Oscars 2015: Parties for ‘Boyhood’ and the Beautiful People


Photo

From left, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater and director Richard Linklater attending a Vanity Fair party for “Boyhood.”Credit Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Vanity Fair

Updated, 3:07 p.m. | LOS ANGELES — Sixty hours till the Oscars are behind us – hurrah! – and if you think the Bagger has been counting this down for weeks now, you’re absolutely right.

In the interim, Hollywood is prepping by throwing as many parties as it can. Well-meaning, random and baffling, invariably peopled by folks endowed with money, and/or looks and/or, it must be said, talent, the parties are easy to spot from the outside – by huddles of professional autograph seekers, fans, a few paparazzi, and valet lines clogged with Jaguars, Ferraris, Mercedes — and yours truly’s rented Chevy.

Starting Wednesday night, the Bagger dipped into the fray, braving standstill traffic created by the street closure near the Dolby Theater, the site of the Academy Awards, to get to the envirosustainability nonprofit Global Green USA’s pre-Oscar fête in Hollywood. Along with serving up kale, naturally, and paper (not plastic) straws, the party also drew an almost touching array of actors and celebrities from the ’90s and before: Billy Zane, Daphne Zuniga from “Melrose Place,” Cheryl Tiegs and … Marla Maples (!).

The Bagger had to miss Common’s performance of “Glory,” his Oscar-nominated song from “Selma,” as she set off for West Hollywood, where the Irish folks connected to the Oscar-nominated animated feature “Song of the Sea” were making merry in a cozy little pub, the towering and ever-funny Chris O’Dowd among them. This is the second film that the Cartoon Saloon, based in Kilkenny, Ireland, has had nominated, but those involved were clearly still over the moon about it. Even so, though the film has been released most elsewhere in the world, it has yet to open in Ireland, but will do so in July.

Photo

Gugu Mbatha-Raw at the Essence Magazine luncheon.Credit Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

On Thursday, Essence threw its annual Black Women in Hollywood luncheon, with the level of energy, glamor and sizzle in the room leaving no doubt that this is where the beautiful people were, among them Oprah Winfrey, Ava DuVernay, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Lupita Nyong’o. The cast of “Orange Is the New Black” drew one of the heartiest standing ovations, with Danielle Brooks, who plays Tasha Jefferson, accepting a Vanguard Award for the cast. “I want to thank all you chocolate goddesses out there,” she said to hoots and applause, “It’s really a challenge being a blacktress.”

Common and Legend were set to perform “Glory” at that luncheon too, but again the Bagger had to split early again: a full night was ahead.

Over in West Hollywood, Vanity Fair threw a bustling smallish party for “Boyhood,” where the film’s stars tried to calm their jitters about its Oscar prospects – it’s considered neck and neck with “Birdman” in the race for best picture.

Photo

Patricia Arquette with Eric White at the Vanity Fair event.Credit Colin Young-Wolff/Invision/Associated Press

The Bagger also learned that Patricia Arquette’s recent Los Angeles-transplant artist boyfriend, Eric White, is still, charmingly, a member of the Park Slope Food Coop.

After failing to find the director, Richard Linklater, the Bagger was off again, to the Hollywood Domino event at the Sunset Tower Hotel, which she had mistakenly assumed was being thrown by the style magazine Domino. But no, this was something different altogether – a quick email check revealed that the event described itself as a gathering of “Hollywood’s elite to help support a number of nonprofit organizations around the world by playing a fun new glamorous version of dominoes for a great cause.” In this case, the “elite” included Gina Gershon, Adrien Brody and Russell Simmons, and the very glitzy fund-raiser, partly overseen by Ms. Arquette, was for Artists for Justice and Peace (a nonprofit group working in Haiti), to which rather young donors were pledging tens of thousands of dollars in support a year.


Correction: Feb. 22, 2015
An earlier version of this post misidentified a guest at the Essence luncheon as Tasha Jefferson. The guest was Danielle Brooks, who plays that character on “Orange Is the New Black.”

Celebrating Long Shots and Outcasts


Photo

 “I’m just figuring we don’t have a chance,” Rory Kennedy said.Credit Danny Moloshok/Reuters

Updated, 5:39 p.m. | WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Rory Kennedy was fully expecting not to go home with the Oscar for best documentary feature on Sunday, yet nonetheless she was in high spirits Friday, at a sun-dappled lunch in the courtyard of the famous, and infamous, Chateau Marmont hotel.

“I’m a documentary filmmaker,” she said to the several dozen attendees, “This” – she waved to the white-linen-draped tables topped with carefully wrought small bouquets – “is not something we’re used to.”

Ms. Kennedy’s “Last Days in Vietnam” tells the wrenching tale of the hundreds of Vietnamese promised sanctuary then abandoned by Americans as Saigon fell: the last helicopters left the roof of the American Embassy without them.

Distributed by American Experience Films/PBS, it’s a very long shot for the documentary Oscar – “I’m just figuring we don’t have a chance,” Ms. Kennedy said merrily – and didn’t have bank that backed other campaigns, like that of “Citizenfour,” distributed by Radius, a unit of the Weinstein Company. Indeed, during luncheon chitchat, Ms. Kennedy seemed more concerned with the seven feet of snow paralyzing Boston. She did add, wryly, that during the Oscar ceremony, she would probably be the one wanting to be helicoptered away.

The luncheon, held by Dom Perignon, drew a grab bag of guests: Julian Sands, Cheryl Hines, Nicky Hilton, Peter Fonda, Maria Shriver, Minnie Driver and Andre Balazs, the hotelier behind the Chateau Marmont. The Bagger was seated by “American Experience’s” executive producer Mark Samels, who was among the many Northeasterners happy to be in town and escaping the frigidity home.

The Bagger shared another point of solidarity with him: he hadn’t been invited to Vanity Fair’s ballyhooed Oscar afterparty either. Viva los outcasts!

Correction: Feb. 21, 2015
An earlier version of this post misstated Andre Balazs’s role in the luncheon. He was a guest, not the host. The host was Dom Perignon.