So, there's nothing like sharing a drink with a good friend on the patio of the famed Chateau Marmont hotel on a Saturday night in Los Angeles. And, like clockwork, just like you'd expect on any other night, who walks through the crowd but the world's current "it" couple: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt.
No, this wasn't a typical night on the town, it was the star-studded Paramount Pictures pre-Golden Globes party. The studio has had an impressive year at the box office and had an equally impressive turnout of celebes and, more importantly, Academy members arrived to celebrate their HFPA nominees from "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," "Tropic Thunder" and "Revolutionary Road."
As you'd expect, Jolie and Pitt were the center of attention wherever they went during the course of the night. Both were dressed in casual chique (Pitt had jeans and a sweater on) and, of course, looked damn fine. It was sort of odd to see other stars gawk at them, but that's just a perk of being the industry's most noteworthy power couple.
Not only were Mr. and Mrs. Smith in attendance, but Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and Robert Downey, Jr. were found mingling with prospective voters as well. DiCaprio was more than happy enough to take pictures with some of the attendees (although, not the classiest thing to ask at one of these events) and later was spotted chatting with Terrence Howard as he made his way out the door.
Downey, Jr., in for a quick visit while shooting "Sherlock Holmes" in New York, was a late arrival, but seemed his usual congenial self. Shoot, if you were on the verge of being nominated for a role in a Ben Stiller comedy (granted a great performance), wouldn't you be?
Took a moment to say hello to Ian McKellen (friend of a friend), who was chatting with old buddy Brian Cox. The star of the upcoming "Prisoner" reboot stopped by before heading over to the Vanity Fair/AMC party also on the grounds of the Chateau.
Beyond the A-listers, a number of other notable names were in attendance. "Revolutionary Road's" Michael Shannon, James Caviezel, Elizabeth Banks ("The Uninvited"), Zachary Quinto ("Heroes" and the upcoming "Star Trek"), Beau Bridges, Jackie Earle Haley ("Watchmen"), Jane Krakowski ("30 Rock"), Robert Forster ("Jackie Brown") and Ernie Hudson.
Plus, with the deadline for ballots due less than 48 hours away, we can't forget the potential votes in the room, directors Sam Raimi and Paul Haggis, "Hairspay" producer Neil Meron and "Transformers" producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura.
Oh, and did we mention Tiki Barber was there? Yes, my guest and I couldn't figure out why either. Perhaps, the former New York Giant is covering the Globes for his current gig on The Today Show? (Like I'm ever up that early.) Still, he got more "Is that?" looks than anyone else in the room. (On a side note, there is no way he's the 5'10 that was listed as his "official" playing height. 5'9 -- maybe.)
More intriguingly, ran into two fellow Oscar prognosticators: the enduring Pete Hammond and Variety's superblogger Anne Thompson. It's no secret that Hammond is one of the best in town because he knows so many Academy members and is eerily proficient at gauging their likes and dislikes. I won't go into all the correct prediction's he's made over the past few years (though we were both on the "Crash" bandwagon long before it was hip to be), but as he's recently written in The Envelope, he's still hearing lots of love for the Weinstein's box office dissapointment "The Reader." He also seemed concerned that a certain blockbuster everyone assumes is in may be more on the bubble than everyone thinks it is. Yet, none of us could land on a contender that could legitimately take it's place.
In any event, the Paramount crew should be congratulated for putting on a truly classy show. The fireworks begin tonight at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Are you ready?