Beverly Hills, California. (AP) – Michelle Yeoh and Angela Bassett are locked in a long embrace, their bare, muscle-bound arms wrapped around each other. They whispered, laughed and squealed with glee as nearly every phone in the vicinity turned out to take photos.
Vanity Fair’s annual post-Oscars party was filled with such moments of warmth and joy as the Monday morning after a drama-free Academy Awards on Sunday night, which featured a nod to last year’s post-Slaps edition There was no heaviness.
Yeoh, whose Best Actress Oscar was one of seven on a major night for “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” had just walked into the party and was swarmed by well-wishers and selfie-seekers before seeing Bassett, who was not pleased. looked down when she lost Best Supporting Actress to Yeoh’s co-star Jamie Lee Curtis, but was all smiles here.
Yeoh later received his Oscar while rocking back and forth to the Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” at the edge of the dance floor, though it was difficult to dance much with the attention he was receiving.
Brendan Fraser received the same treatment when he walked away holding his Best Actor Oscar for “The Whale” shortly before Yoh, making his way very slowly across the room amidst constant congratulations.
Daniel Scheinert, one half of the directing duo behind “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” none of the three Oscars he won Sunday night nor his partner Daniel Kwan, stood outside and the party’s traditional In-N-Out Burger Ate Food, as he went up and down to House of Pain’s “Jump Around”.
“Finally getting some dinner,” Sheinert said as a long night, and a long, awards season, neared its end. “This is good.”
The champagne-soaked affair, which begins as a viewing party for 100 people and grows into the most sought-after invitations of the night, is thrown in a venue that shares the Wallis Annenberg Center for Beverly Hills City Hall with The Performing Arts is coordinated and hosted by Vanity Fair editor Radhika Jones.
It’s always full of little-known people who have had Oscar winners in categories including Best Documentary Short, who get an automatic invite to their statuette.
As soon as the ceremony ends, Oscar night begins for many stars, and the first stop is always the Governors Ball, just an escalator ride from the Dolby Theater at the Ovation Hollywood complex.
Winners go with one main purpose: to get their Oscars engraved with their name, which was in sight of the party this year. Others take the opportunity to eat Wolfgang Puck-prepared bites. Harrison Ford also took a quick detour around the room.
Here too, the mood couldn’t be more different from last year, when Thappad put a pall over the festivities. This time, the winners could only focus on their moment.
“Navalny” director Daniel Rohr took his new personal Best Documentary Feature Oscar to waiting in line for prime rib. Sarah Polley followed, bounding her way up the stairs with her adapted screenplay Oscar in hand.
It was relatively quiet until Curtis made his way onto the stage and photographers struggled to snap pictures.
When Ke Hui Quan finally appeared to personalize his Best Supporting Actor statuette, he gunned it down for the cameras, pumped his fist and pointed to the word “Oscar” on the screen above him.
“The Whale” by playwright and screenwriter Samuel D. Hunter was still processing the fact that Fraser not only won, but name-checked her in his acceptance speech.
“We set our expectations low, so it was unbelievable,” Hunter said. Her husband, standing next to her, said, “She was completely crying.”
Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel meanwhile chatted with “Top Gun: Maverick” director Joseph Kosinski and “The Whale” director Darren Aronofsky outside the main party. Judd Hirsch also made his way to Kimmel, standing next to his wife and producer Molly McEnery in good spirits as he sipped red wine.
“I thought it was a good show,” said screenwriter Tony Kushner on his way out. “I thought Jimmy Kimmel did a great job.”
Brian Tyree Henry poses for a photo with Troy Kotsur, who won best supporting actor at last year’s Oscars for his role in “CODA,” on his way out the door, having a few moments to run after Michelle Williams Later Kotsur was freed. As she paused and turned, Kotsur commended Williams for bringing so much authenticity to her role in “The Fablemans.”
“Thank you very much,” she said. “That’s exactly what we wanted to do.”
Some were ready to go by half past nine. Hugh Grant pointed to the exit and separately, Sigourney Weaver was not far behind. Vanity Fair was already underway, after all, and a drive away. Grant will soon be there sipping champagne. Weaver, Kimmel, and Hirsch soon followed.
“The Fablemans” director and Hollywood royalty Steven Spielberg made a rare, and brief, appearance at the party. He was greeted and hugged by Arianna DeBose, who won an Oscar last year for her “West Side Story.”
The fame and fortune of the Vanity Fair party goes far beyond Hollywood.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and wife Lauren Sanchez hug, pose for photos and suggest travel plans with Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson and wife Ciara.
Legendary tennis player John McEnroe, his wife, singer Patti Smith, and actor and screenwriter Mindy Kaling chatted and posed for their photos across the room.
Outside on the smoky patio, Andrew Garfield and Seth Rogen yelled at each other over music pumping from a nearby dance floor, and Rogen let loose his unmistakable laugh. Soon after, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala came up to him to say hi.
Yeoh and Fraser, best actress and best actor, ran into each other in the valet area outside the party and shared one last warm hug at the end of a victorious awards season for both of them in what turned out to be the happiest of endings.
The two were still getting constant compliments and requests for photos as they got into their cars and whispered.
AP Film Writer Lindsay Behar reported from Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter:
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