Some clutched Oscars, some clutched cosmos. But no matter how the evening was spent, all were spent by evening's end.


Uma. Oprah. Tuna Carpaccio. What else could you ask of an Oscar party? Mortons was glutted with glitterati as Mel Gibson, Nicole Kidman, Helen Hunt, and Tobey Maguire mobbed the post-awards extravaganza hosted by VF editor Graydon Carter. MUSIC BY K-TEL The tunes were loud and retro: ABBA, the Bee Gees, and (huh?) the theme from Hill Street Blues blared. LIGHTS OUT With so many luminaries on hand, the actual lighting suffered an attack of performance anxiety. But the blackouts didn’t deter Denzel Washington, who came by to celebrate his Best Actor win before heading home to party with his kids. V.V. JADED Bridget Jones’s Diary author Helen Fielding summed up the glitzy zoo: ”A queen for a day, a nightmare for a lifetime.”


It was all gods, no monsters, at this ball, with attendees ranging from Yank institutions like Julia Roberts and Sissy Spacek to pedigreed pond hoppers Maggie Smith and Helen Mirren. In all, the stars amassed at the palatial hall had wattage aplenty… LIGHTS OUT, PART 2…though not quite enough to keep the lights from flickering — fizzling fuses were more common than plunging decolletage. CHOW, VOYAGER Thanks to plates of salmon and steak, everyone was well fed and well feted — and just in time, too. ”The arrival of this food” was Ian McKellen’s highlight of the night. ”It’s a long time to go without food,” he said of the ceremony. PRIORITIES Akiva Goldsman, Oscar-winning scribe of A Beautiful Mind, didn’t let a little Oscar ceremony mar his Sunday-night TV: He TiVo-ed Alias. Why not record his moment in the sun? ”I didn’t put the Golden Globes on TiVo,” he said, ”and then [I] won. So it became a thing.” That’s one way to Garner an award.


Sir Elton shrewdly consolidated his festivities this year, celebrating his 55th birthday while hosting his annual celeb-strewn Oscar bash. ROOM WITH NO VIEW The VIP room was the party’s heart and soul: A-listers like Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, and the triumphant Halle Berry made a beeline for the basement sanctuary, where John was lord and master. (Even Donatella Versace had a tough time penetrating the inner sanctum.) MIDNIGHT AT THE APOLO The man everyone wanted to meet (especially Oscar winner Kevin Spacey)? Olympic gold-medal skater Apolo Anton Ohno. So has the immortal Apolo always been an Oscar fan? ”Sometimes,” he noted. ”When I had time, I tried to [watch].” Oh, no!