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Posted at 5:01 PM ET, 03/ 8/2010

Oscars 2010: The report from the Governor's Ball

By Jen Chaney

At the Governor’s Ball -- the Academy’s official post-Oscars party -- virtually everyone who appeared during the just-ended ceremony is present and accounted for. There’s Christoph Waltz, roaming the room with his newly earned Oscar in hand. And there’s best cinematography presenter John Travolta, roaming the room with a cell pressed up to his ear.


James Cameron
is here, chatting with colleagues near the "Avatar" table and looking perfectly calm and unwounded after losing both best picture and best director to his ex-wife, Kathryn Bigelow, and her "Hurt Locker." Co-host Steve Martin is not far away, in a huddle, undoubtedly collecting well-deserved accolades for his dry-as-parchment-paper repartee with Alec Baldwin during the telecast. And T. Bone Burnett has even removed his signature sunglasses, no doubt basking in the collection of his first Oscar for best original song. (He didn't do the traditional post-win spin by the press room with his co-victor, Ryan Bingham, because, according to Academy officials, he wasn't feeling well and returned to his seat. He looks healthy and steady on his feet now, though.)

The Governor's Ball is the traditional first stop on the party train for many of the glitterati who gathered at the Kodak Theater. Held in a ballroom up just a few escalators from where the Golden Boys were just handed out, it's a place where they can actually sit down at a table and tuck into a Wolfgang Puck-crafted meal before heading to the Vanity Fair party or -- dare we say it? -- home to relieve the babysitter. (The decor theme this year, in case you're wondering? The 1930s, which means the place has the feel of a Depression-era supper club, with a vocalist singing torch songs and lighting that drenches portions of the space in hues of blue.)

Among those doing some of that tucking: Meryl Streep, looking regal in that white, drapey gown and acting perfectly gracious when a reporter blurts out something about how much she admires the actress’s work and stands there for a moment, basking in her Streepness. Thank you, says the star of “Sophie’s Choice.” Then she apologizes for her martini breath.

Jon Cryer
, fresh off that tribute to the late John Hughes, says he and his former teen-movie colleagues couldn’t believe how young they looked in all those “Pretty in Pink” and “Ferris Bueller” film clips. We point out that he still looks pretty young, which leads to a ridiculous conversation about the importance of moisturizer use. (His advice? Moisturize, but do not exfoliate: “Rips the skin right off,” he jokes. Duly noted, Duckie Dale.)

There’s Jeff Bridges, engaged in deep conversation with his “Crazy Heart” director, Scott Cooper. And speaking of Coopers, isn’t that a Cooper of the Bradley variety sitting at a table next to Ryan Reynolds? Sure is. When the actors who starred opposite Sandra Bullock in her two non-Oscar-worthy movies from last year are asked what they thought of the show, both agree that Martin and Baldwin made excellent hosts. But they don’t say much else. Clearly these boys want to be alone. (To compare Bullock notes? One can only speculate.)

The boys from “The Hurt Locker,” on the other hand, are happy to chat. They’re just happy, period. Jeremy Renner does a little dance before he sits down at the table he shares with his co-stars. Anthony Mackie, meanwhile, is all kinds of chipper and gabby, expressing his appreciation for all those wins for the Iraq drama he calls “the little engine that could.” He gets even more excited when Renner tells him waiters will soon be serving pot pies.

We buzz by Zac Efron, who is his usual insanely polite self. What are your plans for the rest of the night, Zac? He’s going to stay at the ball for a bit, then he’s off to the Vanity Fair party to “meet up with Vanessa,” he says, referring to his “High School Musical” sweetheart Vanessa Hudgens.

Because everyone stops here, sure. But eventually, they are on to later parties, bigger parties, more private parties, or wherever it is that mega-stars go when Hollywood's biggest night slowly morphs into its bleary-eyed, blissful morning-after.

By Jen Chaney  | March 8, 2010; 5:01 PM ET
Categories:  Awards Season  
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