National Board of Review Awards Lacked Writers, BrevityIf ever there were a case to be made for ending the WGA strike before the Oscars, it was last night’s lengthy National Board of Review awards gala at Cipriani. The WGA let the awards go on as planned because the NBR isn’t televised or otherwise connected with “money-grubbing moguls.” But that also meant no TV time limits on speeches. About an hour in Juno’s Ellen Page and screenwriter Diablo Cody became heroes for their quickly mumbled acceptance speeches (they were the fifth award of twenty). “We felt bad for just going up and saying a couple of ‘awesome’s,” Cody said during a break around hour four, “but now we realize we were being merciful.” Josh Brolin accepted award No. 7 (for Best Acting by an Ensemble) on behalf of the No Country for Old Men cast. “I’m going to take soooo long, because everyone before me took so friggin’ long,” he threatened, as the crowd let out a great cheer. But the baiting didn’t stop introducer Mike Wallace from talking so long he actually had to ask: “Now why am I up here?”
The only other hero was an animated George Clooney. Introducing the Coen brothers, he cracked: “These guys hate this kind of shit. They are the worst people you could have seen at this kind of event. It’s like March of the Penguins. Ethan won’t even talk.” Sure enough, Joel and Ethan Coen shuffled up to the stage, grabbed their award, muttered “Thanks” into the mike, and shuffled off. The bit got a big laugh, and suddenly the crowd seemed to get a second cocktail-fueled wind. Which only lasted two speeches of the remaining sixteen. —Jada Yuan
Hear more from George Clooney, Diablo Cody, and Ben Affleck at our complete coverage of the National Board of Review awards.
Dancing With D.E. Shaw and Drinking With BarneysDid anybody watch Matt and Meredith play Guitar Hero on the Today show? Did it make you want to kill yourself? If so, you now know exactly how you will feel if you try to make it through your office holiday party without getting shitcanned. As your co-workers get increasingly merry and begin acting decreasingly pubescent, you have a choice: either get in there and do the Cabbage Patch or run home to your new Battlestar Galactica DVD set. Fortunately, you’re only required to go to one company party. We, on the other hand, have been crashing as many as possible. Last night’s events included the Details shindig at Bowery Bar, the Domino party in some editor’s apartment, and the fabulous annual Marc Jacobs costume extravaganza. We didn’t go to any of those, but we did sneak into the Barneys New York hoedown at Bar Martignetti and the sumptuous D.E. Shaw extravaganza at Cipriani. After the jump, who parties better: finance geeks or fashionistas?
Will Samantha Enjoy Another Male Underwear Model in ‘Sex and the City’?Marcus Schenkenberg might get to star opposite Kim Cattrall as Samantha’s neighbor in the Sex and the City movie, the underwear model told us last night. “It’s me and another guy now and I’m pretty sure I’m going to get it,” Schenkenberg said over the noise at the Cavalli Vodka party at Cipriani 42nd Street. Does this mean Smith Jared is finished? “I haven’t read the whole script yet,” Schenkenberg said. “But Kim had a lot of men I think. She’s all over the place. Like me.” That’s adorable. Schenkenberg wasn’t the only celebrity enjoying the designer’s new vodka line. Fresh from the removal of her alcohol-monitoring bracelet last month, Eve raised a Cavalli cocktail onstage before decamping downtown to check out the party at the Scores strip joint in Chelsea. Wonderful! A wholesome night was had by all. —Amy Odell
Sarah, Duchess of York, Wears Her Hair LongName: Sarah, Duchess of York
Job: Author, royal, and philanthropist. Her Sarah Ferguson Foundation will be the beneficiary of Thursday night’s La Dolce Vita Gala at Cipriani Wall Street.
Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional?
I feel Eloise and I are similar in spirit.
What do you actually do all day in your job?
I connect dots. By that I mean my mind is like an idea factory, constantly on overdrive. So my job, in a sense, is building bridges that link a good concept with the right people and resources. In my work for the Sarah Ferguson Foundation, I get personally involved in raising funds for school-building projects in Sierra Leone and Liberia. As co-CEO of Hartmoor, my multimedia lifestyle company, I’m constantly developing ideas for new products, film, TV, books, and the Web, and then search my rolodex for the right contacts. I’ve got a great team around me, but I am a very hands-on type of person and in truth I’m never, ever idle.
Where do you get your coffee?
it happened this week
Mouthing OffA noose dangling from the door of an African-American Columbia professor’s office was the only thing that kept Yankees manager Joe Torre off the front pages this week. Rudy Giuliani pleaded with a capricious higher power — God, that is, not George Steinbrenner — to save his pin-striped pal’s job (he’d already said he’d appoint Torre to his Cabinet if given the chance). Mayor Bloomberg, displaying the tendency to be not totally insane that has set him apart from his predecessor time and again, merely remarked that “you can have great people and great coaching and it’s just not meant to be.”
in other news
Ciprianis Learn That Rich People Have to Pay Taxes, Too, Even in the Bush EraWe were trying to put our finger on what, exactly, irks us so much about the Cipriani family’s pleading guilty to evading $10 million of state and city taxes, and then it came to us. The Ciprianis’ chosen milieu is ostentatious, eighties-style luxury: They run the Rainbow Room (home to, in ex–line cook Anthony Bourdain’s memorable phrase, “captains of industry … eating garbage at the top of the world”), Harry’s Bar in Venice, and, of course, the half-dozen eponymous gilded troughs here in Manhattan. It’s thus pretty safe to say that just about all of their fortune is made off those just as fortunate. So not only do we have George Bush cutting taxes for the wealthiest one percent, we also have the people who feed this one percent hoarding the money that’s now escaped taxation twice. It’s the ultimate raspberry to the trickle-down theory: In the words of another master, Leona Helmsley, “only little people pay taxes.” Big people post bail.
Ciprianis Plead Guilty in $10 Million N.Y. Tax Case [Bloomberg]