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A diverse crowd of city-bound cineastes slipped out of the New York rain and into the Lighthouse Theater on Wednesday evening for a Cinema Society screening of Mexican director Alejandro González Iñáritu’s latest feature, the quirkily titled “Biutiful.”

The film’s leading man, Javier Bardem, who was an hour late due to a mid-flight mishap, may have accounted for the draw.


“I was in Boston sleeping when I was supposed to be in New York, landing,” the actor said with a grin. “I slept through the whole thing! I’m sorry I was late… but I didn’t drive the plane!”


Two of the evening’s three hosts, Sandra Brant and Ingrid Sischy were similarly grounded in Miami due to flight complications, while Miuccia Prada (the final of Iñáritu’s “three amigas”) darted into the theater without a word.


“I wouldn’t have missed tonight,” Bardem continued. “Alejandro is an amazing director… some of the greatest performers of the world have done some of their best work with him… It’s a great story.”


“Life is in combining the comedy with the drama,” the actor said of the film. “It will not make you laugh much, though.”


Guests had a fine time despite the impending gloom. Holly Hunter, Rachel Roy and Claire Danes mugged for photographers; Patricia Clarkson and Lee Pace took to the concession stand and Thora Birch dodged a question about her favorite films.


“I won’t say,” Birch said to one reporter. “You always think of other movies later that you should have said instead. I’ll talk about Javier though. Everybody would rather talk about him.”


As if on cue, Martha Stewart snapped a picture of the smiling Spanish star with her cell phone.
“Oh, I had to tweet a picture of Javier!,” Stewart said giggling. “I just had to do it! He’s ‘biutiful’!”

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