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The curtain finally fell on the 86th Academy Awards, which took place Sunday in Los Angeles but felt like they had been on for months, an impression accentuated by its three-and-a-half-hour telecast. Afterward, winners, losers, Oscar newbies and veterans retired to a slew of parties that extended the festivities a bit longer until it was time to fade to black and put the long, long awards season finally to bed.

“If they only knew what was going to happen tonight. The stories we would have to tell…” said Jared Leto as he was leaving the awards on his way to the Governor’s Ball.

This story first appeared in the March 4, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

He was posing with his new statuette as best supporting actor in “Dallas Buyers Club” and looked well on his way to making good on the promise he made earlier to “party till the break of dawn.”

At Elton John’s annual Oscars viewing party, Britney Spears was one of the last stars to arrive at the City of West Hollywood Park, after Donatella Versace, Jane Fonda, Heidi Klum, Kim Kardashian, Steven Tyler, Neil Patrick Harris, Robert De Niro and Sheryl Crow.

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“I’m the biggest fan in the world of him. Me and my mom, we love him to death,” Spears said of John. Habitual latecomer Lady Gaga swooped in for a midmeal appearance just in time for a round of air-kisses and photo ops. Gaga, Versace and Fonda were among those who also made their way to Vanity Fair’s after party, this year going as late as 3 a.m. Lupita Nyong’o, Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway, Bono, Sidney Poitier, Quincy Jones, Selena Gomez, even Olympic figure skaters Meryl Davis and Charlie White, were all part of the mix at the party’s new location, an empty parking lot in Sunset Plaza that was transformed into an enormous glass pavilion for the occasion.

Bill Murray was in a dancing mood as he shimmied up to Rosario Dawson and several other ladies while Terry Richardson snapped away. “That was incredible,” the photographer said.

On the edge of the dance floor, Stevie Nicks chatted up Leonardo DiCaprio while Taylor Swift hung out with Jaime King, Karlie Kloss and Lily Aldridge.

Nearby, Tyler was catching up with Lisa Bonet. “The last time I saw you, you were just a little girl,” he told her. “I still am,” she cooed.

Traffic being a great equalizer, every star had to wait to be picked up after the party. “Dude, thank god you are out here,” gasped Jonah Hill as he made his way toward Channing Tatum. “I was having the biggest anxiety attack of my life. Did you get my texts? How many missed calls do you have?” Tatum informed him he had been getting the car. “You don’t understand,” Hill continued. “I was standing over there watching limo after limo leave, thinking, ‘I lost my ride and I’m going to be stuck here all alone.’” Bummer, bro.

After the Governor’s Ball and Vanity Fair, Leto, Oscar still in tow, made his way to the toughest invite to score all night, Madonna’s after party, a blowout that lasted until 5:30 a.m. The pop star managed to attract a couple of no-shows chez Vanity Fair, new Oscar winners Cate Blanchett and Matthew McConaughey, with the promise of swag from sponsor Gucci and a zero-tolerance policy towards reporters.

Hollywood hadn’t quite recovered from its hangover the next morning when predictions already started swirling about next year’s awards contenders.

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