The Scene: The stars usually stop off at the official post-Oscar gathering, the academy's Governor's Ball, for just a few dutiful moments before rushing on elsewhere. Not this year. "They're staying," exclaimed ball Chairman Sid Ganis.
Ambience: Ganis and Vice Chairman Alan Bergman had masterminded the transformation of the Shrine's gloomy, vast, dank Exposition Center into an elegant, shimmering, sophisticated arena that lured the 1,600 guests, including many of the winners, losers, presenters and past honorees, to eat, drink, be merry and linger. The delphinium blue and sea green glass tiled dining tables, glinting with gold, designed by Bisazza Mosaics, were the magic touch.
Who Was There: Warren Beatty and Garry Shandling clustered with the Judds, Naomi, Wynonna and Ashley; Jennifer Jones, in a classic gown and strands of pearls, telling the eccentrically adorned Cher she was a fan; Kate Winslet introducing Billy Crystal to "my mum, dad and boyfriend, Jim"; Michael and Shakira Caine with longtime pals Sean and Micheline Connery; Alec Baldwin beaming in Kim Basinger's wake; Linda Hamilton beaming in James Cameron's wake, carrying one of her husband's three Oscars. "Yes, I can hold them all at once, but I can't do that and also be sociable," said Cameron.
Movable Feast: Desserts included individual white chocolate Art Deco movie palaces, decorated with gold-dusted chocolate Oscars, lighted by blinking "Kleig" lights. This concoction was carried home by many "for the kids," while others dug out the flashing plastic ring and wore it on a finger or clipped to an earlobe.
Overheard: Admirers flocked to meet Gloria Stuart, who told Sherry Lansing that " 'Titanic' got everything except for us two broads," referring to herself and Winslet.
"Last time I came to the Governor's Ball, it was just a teeny thing," said the charming awards ceremony scene stealer Stanley Donen.
Desperation: Helena Bonham Carter and Minnie Driver couldn't refrain from smoking, fire marshals or not. "It's all a bit desperate really," said Winslet about the meeting and greeting crush. "You're desperate to have a drink. You're desperate to eat something. You desperately want to dance, but no one is really dancing yet."
Post Script: "It's all rather surreal," said Eric Stoltz, a part of Peter Fonda's support group. "I don't know that I like it. It feels like work."