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Hey, what about that drink?

George Clooney and others shimmy through the sea of stars at post-ceremony galas to wax philosophical about movie trends, pose, dance, and -- oh yeah -- grab a glass of something wet.

January 18, 2006|Steven Barrie-Anthony | Times Staff Writer

If you're George Clooney, it takes almost an hour to make your way from the red carpet to the bar. Wearing his tux unbuttoned at the neck and holding the Golden Globe statuette he picked up earlier in the evening Monday for his performance in "Syriana," Clooney makes his way past the hordes of press and the fans -- but can't seem to get a vodka soda. It's a curse, having this many friends.

"I just need some alcohol," he says, and starts a dash further into the In Style-Warner Bros. party off the lobby at the Beverly Hilton, but Charlize Theron does an intercept and ties him into a hug. Nearby, Clooney's publicist muses, "I know a lot of people. But he knows even more."

There's a theme to conversation this year at the Golden Globes galas, most of them held in the Hilton after the ceremony, and Clooney says it well: "My theory is that if we can raise questions about our movies, we succeed. It's happening in society at the same time that it's happening in movies: People sit around the table, and for the first time since Watergate, they are asking questions about politics." After a ceremony feting movies that challenge the audience socially and politically -- "Brokeback Mountain," "Transamerica," "Good Night, and Good Luck" -- tipsy stars preach to the gathered choir: The message matters.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday January 19, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 24 words Type of Material: Correction
Jon Voight -- An article in Wednesday's Calendar section about parties after the Golden Globe Awards misspelled actor Jon Voight's last name as Voigt.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday January 20, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 38 words Type of Material: Correction
Golden Globes -- A story and photo caption in Wednesday's Calendar section about parties after the Golden Globe Awards identified actress Ziyi Zhang as starring in "Memoirs of the Geisha." The correct title is "Memoirs of a Geisha."

Chocolate also matters and, as is the norm at these shindigs, there's plenty of it. In Style has arranged a Godiva lounge/museum replete with truffle sculptures, wall coverings and a chocolate martini bar, and Jeff Daniels is one of the first arrivals to choose a truffle from a silver plate. He eats it in a corner, by himself, looking sad. "I live in Michigan," says Daniels, who was nominated for his role in "The Squid and the Whale" but lost to Joaquin Phoenix. "Where I live, it's mostly a 'King Kong' town, people rarely go to see an indie. But they went to see 'Squid' because I was in it, and they came out just rocked. People forget that they can see a movie and it will stick with them for 10 days."

And here comes the ubiquitous Clooney, patting Daniels on the chest and grinning. No drink yet.

Inside the main tent, a cover band blasts a mixture of classic rock, grunge, funk. Backlit blue walls with splotches of red give the space a psychedelic flavor. And Paris Hilton, as much a party mainstay as open bars and massive platters of shrimp, deserves to win some kind of award for her party acrobatics. At one point she is gabbing on her cellphone, typing on a Sidekick, munching a lamb chop and posing for pictures. You figure out the mechanics.

Natalie Portman walks by mumbling "chocolate," reaches in only to discover it's a lamb chop and is sorely disappointed.

Jamie Foxx clearly doesn't trust the paparazzi to do him justice; he totes his own camera -- a credit card-sized digital gizmo, decorated with what looks like diamonds -- and he wants his picture taken with all passersby. Holding court on a low couch, wearing sunglasses, he snaps photos with four women. It takes a beckoning Eva Longoria to raise him to his feet; and then Foxx wants a photo with her.

A few feet away, an ebullient Sandra Oh from "Grey's Anatomy" stares disbelievingly at her Golden Globe. "I started in this business 20 years ago," she says. "My sister is here, my friends are here. Some awards come and go, but this one.... I don't see how you can fathom winning." Kevin Spacey walks by with a posse of men in black tie, all laughing uproariously.

And Jon Voigt, ever the party philosopher, takes up where Clooney left off. "Every film says something. Sometimes there's just more to say than at other times. People are making political films. But I'll tell you, just because a film's political doesn't mean I agree with it."

Each year on Golden Globes night, the Beverly Hilton transforms into a castle with a red carpet moat. Outside are the fawning masses; on the periphery, the media. But there are demarcations on the inside as well, as the hotel divides into assorted galas and a ticket to one doesn't mean a ticket to all.

The rooftop soiree held by Universal and Focus Features is second only in buzz and A-list attendees to the In Style-Warner Bros. bash. The decor is moody, with groups of paper lanterns hung in clear boxes like moored balloons. As the Globes end, celebrities pour in.

Keira Knightley and winner Rachel Weisz hunker down on an old sofa. Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner embraces "Will & Grace's" Debra Messing. Eric Bana chats with Nathan Lane, and Universal President Ron Meyer swirls around the room with DreamWorks mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg (apparently the soured merger did not scotch their friendship).

Jake Gyllenhaal doesn't show, but his "Brokeback Mountain" co-stars Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams spend the evening cuddling and doing some fancy maneuvering to avoid scuffing her resplendent purple Givenchy frou-frou. Ziyi Zhang is accompanied everywhere by an older woman in a black suit, who carries her yards of lime green Armani organza in crowds; when the "Memoirs of the Geisha" star sits down to eat, her helper arrays the dress around her in swirls. "Match Point's" Emily Mortimer just hoists her black train around her knees as the night goes on to avoid getting tripped up by her clothes.

By 11, "Brokeback" director Ang Lee is tired and ready for sleep. "But it's a high-class problem," he admits. Those statuettes are heavy.

Times staff writer Rachel Abramowitz contributed to this report.

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