Stars swamp loud, colorful Oscar parties

By Solvej Schou

Associated Press

Published: Monday, Feb. 27 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

Meryl Streep, right, hugs Sandra Bullock at the Governors Ball following the 84th Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012, in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles.

Chris Pizzello, Associated Press

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — While a nearly silent, black-and-white throwback film to old Hollywood won best picture at Sunday's Academy Awards, 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 following the 84th annual Academy Awards at the Hollywood & Highland Center, starlets and Oscar nominees and winners chatted, ate, roared with laughter and giggled to each other.

The scene played out like one of the charmingly glam moments depicted in soundless best picture Oscar winner "The Artist," set in Los Angeles during the late 1920s transition from silent movies to talking pictures, yet filled with lively noise.

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.

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," acknowledged Rogen, to 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 gay slur.

The party, hosted by Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Graydon Carter, served up wine and champagne as well as comfort food, from fried macaroni and cheese balls to hamburgers from In-N-Out. A live stand-up bassist and drummer played jazz tunes.

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 vet Jane Fonda, while talking with Cameron Diaz.

Across the room, Jennifer Lopez lovingly fiddled with the collar of her boyfriend Casper Smart's shirt. Lopez, wearing a maroon-brown sequined Zuhair Murad gown with a plunging front and back, later gabbed with her ex Sean "P. Diddy" Combs. The hip-hop mogul warmly rubbed her arm as Smart stood nearby.

Tom Cruise, standing next to his wife Katie Holmes, became downright excited talking to "Star Wars" director George Lucas. "You gotta do that, you gotta do that, you gotta direct!" Cruise loudly told Lucas.

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

A dapper David Beckham chomped on a burger while keeping close to his wife, Victoria Beckham. Sacha Baron Cohen pulled a complete 180 from his controversial Oscar red carpet stint dressed as a Moammar Gadhafi type figure to promote his upcoming film, "The Dictator." Hanging out in a normal black tux, Cohen looked nothing like the bearded military character who poured ashes all over E! host Ryan Seacrest before the Oscar telecast.

Just south of the 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.

Previously held at West Hollywood's Pacific Design Center, the party shifted for the first time to a larger space across the street, at West Hollywood Park, with 200 more dinner guests than usual, bringing the tally to 910.

More than 80 tables decorated with grey, 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. One outdoor tent was decorated with hanging blue mirrors.

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