“Seven years? It feels like it’s been 150,” said Charles Finch of the seventh annual pre-Oscar dinner he hosted with Chanel on Saturday night at Madeo. Among the reasons for the fete’s popularity: exclusivity, the guarantee of a proper sit-down meal, and the likewise guarantee of a room full of Chanel-clad PYTs. Perhaps that’s part of the draw for heavies like Mick Jagger, Ron Howard, Alexander Payne, David Mamet, Harvey Keitel and André Balazs, most of whom arrived solo. (The dashing young men, or at least those unattached, seemed few and far between. Note to Chris Pine: you scored.)
There were, of course, a couple of major Oscar nominees in the mix: Julianne Moore, who had won the Independent Spirit Award for best actress earlier in the day and entered the crush in the narrow bar exclaiming, “Whoa, what a mad house!” There was also Keira Knightley, pristine in a pleated and layered Chanel concoction over her baby bump. When someone referred to it as a chic maternity dress, she replied, “Don’t tell Karl that.” Fellow Chanel ambassador Kristen Stewart also turned out. “Yeah, I’m just excited to see Julianne and congratulate her. Tomorrow I’ll be in front of the TV rooting for her.”
Jessica Chastain breezed in with beau Gian Luca Passi de Preposulo, where she quickly headed to her table in the back, where she was seated with Moore and her husband, Bart Freundlich. “To be honest, I’m really jet-lagged. I was in Budapest where I’ve been shooting for over a month, and two days ago, I arrived here, so yeah, I’m nine hours ahead right now. For me, it’s like 4 a.m. But I’m going to have a second wind, I’m feeling,” Chastain said. “Tomorrow I’m going to try and take a nap in the afternoon, so when you see me, it’ll be like I’ve already skipped sleeping for the night.”
Up front, where most guests were still pressed up against the bar, a bevy of blondes, including Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Annabelle Wallis, Vanessa Getty, Julie Delpy and Dree Hemingway chattered away. Poppy Delevingne told Crystal Lourd about the scene at Rihanna’s birthday the night before, where apparently all the “It” girls danced until 4 a.m. “It sounded like it was the place to be for all the young-ies,” said Lourd. Dylan Penn was also at RiRi’s, but brought her younger brother Hopper to the dinner. “This is our first time here. He’s my date for these kinds of things,” she said. Meanwhile, a newly blonde Bella Heathcote was enjoying her lightened locks.
“I did it for a gig called ‘The Neon Demon,’ Nicolas Refn’s next film that we [Keanu Reeves, Christina Hendricks, Elle Fanning and Jena Malone] start shooting next month. I do feel different since I’ve had it done. I feel more ballsy somehow,” she said.
On the other side of the ring-shaped bar, Odeya Rush, who also just returned from shooting a different film in Hungary, was telling friends she’s hosting an Oscar-viewing party at home, where she plans on winning her own betting pool. “We’ll do a ballot and we’ll get presents. I’ve seen most of the movies, but even for the ones I haven’t seen, I can tell you who will win. I’m just that good,” she boasted.