Kristin Scott Thomas, riding the crest of the wave with her Oscar nomination for Best Actress in “The English Patient,” has her next role all picked out. The news from Paris, merci beaucoup, is that Kristin will star in “A Cup of Tea,” which Anjelica Huston will direct from a script by Amy Ephron of the terminally talented Ephron family. Set before World War I, the story concerns a New York couple into whose life another woman enters. Does it seem to you you’ve heard that song before? Part of the filming will take place in Savannah, which is fast getting to be Southern Fried Hollywood, what with Clint Eastwood directing the movie version of John Berendt’s forever bestseller, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” in Savannah in May, and “The Gingerbread Man,” starring Kenneth Branagh and directed by Robert Altman, already stirring things up in that beautiful city.
Carly Simon’s next album is being produced with Jimmy Webb, the great songwriter, and all Carly’s numbers will be taken from Hollywood film noir. And, surprise, surprise, the album is called just that, “Film Noir.” Carly will be photographed for the cover in sexy black net stockings, a dress slit up to her vocal chords, a beret and a cigarette dangling from those LIPS. You know, just like Veronica Lake in “The Blue Dahlia,” or those other cute cookies from “This Gun for Hire,” “Double Indemnity” and “The Glass Key.” Jimmy Webb will do the arrangements and sing a couple of the songs with Carly. I’ll buy that. Maybe two of them.
It’s horsy time again in Florida, and crack horsewoman Cornelia Guest and the former U.S. Olympics champion Mason Phelps Jr. are replaying their roles as Grand Masters. The delightful duo have invited the toasts of the equestrian world and an awful lot of the Palm Beach social set to once again dress in cowboy gear and whatever is left of the family jewels and come to the Denim & Diamonds Gala at the Palm Beach Polo Club in Wellington on Feb. 23. The party will be Olympic-size, the United States Equestrian Team and the Equestrian AIDS Foundation will benefit and the sassy Pointer Sisters will do what they do best to entertain the people and the horses.
Among those expected to compete for the $50,000 in door prizes are Cornelia’s true love, Tim Grubb, world champion carriage driver James Fairclough, Patty and Marty Raynes of New York, Diana and Burt Firestone, Linda and Jim Robinson, Kelly Klein and others too equine to mention. Miss Cornelia, that luscious blonde, is planning to wear a $3 million natural pink diamond necklace designed by Mishel Piranesi. So good with boots. Heaven help those horses if they don’t have their blinders on.
Katharine Graham of the Washington Post Grahams is the woman of the moment and, if one goes by the recollections of her vivid life, could still be the woman of many moments to come. Her just-published memoir, entitled, “Personal History” (Knopf), has soared to the top of the New York Times Best Sellers list — it will be number one on Sunday — and small wonder. What we have here is a fascinating, sometimes even riveting book — clear, candid, barring no holds and pulling no punches. As Sonny Mehta of Knopf says, the book reads like a novel, one you are loath to put down. If it’s a tell-all of her turbulent life and times you want, it’s all here: How she was thrown naked and without a clue into the roiling waters of her family-owned Washington Post when her husband, Phil Graham, committed suicide. How, knowing nothing about nothing, she managed through pluck and luck, and a lot of help from her friends and editors, to bob triumphantly to the top, presiding over the Post’s most shining hours.
To celebrate Kay Graham and her “Personal History,” Knopf gave her a party at the Four Seasons, and they all came — more than 500 strong. Kay, standing the while, received the Gang of 500 at the entrance of the Pool Room, smiling and chatting and kissing and shaking hands for several hours. I asked her if she was excited about her book and all the attendant attention, and she laughed and said, “Oh yes, I can’t believe it — I feel like Cinderella.” I reminded her that this was not the first time she had felt like Cinderella; that was also her reaction when she had her social coming out, so to speak, at Truman Capote’s famous Black and White Ball in her honor. She laughed again and said, “That’s right, that’s exactly the way I felt.” So, though Kay may be more easily associated with silver spoons than ashes, that obviously is the way she sees herself.
In the mob milling about the Pool Room were such worthies as Alexandra and Arthur Schlesinger, James Wolfensohn, S.I. Newhouse Jr. and Victoria Newhouse, Mike Nichols, Marilyn Berger and Don Hewitt, Carl Bernstein — the legendary reporter who helped put the Washington Post really on the map — Caroline Kennedy and Edwin Schlossberg, David Rockefeller, Kay Graham’s daughter Lally Weymouth and Eric Breindel, Brooke Astor, Cathy and Walter Wriston, Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro, Patsy Preston, Gita and Sonny Mehta, Mike Wallace, Louise and Henry Grunwald, Shirley Clurman, Kati Marton and Richard Holbrooke, Tom Brokaw, Inger and Osborne Elliot, Kay Graham’s son Steven and his pretty wife Cathy; Maurice Tempelsman, Sir Bryan and Lady Urquhart, Nora Ephron and Nick Pileggi, Gale Hayman-Haseltine and Dr. William Haseltine, Paige Rense and Kenneth Noland, Amanda Burden and Charlie Rose, Carolyne Roehm, Barbara Walters, Peter Jennings, Casey Ribicoff, Punch Sulzberger, Jennifer Patterson and Howard Stringer, Grace Mirabella and Dr. William Cahan, Annette and Oscar de la Renta, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Graydon Carter, Brooke Hayward and Peter Duchin, Adele Chatfield-Taylor and John Guare, Erica Jong and about 437 others just like them.
All eyes at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s Valentine Ball tonight will be on former secretary of state George Shultz, a widower, and Charlotte Mailliard Swig, the San Francisco mover and shaker, who happens to be a widow. Some say they are each other’s Valentine. Others say, Oh don’t be silly. Whatever, Saks Fifth Avenue is underwriting the evening, Mary McFadden will recreate her spring runway show at the ball and Saks biggies Philip Miller, Brian Kendrick and the stylish Rose Marie Bravo have flown in for the fun.
(Next week read all about Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour’s fabulous luncheon for Kay Graham and that book at the truly fabulous new Le Cirque 2000 at the Palace Hotel, which officially opens around the end of next month. About 100 swells were invited, and almost everyone Meant Something.)