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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Nicole Kidman and Sophia Loren attend the Armani Pre-Oscars Party

The Oscars ceremony marked the climax of an intensive and months-long awards season in which Hollywood resumed where it had left off before the outbreak and transformed into a maskless, glittery free-for-all.

Style behemoths such as Saint Laurent, Chanel and Gucci, as well as strong talent agencies such as CAA, fought with tech behemoths such as Apple to get the greatest restaurants, most beautiful party locations, and the most rare specimens from among the celebrity elite.

The winner of the competition for best wingding has not yet been determined by a unanimous vote. Even mega-celebrities such as Elon Musk, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Taylor Swift were barred from attending certain events, such as CAA’s party at the San Vicente Bungalows club on Friday, where a buffet of roast salmon, pulled pork, chicken curry, and tiny meringues was served.

However, as the writer and producer Mitch Glazer recently observed, Hollywood is also a voracious consumer of its own past, and it often overshadows the talent itself.

A case in point was Saturday’s celebration to celebrate the reopening of the Giorgio Armani flagship store on Rodeo Drive, which turned into a fashionable mosh pit in which hundreds of people from the Juvéderm and micro-mini face-lift crowd fought for breathing room.

They drank Veuve Clicquot Champagne or iced Limoncello while gawking at the various show people, including Adrien Brody, Mira Sorvino, Annabelle Wallis, Miles Teller, and Dylan Sprouse, who had ventured out on a cold California evening to enjoy the festivities. No matter who was in the room, everyone’s attention was focused on the front door, where Nicole Kidman, the evening’s distinguished guest, was expected to arrive shortly.

When Ms. Kidman — an Oscar contender for her performance as Lucille Ball in “Being the Ricardos” — walked into the meeting at 5:52 p.m., a ripple raced through the room. She was surrounded by a security phalanx, with Kevin Huvane, the co-chair of CAA, in fullback form at the front.

Ms. Kidman is 54 years old and made her cinematic debut as a leading lady in a picture 33 years ago. It would seem that it would be difficult to top such a feat of show industry survival. In spite of this, the audience separated again 20 minutes later, this time for the entrance of Sophia Loren, who made her debut in a motion picture seven decades earlier.

Although many people believe that the dream machine is in danger of disintegrating, the imprint left by these bright creatures on our cultural awareness will last forever. Yes, new technology will affect the way in which fantasy is given. It will always be in demand as a food source.

Let’s take, for example, the spontaneous scenario that occurred when the throngs of people gathered outside the Armani party happened to see an elegant two-tone convertible Rolls-Royce going along Rodeo Drive with the top down and Mark Wahlberg at the wheel. Instantaneously, individuals in the throng rushed into the street and surrounded the car in the manner of “The Day of the Locust,” their smartphones hungrily focusing on him.

In the meanwhile, Joan Collins was strutting her stuff down the red carpet in a pair of four-inch “Dynasty” heels. The fact that Ms. Collins had a series of appearances planned for a new book she is writing aloud in diary form, as she revealed to this observer, proved that she had not lost her desire for celebrity, its trappings, or the work necessary to maintain both did not indicate that she had.

When asked what the key was to her unwavering desire to stay a player as she neared 90, Ms. Collins stopped and softly dropped her minklike eyelids, as if contemplating the question. After a few while, her lids flew up once again, and she realised she had an answer.

Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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