- - Monday, February 27, 2012

Oscar after-parties celebrate Hollywood

While a nearly silent, black-and-white throwback film to old Hollywood won best picture at the Academy Awards on Sunday, after-parties around town celebrated present-day Hollywood with explosions of color, conversation, pounding music and pure glee.

At Vanity Fair’s always compact, A-list soiree at West Hollywood’s Sunset Tower Hotel, one of several parties after the 84th annual Academy Awards at the Hollywood & Highland Center, starlets and Oscar nominees and winners chatted, ate, roared with laughter and giggled with one another, the Associated Press reports.

Jonah Hill, nominated for a best supporting actor award for best picture nominee “Moneyball,” smiled and shouted out a sassy expletive decrying his and the film’s loss, surrounded by a pack of friends, including Seth Rogen.

Mr. Rogen, who hosted Saturday’s Film Independent Spirit Awards, also laughed and drank with fellow funny guy Jason Segel, star of “The Muppets” movie, and comic-musician Bret McKenzie, who pumped his Oscar for best original song, for “The Muppets,” into the air.

“I think there was a list of people I had to apologize to,” Mr. Rogen said to Mr. Hill about his pointed barbs at the Spirit Awards aimed at a number of people, including director Brett Ratner, who dropped out of producing this year’s Oscars after making a slur about gays.

In one corner booth tucked to the side of the party’s outdoor patio, Gwyneth Paltrow held court with her Coldplay husband, Chris Martin, and silver screen veteran Jane Fonda while talking with Cameron Diaz.

Other attendees included Steve Martin, Kate Hudson, Sandra Bullock, Tina Fey, best actress Oscar nominee Rooney Mara and best actor Oscar nominee Demian Bichir.

Just south of that bash, at the Elton John AIDS Foundation’s Oscar viewing dinner and after-party, actors and musicians co-mingled for an especially vibrant, grand fete for the event’s 20th anniversary.

More than 80 tables decorated with gray, blue and white cloths filled the massive blue-and-white tented dinner ballroom. Celebrities walked down a pristine white carpet into multiple tents serving cocktails, wine and upscale carbonated juice drinks.

Only 14 months old, Sir Elton John’s son, Zachary, made a brief appearance during a cocktail hour just before the dinner, as Mr. John and his civil partner, David Furnish, took turns showing him off to well-wishers.

Guests including Neil Patrick Harris, a blue-bobbed Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and her boyfriend, Liam Hemsworth, Anna Paquin and her husband, Stephen Moyer, John Waters, Kim Kardashian and her pregnant sister, Kourtney, feasted on a five-course meal that included sauteed sea bass with pepper saffron sauce, beef tenderloin with leek bread pudding and apple-pear tart for dessert.

“Tonight we’ve raised more money at this event than we ever have before,” Mr. John told the crowd after a feisty post-dinner auction that netted $5.25 million for the foundation’s fight against HIV and AIDS.

The Governors Ball, the Academy Awards’ official after-party, at the Hollywood & Highland Center, was retooled this year from a formal sit-down affair to a cocktail bash, which served the guests just fine. Viola Davis sat with Octavia Spencer - and Miss Spencer’s best supporting actress Oscar - for nibbles and drinks while best actress nominee Michelle Williams and pal Busy Phillips roamed the venue hand in hand.

Honorary Oscar winner James Earl Jones presented the event’s headlining performer, Tony Bennett, who he called “an American classic” and “Frank Sinatra’s favorite singer.”

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