Vanity Fair honcho Graydon Carter had promised for weeks that his venerable Vanity Fair bash — moved to the Sunset Towers hotel — would be more intimate than it had been at Morton’s on Melrose Avenue.
It’s true that you could move around the bars, sofas and dining areas. But the VF party was still pretty jammed until after midnight, when many celebs headed home or hit the Patrick Whitesall-Endeavor Partner party or the Prince bash.
Kate Winslet — still teary-eyed and emotional — told friends and well-wishers, "All I need right now is one good nap." She frequently took mini kitten naps as she held court on a couch in a back area — periodically resting her head on her dad’s and husband Sam Mendes’ shoulders.
Most awkward moment? Ryan Phillippe and girlfriend Abbe Cornish walking — or shall we say sprinting — right past Ryan’s ex-wife, Reese Witherspoon, and her current love, Jake Gyllenhaal. No, neither couple stopped to exchange pleasantries. Ouch. This must make child visitation really fun.
Writer Fran Lebowitz, a VF party regular — her feet sprawled on the ottoman — sat on a sofa with her pal Mick Jagger and his posse. Nearby were Dylan McDermott and Tilda Swinton — doing their own thing on the same long couch.
Funniest moment? Mick struggling to carry four champagne glasses while walking back to the couch, then handing him to his longtime gal pal L’Wren Scott and their friends. Then he belted out "Happy Birthday" to a pal while Fran, Dylan and Tilda completely ignored a rock legend singing the Happy Birthday song.
Only in super-jaded Hollywood. Or maybe he sings it every year. Maybe it’s like Mick’s annual "lampshade on the head" VF party moment.
Oscar winner Sean Penn was being unusually gracious. But he seemed more proud of his son — and introducing him to his pals — than his gold Oscar statue. When Penn was asked what was in his future, he replied, "Speaking out — never stopping."
Did we mention that Penn’s pal Mickey Rourke was there to congratulate him on his Oscar win? And Rourke was wearing a cowboy hat. As if he didn’t already stand out like a sore thumb.
Robert De Niro was in a talky mood with Elvis Costello, music producer Richard Perry and songwriter Bruce Roberts. Close by, NBC head honcho Ben Silverman was tucked away in a corner with funny guys Sacha Baron Cohen and Jerry Seinfeld. Perhaps a new TV series? Wouldn’t that be great?
Earlier, Cohen was seen catching up with his old pal Madonna, who came with manager Guy Oseary, not her boy toy Jesus Luz, as had been rumored. Maybe she decided the party would go way past his bedtime? She seemed really happy to see fellow performer-mother Gwen Stefani.
Naturally, secret-smoker celebs headed for the lung cancer zone. Jimmy Kimmel and on-again girlfriend Sarah Silverman cuddled near their pals.
So did hot new couple Justin Long, the Mac guy, and "Big Love" star Gennifer Goodwin. See, there is life after Drew Barrymore and Chris Klein.
Sully was very smooth. One observer noted that the dude was so cool, "He could have landed this party on the Hudson River and not lost a single celebrity."
Elton John, who popped into the VF bash after his party, was holding court with Elvis Costello. When "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner was introduced to Elton, the singer and AIDS activist jumped up, bear-hugged Weiner and said, "I swear, ‘Mad Men’ is my favorite show! It absolutely thrills me.”
Who knew Captain Fantastic was into that closeted period? Maybe it brings back memories.
They were chatting with another hot couple, "Mad Men" star John Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt, who cameras had caught kissing earlier in the night.
Who was the most excited to be at the Vanity Fair bash?
Keep reading to find out what Halle Berry, Kate Winslet and Anne Hathaway got up last night. And what on earth got Uma Thurman so angry?
]]>The "Slumdog Millionaire" contingent, in their Indian garb, all danced together in the corner. Everyone had saucer-wide eyes and "gee whiz" looks on their faces.
Alicia Keys, in a sunny yellow gown, chatted with Halle Berry and "Benjamin Button" nominee Taraji Henson. Perhaps they talked about how great it was to have two African American women nominated for top acting Oscars this year?
"The Reader" director Stephen Daldry fawned over honored documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles, while Anne Hathaway sat in a corner, graciously accepting kudos for her singing with Hugh Jackman in the telecast.
She sure did hold that last note!
One strange threesome: Tyler Perry talking to Chevy Chase and George Hamilton. How do they even know each other?
"Frost/Nixon" director Ron Howard was the family man, hanging with his wife, Cheryl, and actress daughter Bryce Dallas Howard.
Rollings Stones fan girl Diablo Cody ogled Mick Jagger and was overheard telling her date how "insane it was — look — he’s over there!”
Most authentic moment of the night? Breast cancer survivor Sheryl Crow hugging breast cancer survivor Christina Applegate and telling her how proud she was of her.
Uma Thurman kept getting exasperated all night every time someone stepped on her long designer dress.
Here’s a thought: Wear a shorter frock, Uma.
You’re not exactly a fresh-faced VF guest. You know the dangerous fashion drill at Oscar parties.
Reporting: Leah Sydney