Two Washington Post staff writers were granted golden tickets to both the Vanity Fair and Elton John Oscar parties, and take us along on their Roald Dahlesque adventures. At VF they spot Madonna ("...she was heard to say 'oy' after experiencing a press photobarrage going in"), Keira Knightley and Sienna Miller sprawled on couches, J-Lo begging Marc Anthony to dance with her (he does not), Paul Haggis being gracious at a urinal (next movie: "Flush?"), and an affable, smoking Joaquin Phoenix; at Elton's: a bored George Lucas, alone but for his security guards, Pamela Anderson, and a "sea of women with Duck Face," including the world's reigning duck-faced monarchs, Amanda Lepore and Lisa Rinna. Spirits overall were high; but there's always the exception:
Oscar-winning "Brokeback Mountain" screenwriter Diana Ossana, in a tight blue gown, kittens up to her sheepherding cowboys (mixed animal metaphor? Hello, we've been drinking?) and she has a long, serious conversation with Heath Ledger, and the only snippet we overhear is this: "He didn't even thank the cast," Ledger says.
While he could have been talking about anyone, a review of Ang Lee's acceptance speech revealed the director managed to thank the fictional characters of Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist, short story writer Annie Proulx, screenwriters Ossana and Larry McMurtry, a long list of Focus executives, and closed with a thank you to his family, and "everyone in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China." Not mentioned: Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, or any Brokeback Mountain actor for that matter. And while the entire population of China undoubtedly was thrilled to get their Oscar night due, let's face facts: it was Ledger and Gyllenhaal who really did the heavy lifting here, and probably deserved a tip of the gay cowboy hat.