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2011 Vanity Fair Oscar party: Impossible glamour (and a taste of In-N-Out Burger)

February 28, 2011 |  1:12 pm

Natalie Portman at the 2011 Vanity Fair Oscar party

With a giant photo of actor James Dean looming over the entrance to Los Angeles' Sunset Tower Hotel, Vanity Fair welcomed an army of stars to its 2011 Academy Awards post-party.

Notoriously exclusive and always glamorous, the annual event did not disappoint as big winners including Natalie Portman, Colin Firth, Melissa Leo and director Tom Hooper came with trophies in hand to greet Editor in Chief Graydon Carter.

Colin Firth and Anne Hathaway at the Vanity Fair party
Portman was naturally the belle of the ball, hand-in-hand with fiance Benjamin Millipied as countless people congratulated her on her awards-season sweep.

Jude Law palled around with Cameron Diaz and "Contagion" costar Gwyneth Paltrow while Gabrielle Union chatted with Jamie Foxx -- who then ran into his friend Jessica Biel. Biel and Foxx  went off together to circulate while Justin Timberlake stood with Andrew Garfield and his girlfriend.

Gorgeous women weren't in short supply, including newly single Scarlett Johansson, who was engaged in deep conversation with Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter. Though this was Portman's year, few could quite contain themselves when nominee Michelle Williams floated by.

In stunning Chanel haute couture, Williams had a soft glow that stopped conversations and, frankly, assured us she'll make a convincing Marilyn Monroe in the forthcoming "My Week With Marilyn."

Colin Firth at the 2011 Vanity Fair Oscar partyLet us not forget Williams' humble roots, however: She looked right at home speaking with former "Dawson's Creek" costar Busy Phillips

Star couples -- including Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, designer Tom Ford and Richard Buckley, Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth, Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt, Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts, and Judd Apatow and Leslie Mann -- put up unified fronts.

But no couple was so convincing as Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, the picture of young Hollywood come to the grown-ups' table, running back and forth between the Tower bar and terrace holding hands (yes, they were). Taylor Swift made an appearance in a gold mini, snacking from a cone full of In-N-Out Burger fries that was getting passed around. Meanwhile, her former flames Jake Gyllenhaal and Joe Jonas worked the crowd. 

It's a good year to be a television star, being that many small-screen favorites were invited to film's big night: Sofia Vergara of "Modern Family" and "Glee" folks including Lea Michele, Chris Colfer and Matthew Morrison made the scene.

Fellow gleek Dianna Agron showed up, looking nowhere near as traumatized as some since-debunked reports would have her after her split with actor Alex Pettyfer

Lourdes Leon and Madonna at the 2011 Vanity Fair Oscar party Also less than stressed were Kate Beckinsale and Len Wiseman, legendary designer Valentino Garavani, Kathryn Bigelow, Jimmy Kimmel, Jackie and Joan Collins, and returning mother-daughter guests Madonna and Lourdes Leon

Just before the house cleared out about 1:30 a.m., a loose and smiling Anne Hathaway stepped away from the bar, downing a glass of water. We think she earned it. 

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-- Matt Donnelly
Twitter.com/MattDonnelly

Upper photos: Natalie Portman rocks her bump and her other baby, the lead actress Oscar statuette, at the 2011 Vanity Fair Oscar party. Right: Actor Colin Firth and actress Anne Hathaway arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar party. Credits: Pascal le Segretain / Getty Images; Craig Barritt / Getty Images

Middle photo: Colin Firth, this year's Oscar acting "King," attends with Livia Giuggioli. Credit: Pascal le Segretain / Getty Images

Lower photo: Lourdes Leon and Madonna return to the VF party. Credit: Pascal le Segretain / Getty Images

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