WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — When
For many of the nominees and winners, the Governors Ball, located in a large ballroom one level up from the Oscars-hosting Dolby Theater in Hollywood, is the first stop. Guests get food there, an array of goodies from
I arrive too late to catch the buzzed-about summit among
"I love the standing ovations because I hadn't seen them for years," Travolta says. "I loved my Streisand moment."
By 11 p.m. the famously familiar faces have become sparse in the room.
But when the clock strikes midnight at the Vanity Fair party in West Hollywood's Sunset Tower Hotel, the star-studded fever dream is peaking.
Steven Tyler in all his fab leatheriness is walking in, as is
In the middle of the room, a few steps away from
Retro-outfitted cigarette girls dispense cigarettes and candy, though the many folks flouting California's anti-smoking laws probably brought their own. An
Amanda Seyfried, a blue-eyed vision in red, is perched at one end of the long bar in the packed main area, with
Daniel Day-Lewis is chatting with
Salma Hayek is in the house. So are
No Adele, though.
Christoph Waltz walks in, and I ask him (not in a tacky way, of course) whether he thinks any supporting actor winner ever had as much screen time as he did in
"It's not the screen time. It's the chromatic function." Waltz replies in his precise diction, saying that he and the "Django" folks had an extended conversation about this. His character is supporting the hero's journey and is "a classic supporting role."
Jane Fonda is trying to get out of the crowd.
"Way out, way out," she asks me as we intersect in the bottleneck. I point her toward some doors that should do the trick.
Juliette Lewis is now chatting with Radcliffe.
A woman asks me to take a photo with her cell phone, and she poses with
"Probably not," he says, shaking his head.
When I ask about his arm, he says the story is too boring to tell.
Judd Apatow and
Voight chats with Tucker, then Foxx, before "Give It to Me, Baby" comes on, and the hips start swinging. When the music segues to
I cross paths with
"She left," I inform her.
Radcliffe and a young woman are seated on the floor, their backs against the bar, as they look at her smart phone. The fellow formerly known as
Kelly Preston says she and husband Travolta are leaving for another party.
The room begins to clear, and portions of the carpet become visible, showing cupcake frosting stains and other detritus. A lanky woman is seated atop a chair's arm consulting intensely with her phone's screen, apparently seeking the next move. Some guests have started to sway.
It's 2:30 a.m., and the fever has broken.