On the elegant stairway up to the Governors Ball, a man was having fun with the name of the event he was about to attend, loudly proclaiming it — or, rather, a variation of it that suggested a part of the male anatomy — to anyone who’d listen.
The man could be excused for a burst of adolescent delight: He was George Clooney, and the actor-filmmaker had just won the best picture Oscar for his work on “Argo,” a fact evident from the statuette he was gripping triumphantly.
Inside the ball — the swanky post-show event for Oscar attendees at a ballroom atop the Hollywood & Highland complex — winners and losers mingled and nibbled on Wolfgang Puck-made pot pies and pizzas as musician Michael Feinstein took the stage and played a few swingy numbers.
Oscars 2013: Winner list | Red carpet | Highlights
Hugh Jackman moved confidently through the crowd, putting on a face that suggested he was OK with his loss to Daniel Day-Lewis for lead actor. A moment later Ben Affleck strode past, holding his Oscar and walking with a brisk purpose that suggested the confidence of a man who had just walked out of a room with the big prize — or, perhaps, one who needed to get out of Iran. He shook hands of well-wishers seemingly without stopping as he quickly headed to a group at the other side of the room.
Nearby, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, fresh off a twinkle-toe performance early in the Oscars, nearly stepped on Jennifer Lawrence’s long train. He made an exaggerated expression of "I don’t want to be the cause of her second fashion-related disaster of the night" and gingerly stepped away. The lead actress winner, evidently not seeing the incident, continued moving — slowly — toward a banquette.
Across the room, Gordon-Levitt’s dance partner Daniel Radcliffe was looking extremely relieved. “I’ve been really nervous,” the actor stopped and told The Times. “I haven’t slept much in the last few nights thinking about the number. I keep hearing the beats as I tried to go to sleep.
"It will be nice not to worry about it as I lie in bed tonight.”
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