HOLLYWOOD — The upside of not being nominated for an Oscar? “The parties are more fun,” says Ron Howard.
But, the low-key director admits, “It’s more exciting if the pressure’s on.”
Howard doesn’t “have a movie in the mix,” at Sunday’s Academy Awards, but that doesn’t mean he can’t hit the party circuit. He and composer Hans Zimmer were hosts of the Vanity Fair and Fiat party at packed Cecconi’s in Hollywood Thursday night. It was a benefit for the United Nations International Labor Organization and Green Jobs Program.
Howard couldn’t say which film he’s rooting for. And of the Oscars, he acknowledged what all film buffs will say – that it’s kind of impossible to pick a “best” film. “It’s a great tradition, but obviously you can’t really choose a best movie or best director.”
Yes, it happens, he says. “We do it. And we all sort of play the game and we celebrate the outcome and of course it carries with it a lot of weight and a lot of meaning, but in our heart of hearts, we know you can’t really turn an art form into a horse race. And yet, it’s still a great opportunity to celebrate movies and creativity – and a great time to bump into colleagues.”
Documentary guru Michael Moore was at the party with Emad Burnat, Palestinian director of Oscar-nominated documentary 5 Broken Cameras. Burnat recounted how when he arrived at Los Angeles International Airport from Turkey with his wife and 8-year-old son late Tuesday, agents kept him for “one hour and a half.”
As for why they kept him? “I thought maybe it was political,” said Burnat. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection told AP that “travelers may be referred for further inspection for a variety of reasons to include identity verification, intent of travel and confirmation of admissibility.”)
At the party, Moore said “all” the documentaries nominated for Oscars this year “are good.” And as for what he’s working on now? “My next movie, that I don’t talk about.”
Meanwhile, Adrien Brody wasn’t shy about smooching his model girlfriend Lara Lieto, who sported a super-short body-hugging beige dress.
And Alyssa Milano and her agent husband David Bugliari, who reps Oscar-nominated Bradley Cooper, were having a date night. Their son, Milo, is 17 months. “He’s talking, walking.”
Milano’s new ABC show, Mistresses, will air in May, she says. “Other than that I’m working on motherhood.”
Is she ready for another one? “Thinking about it,” she said. “More ready this month than I was last month.”
At the DJ table, Necessary Roughness star Mehcad Brooks was helping pick music, posing with fans for photos and having a drink. He was winding down after presenting an award earlier at the Essence luncheon to his friend, mentor and Desperate Housewives co-star Alfre Woodard. “Two very different parties!” he said with a smile.