Inside the Academy Museum Gala: Hollywood’s Starriest Night of the Year

If you walked into the Academy Museum Gala on Saturday night, chances are good Laura Dern helped to welcome you. The Oscar-winner, who serves on the museum’s board of directors, stood directly behind the event’s check-in table as arrivals began giving warm greetings to friends, colleagues and strangers alike as the biggest Hollywood party of the season took shape . In fact, it didn’t take long for her to realize that she would be the first of literally hundreds of stars to follow throughout the evening.

The second annual gala, presented by Rolex, marked the Academy Museum’s one-year anniversary and honored four artists who have made significant contributions to the film industry: Mogul Michi Lee, the force behind such groundbreaking Korean projects as parasite; actor Tilda Swinton, Oscar winner for Michael Clayton and star of the future The Eternal Daughter; director steve mcqueen, the first black director behind a Best Picture winner (12 years a slave); and to wrap things up Julia Roberts, Icon Award recipient. Her tribute was presented by george clooney, her co-star in the new rom-com Entrance ticket to paradise; Their embrace on stage, against the scenic backdrop of the Hollywood Hills, capped a night of superstars in the most appropriate way.

Luca Guadagnino and Tilda Swinton

Photo by Hunter Abrams.

The gala began with a cocktail reception in the museum restaurant, Fanny’s. There you could see Dern taking a moment Glen Close right in front of the entrance, or Judd Apatow immigrate and find Congressman Adam Schiff as his first interlocutor. decision to go director Park Chanwook and friends sat in a quieter area at the back of the restaurant Minari Oscar winner Yuh Jung Youn a few tables further. Ron Howard jostled Spike Lee, just so they can snag a stand nearby and chat for a good chunk of cocktail hour. (Sterling K. Brown later took Howard’s place and spoke to Lee just before he went upstairs to dinner.) I caught up with the Emmy winner Colman Domingo (euphoria) at the bar amidst the madness, and he even expressed feeling a little overwhelmed by it all.

And that’s only scratching the surface – studios were also in attendance to tout their new Oscar contenders as the season got underway. Excuse this incomplete list, but who I saw doing the rounds and having fun at their first of hopefully many big gatherings of the season: Most of the time Everything everywhere at once crew, from stars Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, and Ke Huy Quan to directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert; The Banshees by Inisherinoutbreak Kerry Condon; bones and all‘s Taylor Russell and Luca Guadagnino (who introduced for frequent collaborator Swinton); The good nurse‘s Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne; The Woman King‘s Gina Prince Bythewood and Thuso Mbedu; dedication‘s Jonathan Majors; and realm of light‘s Michael Ward.

Jessica Chastain

Photo by Hunter Abrams. Inside the Academy Museum Gala: Hollywood’s Starriest Night of the Year

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