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The stars swirled around Park City and Deer Valley like snowflakes during this year’s Sundance Film Festival, albeit resembling more of a gentle storm than a blizzard. The “Swagdance” backlash and the writers’ strike seemed to have made many of the A-listers camera shy — Robert De Niro, Harvey Weinstein, Sarah Jessica Parker, Charlize Theron, Mary-Kate Olsen, Colin Farrell and Kirsten Dunst among them. But if you knew where to look (and you were on the list), there was plenty of goings on until the sun came up.
After the “Sleepwalking” premiere, producer and co-star Theron went to Grappa for dinner with boyfriend Stuart Townsend and castmates Dennis Hopper and Woody Harrelson, about a dozen in all at the table. Ignoring the gawkers, Dennis Quaid and wife Kimberly Buffington (Quaid costars in “Smart People” with Parker and Ellen Page) dropped by to say “hi.” At the private dinner held in a tent at The Lift for Michel Gondry’s wacky “Be Kind Rewind,” stars Jack Black and Danny Glover alternated between Moët & Chandon Champagne and Heineken. Meanwhile, the William Morris Agency and the cast of “Choke” partied at their own private dinners, which ranged in fare — au gratin potatoes and beef tenderloin at “Choke,” cheap burritos from Chipotle at William Morris.
The private dinner is de rigueur for any movie worth its salt (or star power) at Sundance, and the “The Wackness” was no exception. “It’s about things that are true for pretty much every human. You have demons to face and you have to face them or you get lost,” said co-star Olivia Thirlby. If it sounds esoteric, that pretty much sums up every movie at Sundance. More straightforward was the Variety/Women in Film 10 Directors to Watch fete that has been a festival cornerstone for nine years and running, and this year Jodie Foster showed up to support “Phoebe in Wonderland” director Daniel Barnz, while Stanley Tucci, Colin Firth, Patricia Clarkson, Saffron Burrows and Eliza Dushku mingled.
And what would Sundance be without a fashionable starlet inappropriately dressed for cold weather? Mischa Barton showed up to Monday night’s dinner at the Boost Mobile Lounge for her film, “Assassination of a High School President,” in a sky-high pair of studded Christian Louboutin heels. “I only had to walk five steps,” Barton explained at the Young, Fabulous, and Broke-hosted affair. While Barton wowed in her one-shouldered Jenni Kayne dress, she admitted it’s her new bombshell blonde locks that are turning heads these days. “I get hit on, like, so many times a day at the airport and just walking around. I’m just like, ‘God, guys are so shallow!’ All they look at is the color of your hair,” noted Barton, who celebrates her 22nd birthday today. The actress, who was arrested on DUI charges last month, will stick to the slopes. “I’m going to go skiing. I’m a pretty good skier,” she said.