The Annals of Socialite Upstarts: Out With Olivia Palermo, in With Emily Brill?So January was cold, and February was short, but now it’s finally March. And you know what that means? It’s party time! No, not for you. For people who matter. We know since SocialiteRank.com shut down nearly a year ago, you haven’t been as able to keep track of what’s been going on with Tinsley and Zani and Margherita, but, trust us, they’re still out every night, flawlessly executing that arm move that Ellen Page has been trying to imitate! See, March is when the events for young socialites really begin in earnest. Last night saw the Riverkeeper benefit at the Hearst Tower, hosted by the ecocharity’s junior council. Scheduled next week is the American Museum of Natural History’s Winter Dance and the Frick’s Young Fellows’ Ball. A quick peek down the list of all the host committees show that, this year, all the fun is dominated by one set of friends. Claire Bernard, Maggie Betts, and Jamie Johnson are on the committees of all three of the above events, and they are joined here and there by Amanda Hearst, Hudson Morgan, Annie Churchill, Andrew Black, Derek Blasberg, and Byrdie Bell. This is a little bit of a shift away from the Tinsley-Dabney-Lydia axis, but it’s essentially the same gang. Which isn’t surprising, only…where’s Olivia Palermo?
Ellen Page Keeps Doing This Thing With Her ArmNow, we like Ellen Page as much as everyone else. She was super-cute in Juno and we even concede she is probably doable even though we’re a gay and a chick who’s not into that. But there’s this thing she’s been doing that bugs us. This thing with her arm. It’s kind of like a variation on the standard red-carpet pose — hand on hip, shoulders back — that one does to make one’s arm look thin, only Ellen does it in this really extreme way. It’s almost as though she is about to bust into the Funky Chicken, but with only one-half of her body. As you can see from the above photo, the arm has moved further and further back as she has progressively become more famous, until it is now almost almost perpendicular to her body. We’re starting to become quite concerned, not just because if this continues Ellen might actually dislocate her shoulder, but because the pose kind of screams, “I’m a red carpet novice! And also probably weird about my weight!” and you know, we just don’t want her to go all Jennifer Hudson on us and win an Oscar and only pop up again playing a bit part.
Related: Ellen Page Not Doable Enough to Win Best Actress, Blogger Claims [Vulture]
America’s Real-Estate Conflicts, As Enacted by the Hearst GalsVeronica Hearst is using her Fifth Avenue apartment and a property in upstate New York as collateral in case the auction for her 52-room mansion in Palm Beach doesn’t hit $40 million. Meanwhile, her step-granddaughter Lydia Hearst just bought a $1.49 million apartment in the Sheffield 57 on West 57th. Damon Dash got freaked out by the lunar eclipse. CNBC’s Money Honey, Maria Bartiromo, has joined the board at her alma mater, NYU. Cindy Adams thinks Ellen Page is, uh, “a young, white, female Obama.”
Nick Lachey and JCPenney Do Not Mix, Even If Paid to Do SoNick Lachey threw a hissy fit at a JCPenney party on Hudson Street, despite the fact that he was being paid to be there. Michael Strahan says he loves girlfriend Nicole Murphy, but isn’t sure about marriage. Execs at Sony are annoyed that Michael Jackson’s Thriller 25 is on the Billboard oldies’ chart instead of the Billboard Top 200 chart, despite the fact that it has six new songs. Nelly picked up the coat-check girl at Plumm. Outkast’s André 3000 is looking for an apartment in the city and just toured a multi-million-dollar penthouse on West 13th Street. Justin Timberlake gave menu recommendations to patrons at his Southern Hospitality.
Being Filthy Rich Means Never Having to Say You’re SorryFINANCE
• Fortune searches Davos for financiers to express contrition over the current credit crisis but comes up empty. The closest anyone has come, the magazine notes, is the chairman and chief executive of Moody’s Corp, who said, “We and others have to retool our processes In hindsight, it’s clear to us that there were fundamental failures in key assumptions supporting our analytical models.” Quoth Fortune: “That’s probably a little too mealy-mouthed and much too late to console people who bought the mortgage-backed commercial paper to which Moody’s and its rival Standard & Poor’s gave a top-notch AAA rating — only to discover it was actually junk.” Snap! [Fortune]
• Just how big a fraud did Jérôme Kerviel, the rogue French trader, pull off? Before the bank caught him, he had taken out positions worth 50 billion euros. But some argue that he was responsible for only 1.5 billion euros in losses, and the bank’s board lost the other 3.4 billion euros unwinding his positions way too fast. Meanwhile, top executive Jean-Pierre Mustier told the Times: “I was speaking to a competitor, this competitor called me and said, ‘You are living what is a banker’s worst nightmare.’” Imagine how dramatic that must have sounded in French. [FT, NYT]
• Bonuses now in the bank, Goldman rewarded bankers for a record-setting year with a special surprise: layoffs! [Deal Journal/WSJ]
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.
Spike Lee to Knicks Fans: ‘Don’t Die’Spike Lee advised a fellow Knicks fan, “Don’t commit suicide.” Chace Crawford and Carrie Underwood danced together at Marquee, but not well. Jules Nasso, who may or may not be an associate of the Gambino family, will chair the 2008 Staten Island Film Festival. 30 Rock’s Katrina Bowden exchanged her ravioli for a salad at the dinner at the Four Seasons for Juno. LeBron James sang and danced with Oompa Loompas at Marquee.
Changing in Public Bathrooms: Indie Film Stars, They’re Just Like Us!
The Independent Feature Project’s seventeenth annual Gotham Awards were at Steiner Studios last night, and Jada Yuan took a video crew all the way to the Brooklyn Navy Yards to chat up the indie elite on camera. Kyra Sedgwick was impressed by how fancy the event had become, while Jeffrey Wright extolled the virtues of Brooklyn. Maggie Gyllenhaal talked real estate, Emile Hirsch discussed survival techniques, and Juno star Ellen Page revealed a onetime Brooklyn job that will be familiar to many. Oh, and see Jason Reitman threaten Judd Apatow!
Video Party Lines: IFP Gotham Awards