LOS ANGELES — They don’t call it Hollywood’s biggest party for nothing.
With eight post-Golden Globe parties in the Beverly Hilton Hotel (not to mention hundreds of gawking guests), the prime celebrity-sighting location was — where else? — in the hallway. Katie Couric and Tracey Ullman whooped it up outside the Miramax party.
“We’re just having a regular girls’ night out,” giggled Couric.
Inside, Debra Messing, Marisa Tomei, Kate Beckinsale, Audrey Tautou, Sting, Kevin Spacey and Christina Ricci mingled, while Sissy Spacek and her husband, Jack Fisk, ignored all the well-wishers and munched on a huge plate of cocktail shrimp. Harvey Weinstein was his usual boisterous self, despite “Amelie” and “In the Bedroom” losing in the foreign film and drama categories — not to mention the recent meltdown of Talk.
The Universal/Dreamworks party, however, proved to be the evening’s power bash, with Hugh Jackman, Naomi Watts, Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson and Kate Winslet holding court at one banquette. At another, Russell Crowe schmoozed with Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, while Thora Birch chatted up Josh Hartnett and Jeremy Irons at the bar.
At the Warner Brothers/In Style party, Steven Tyler arrived, dripping in Loree Rodkin diamonds, and danced around the likes of Jennifer Garner, James Woods, Sela Ward, Sarah Wynter and Allison Janney.
As for the pre-Golden Globes parties held over the weekend, Vanity Fair’s party at the home of Mike and Irina Medavoy was hands down the hottest ticket in town.
“Helllooooooo, Mr. Moneybucks!” cooed Irina at Larry King as she greeted the CNN talk show host, who recently renegotiated his contract.
Even the Medavoy’s gargantuan home couldn’t hold the 900 guests. So partygoers like Spacek, Tom Wilkinson and Tilda Swinton crowded into the backyard tent where Dennis Quaid and the Sharks played a late night set. In the Medavoys’ plush art-filled living room, Sting and Enya held court separately, surrounded by Carrie Fisher, Bruce Wagner and Lasse Hallstrom.
“People are actually sipping champagne from little bottles with straws!” observed Sir Ian McKellen as he surveyed the crowd. “And that way,” he devised, “I guess you don’t get Cosmopolitan stains on your clothing.”
Molly Sims, in a summery frock, made a mad play for the unaccompanied Benjamin Bratt, who seemed mildly amused — if not mildly interested.
Across town, a party of another kind had its own crashers clamoring to get in. Over 400 fans of the twisted rock-n-roll musical “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” and the film’s distributor, Fine Line, feted writer-director-star John Cameron Mitchell, who scored a Best Actor nomination for the underground cult flick. A costume contest judged by Mitchell and “Hedwig” costume designer Arianne Phillips attracted a slew of imitators — including a pair covered in nothing but colored latex, painted to resemble the animation in the film. “I’m really stunned it’s turning into this,” gushed Mitchell.
On Thursday, it was a sign of things to come when Tina Brown turned up to host Talk’s annual Golden Globe party in a somber black suit instead of a shimmery dress as she did last year.
“It’s going to be an interesting show,” said Brown, who reportedly found out moments before the party that her magazine had folded.
Regardless, the crowd was lackluster by Tina Brown standards. Paris and Nicky Hilton tried to shake things up on the dance floor, but none of the other guests would bite.
“Let’s get a drink,” Jon Bon Jovi was overheard saying several times after walking in and surveying the scene. Meanwhile, Best Actress nominee Birch weighed her chances at winning the Globe.
“I’d be the the first to give Nicole Kidman a standing ovation. She had to sing and hang from the rafters for like six months,” cried Birch.
Zooey Deschanel, just in from Sundance, was busy celebrating her 22nd birthday with her mother in tow.
“This is my third year here,” she confessed with a world-weary sigh. “I guess I’m a veteran now.”