From The Times: Tuesday, January 21, 1997
In myriad ways, but particularly on the party level and perhaps in the number of clowns involved, the Golden Globes have surpassed at least one famous circus.
While Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey once boasted of offering "three rings under one big top," Sunday's Globes easily surpassed that. Eight after-parties churned within the Beverly Hilton complex. An educated guess on their combined cost would be close to $1 million.
Certainly there was no skimping at Disney's affair, where Madonna and her "Evita" entourage reigned over a three-tent complex in the Palm Court. The site was done in dramatic Phillipe Starck style--white walls, white floors, white drapes--offset by the colors of period furniture from '50s modern to classic French.
At a white table, Madonna sat between her brother, Christopher Ciconne, and her newborn's father, Carlos Manuel Leon. After first making a cell phone call to check on her baby, she said that winning best actress in a musical or comedy made her feel "incredibly inspired. This proves that if you put your mind to something and you keep working and you keep going, your dream does come true."
She compared the tension of sitting through the prolonged show (dinner began at 3:30 p.m., the last presentation was at 8) to a dental appointment. "You know it's going to be over with sooner or later and you're going to have a great set of teeth afterward."
Nearby, just inside the hotel, Miramax had transformed a bland conference room into a late-'60s Las Vegas-style club that was as dark as the Disney party was light.
The walls were draped in black cloth, the carpeting equally coal-like, and custom-made, raven leather banquettes lined the wall. Seven window-sized tropical aquariums were the only vivid color in the room. "Miramax wanted to be the darkest, loungey-est, latest, drunkest," said Paul Cunliffe of Merv Griffin Productions, which designed all the evening's parties.
There had been nail-biting tension in the Miramax camp before an award dry spell ended with a huge win on the last presentation--"The English Patient" as best drama. "It was the bottom of the ninth, two out and I wouldn't want anyone else but [the film's producer] Saul Zaentz at bat," said co-chairman Harvey Weinstein.
While Disney and Miramax had the lightest and darkest rooms, Sony Pictures had the most star-studded.
On the parking garage roof, in a clear tent decorated in the style of an elegant supper club, were Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman, John Travolta and Kelly Preston, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, Dustin Hoffman, Woody Harrelson, Liam Neeson, George Clooney and--seated on a gold wheelchair in their midst--Larry Flynt smoking a cigar. "I'm just focusing on my 15 minutes," said the famous pornographer as he puffed away.
Sony's rooftop neighbor was Fine Line, which had its own burgundy-and-beige tent decorated in an English design with three crystal chandeliers, a white baby grand piano and 18th century oil paintings.
The center of attention was Geoffrey Rush, who took best actor in a motion picture drama for his performance in "Shine." He'd just flown in from an Australian Outback film location and found the evening "a particularly intense experience and a fascinating one."
Part of what fascinated Rush was wearing a tuxedo for the first time. It had been loaned--or at least he thought it was loaned--by Armani. "I'm suddenly in long pants," said the bemused actor, who still felt 80% of his brain was in northern New South Wales.
Looking down on all this was Paramount, which had rented the L'Escoffier restaurant on the hotel's top floor for a party with Sherry Lansing, Debbie Reynolds, Edward Norton and Marion Ross. One floor below, HBO took over the presidential suite where Jeff Bewkes hosted the cast from "Rasputin," including Alan Rickman and Ian McKellen.
A few floors down, Fox Broadcasting's Peter Roth and David Hill had a suite filled with the cast of "X-Files," winner of the best TV drama award. On the ground floor, the champagne flowed in the Grand Ballroom where Moet & Chandon hosted the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.'s party.
One character who didn't make it to any of these affairs was an exceptionally colorful crasher. He had a red parrot on one shoulder and a white one on the other. He tried to talk his way into the awards dinner by saying he was part of the production.
He and the parrots were turned away by security chief Ralph Pipes with the words: "This isn't a bird show, buddy."
The birdman should have known better. Everyone knows it's a circus.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Better Than a Three-Ring Circus
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