Oscars 2012: Solid gold and stars at Vanity Fair after-party
Oscar winner or Oscar loser, anyone can break even at the Academy Awards' most exclusive after-party — anyone who's been invited, that is. And so another year of Vanity Fair madness came to pass, with magazine Editor Graydon Carter hosting a new crop of film honorees, luminaries from politics, art and fashion, and even some royalty.
The Sunset Tower Hotel was a glamorous war zone of barricaded fans, tinted SUVs and paparazzi Sunday evening as folks made their way to the fete from the telecast in Hollywood.
Carter had first welcomed 130 guests for dinner and the show, among them Amy Adams, Jon Hamm and Jennifer Westfeldt, Bill Maher, Les Moonves and Julie Chen, Sofia Vergara, Jason Sudeikis and Olivia Wilde, George Lucas, Tom Ford, Jane Fonda, Claire Danes and Chris Martin.
After "The Artist" claimed best picture, dinner tables were cleared and doors opened to the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, who joined husband Martin for a cocktail. Paltrow wasn't shy about her admiration for several famous guests, at one point retrieving her smartphone and asking Steve Martin and Martin Short to take a photo with her.
Paula Patton had been telling us for weeks about her anxiety over a dress for the occasion, eventually going with a Naeem Khan mini. "I had to pull the trigger, so I went short," she said. "I love long gowns, but this just felt right."
At that precise moment, everyone stopped to appreciate Cameron Diaz and her gown, a form-fitting red-orange number.
Thanks to their creative endeavors, some New Yorkers came to town, among them "Saturday Night Live" star and original screenplay nominee Kristen Wiig. Plenty of funny females surrounded her, including Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey and Melissa McCarthy.
Kate Hudson stepped out with fiance Matt Bellamy, both looking excited for a date night away from their new baby -- pictures of whom Hudson shared excitedly with Owen Wilson.
Selena Gomez wandered around with a girlfriend, likely missing the mischief she and Justin Bieber enjoyed at last year's party. Katy Perry also went stag, sticking close to a male friend and sipping bubbly.
Piers Morgan and Meredith Vieira chewed the fat, observing the Prince of Monaco and bride Princess Charlene meeting Collins sisters Joan and Jackie and adding some royal excitement to an already overwhelming guest list.
Neil Patrick Harris talked television with Busy Philipps, leaving his partner, David Burtka, to entertain Michelle Williams while Kate Beckinsale fed husband Len Wiseman an In N Out burger — a staple each year at this event.
Abstaining from the the fast food were Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill, what with those newly acquired leading-man figures to watch, but they did indulge in jokes and many drinks with Jason Segel and passing acquaintances including Emma Stone.
As all good things tend to, the end came slowly but with an air of contentment. Sandra Bullock shuffled out a side door, taking one last wistful glance at a novelty photo booth. She decided to duck out instead of pose, perhaps knowing there might be a camera or two outside to mark the moment.
— Matt Donnelly
Photo: Gwyneth Paltrow arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscars after-party Sunday in West Hollywood. Credit: Evan Agostini / Associated Press.