Billy Crystal is a standout at the Oscars

By Roger Friedman Billy Crystal turned up with his family at the Governors Ball following the Oscars and got star treatment. In the 1930s themed nightclub setting, Crystal was seated right among the nominees. He told me thought James Franco and Anne Hathaway were just great, and that they well represented young Hollywood. Billy, who would be a welcome host next year or any year, said his little cameo in the middle of the show still required a lot of work. “I prepped for three hours a minute and a half on screen,” Billy said “But it was worth it.” We love him. Next year, Academy, Billy please…

The Governor’s Ball should have been called “Meet the Parents”: Tom Hooper’s mum and dad, Helena Bonham Carter’s mum, the Franco and Hathaway families. Anne Hathaway’s mom, a stage musical actress, only found out she was going to be on the show at 1am on Sunday. Mitzi Verne, James Franco’s spunky grandmother, had a few hours’ more notice, by the way. David O. Russell’s dad was sales director at Simon & Schuster for Simon & Schuster for about 30 years. We reminisced about publishing; he worked with Carly Simon’s dad, the founder of the company. He told me that David’s mom didn’t speak to him for three years after “Spanking the Monkey,” Russell’s first film, about a mother -son fling…

A lot of people stayed late at the Governor’s Ball and never made it anywhere else. Warren Beatty and Annette Bening made it their only after show stop. Warren got into a heavy looking discourse with James Schamus, Annette was busy discussing the magnificent jewelry she’d borrowed with two friends. Meanwhile Natalie Portman and her family held court very low profile away and to the side of the main action. Sony’s Sir Howard Stringer commanded “The Social Network table where Justin Timberlake was fighting a cold. Later I saw JT with Jessica Biel at the Vantiy Fair party. Sir Howard nixed the idea that Sony had some how given up on “The Social Network.” “We really wanted to win,” he said wistffully. “But the Academy is older, and many of them may not have known what Facebook was.”

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