February 4, 2011
Arianna Huffington throws Oscar soiree for ‘King’s Speech’
The Huffpostess with the mostess cast her vote for Oscar front-runner “The King’s Speech” last night with a party feting the film at her Brentwood home.
Inside the sprawling, high-ceilinged mansion, an eclectic crowd of Hollywood meets Huffington spilled into four rooms, sipping sangria and clamoring for a glimpse of the stars.
In the parlour room, Arianna Huffington shrewdly positioned herself on the front lines of Oscar glory as she addressed special guests and nominees Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, director Tom Hooper and writer David Seidler (read The Jewish Journal interview here).
She commended the film for its historical importance.
“I can’t wait for Part Two,” Huffington said during brief but mostly bland remarks about the film.
Mixed in with an older crowd of industry-types, mediaites and cultural cognoscenti, actors John Cusack and Maria Bello were spotted, along with Earl Charles Spencer (brother of Princess Diana) and his arm candy, out in patriotic support of the British-backed film.
Despite the highbrow air, the soiree strangely resembled a college crush party, only, with fancier drapes. It was crowded and loud, but lush, with a steady stream of cocktails and hors d’oeuvres helping to induce gaiety.
“You have to understand,” one producer told me. “The Oscars are like an election. Those poor guys [the actors] will do this every day, twice a day, just to stay in the running.”
That said, Firth and Bonham Carter endured the throng of flunkies and flatterers remarkably well, considering they likely haven’t slept since August. The actress, who was stunningly self-styled, in an asymmetrical jacket-and-skirt ensemble, a half-eaten apple pendant hanging in her décolletage and sparkly antique rings covering her hands (I know nothing about how to describe fashion except that I like it) attended without her beau, the director Tim Burton, though she did bring along a date, her (Jewish) mother Elena, who radiated from her perch in a corner armchair, wrapped in pastel feather boas(!).
Director Tom Hooper seemed to be enjoying his limelight the most, hobnobbing about, chatting about the projects flooding his inbox (including a rumored biopic about Nelson Mandela) and generally basking in the glory-of-it-all.
If “The Social Network” – or any other Best Picture nominee – hopes to dethrone the royals, they’d better get started; because “Speech” is looking like an Oscar shoo-in.