non-famous alike.
Sean Penn stood by the bar gabbing with Ben Stiller.
Hilary Swank was nearby munching on In-N-Out Burgers.
Click Below to View Our Gallery of Oscar Party Photos and Arrivals
Kathryn Bigelow, director of the evening's big winner, The Hurt Locker, was holding court at the back of an enormous tented area, along with the film's screenwriter, Mark Boal. Their babies together—otherwise known as little gold men—were resting on a stand in front of them, surrounded on all sides by empty drinks.
Though he didn't win, everyone wanted a piece of Morgan Freeman.
First came Lee Daniels, the director of Precious, whose boyfriend was taking pictures of Daniels and Freeman on a digital camera.
Next up was this year's Best Supporting Actor winner, Christoph Waltz, who approached and gave Freeman and a big hug.
Most people agreed the actual show had been a bore. The problem wasn't the hosts, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, both of whom people said were pretty good. Rather it's that ridiculous ceremony, the worst part of which was all the actors standing on stage serenading Jeff Bridges, Gabourey Sidibe, Bullock, et al.
"It's like 'You were such a fantastic co-star, you're such a kind human being, and you're so nice to your dog,'" said one well-known actor in the room, before giving a little roll of the eyes.
"That part's got to go," agreed an industry player working the room.
And there was the fact that so little had actually surprised, from The Hurt Locker winning Best Picture to Mo'Nique and Waltz taking home little gold men in the Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress categories.
• Watch the 22 Best Oscar Moments• Nicole LaPorte: Out of Touch OscarsPerhaps the most unexpected moment of the telecast was Geoffrey Fletcher's win in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for Precious, which most people (including Fletcher) thought was going to Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner for Up In The Air.
"I was fairly confident of that," Fletcher said, shortly after letting a total stranger cop an Oscar feel. "Enough so that I actually enjoyed myself during the show. I had no real speech prepared and on other nights I did."
Around 12:30 a.m., Bridges walked in, his shirt's top few buttons undone, his new toy in hand.
What was harder, we asked him: Making the actual movie or getting through awards season, which now includes about a dozen critics’ choice awards, the Indie Spirits, the Palm Springs Festival, the Golden Globes, and the Oscars?
"Doing the awards circuit, for sure" he said as waiters walked by serving Krispy Kreme Donuts and mini-versions of the Magnolia Bakery cupcakes. "Isn't it weird how many events there are?"
Still, he had a smile on his face as wide as a small state. He even lauded the actual telecast. "I know I'm prejudiced," he said, "but what a great show."
And from where he stood, it had been.
Jacob Bernstein is a senior reporter at The Daily Beast. Previously, he was a features writer at WWD and W Magazine. He has also written for New York magazine, Paper, and The Huffington Post.