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OSCARS 2000 | Miramax

Outcome Doesn't Dampen the Mood

March 28, 2000|ELAINE DUTKA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The mood at Miramax's post-Oscar party at the Beverly Hills Hotel Polo Lounge was upbeat despite its Oscar contender, "The Cider House Rules," being upstaged by DreamWorks' "American Beauty" in a reversal of last year's race.

"Though we compete, those guys are my friends," said the company's co-chairman, Harvey Weinstein, of DreamWorks' Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. "And 'American Beauty' is a great movie, clearly the favorite. My brother, Bob, said that if we won, we'd have to wear flak jackets or turn ourselves in to the witness protection program."

Who Was There: Among the 800 guests mingling among massive ice sculptures on the dimly lighted patio: Walter Cronkite, Jane Fonda, Quentin Tarantino, Michael Caine, Patrick Swayze, Mike Myers, Malcolm McDowell, Harvey Keitel, Dominick Dunne, Dylan McDermott, Tobey Maguire, Roberto Benigni, John Irving, Wes Craven, Lasse Halstrom, Lena Olin, Don Rickles, Gloria Estefan, Anthony Minghella, Charlize Theron.

The Buzz: Few surprises, most agreed. But the academy drew praise for honoring off-center work such as the "South Park" song "Blame Canada" and Hilary Swank in "Boys Don't Cry." "The '90s have been a real improvement," said a boisterous Tarantino. "No one suggests that the academy is cutting-edge, but this night proves that it's grown up."

Let 'Em Dance: Swayze was dismayed by the lack of production numbers on the Oscar telecast. "They're . . . effectively killing an art form. Dance is an endangered species--this is the only venue in Hollywood in which it still exists."

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