Kate Hudson isn't due until January, but wow — she looked as glamorous as an old-time movie star last night at the premiere of her film, Merchant-Ivory's "Le Divorce."
The premiere was a win-win situation for everyone. For one thing, Hudson, the film's nominal star, now vaults ahead of the pack of actresses her age. After successes in "Almost Famous" and "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," she really hits her stride in "Le Divorce."
Her mother and stepfather, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, can take great pride in the job they've done. Now Kate — pregnant with her first child by husband Chris Robinson (the rocker from the Black Crowes) — can stand on her own.
"I always knew I wanted to act," Kate told me last night at the party at the Plaza Hotel following the screening. "And there was never a thought about not doing it because my mother was such a big star. We were just encouraged to do what we wanted."
"You were lucky," I said.
"Not lucky," countered Robinson, also obviously proud of his wife. "She's her own incredible person."
Hudson drank herbal tea and stayed close to her two guests — Robinson was one. The other was a woman named Kathy, who looked to be in her mid-40s.
"She was my nanny," Kate informed me.
Was she a good child, I wondered?
"She had her moments," Kathy said. "But basically she was great." Kathy will not be the nanny to baby Robinson, however.
Hudson turns in a terrific performance as Isabel, whose sister Roxy (played by Naomi Watts) finds out her husband has left her just as Hudson arrives in Paris for a visit. Matthew Modine is a knockout as the nutty, violent, cuckolded husband of Hudson's husband's girlfriend.
French acting legend Leslie Caron does a memorable star turn as Watts' imperious mother-in-law.
The big news about "Le Divorce" is that it's just great — a real relief from the summer sequels and blockbusters. It gives acclaimed director James Ivory a chance to vindicate himself in his first contemporary setting since "Slaves of New York," which was not a success.
"Le Divorce," based on Diane Johnson's novel, has some slight references to the work of Woody Allen and Robert Altman. But then Ivory and producer Ismail Merchant really make it their own. It's a must-see film for anyone with a brain and a love of cinema.
And what a night the premiere was! Oscar winner Marcia Gay Harden joined the cast's Glenn Close, Bebe Neuwirth, Modine (with his delightful wife Cari), plus Hudson and Robinson, Merchant and Ivory, screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Marisa Berenson, and special guest Mia Farrow at the elegant after-party.
Merchant, by the way, was very psyched as he credited Farrow with picking out his ensemble for the night.
"She designed the whole thing!" the jubilant producer said, crowing about his Nehru vest jacket made out of a lightweight crêpe material.
"Not really," demurred Farrow, looking like a young Lillian Gish, the legendary silent-film star. "He's wearing a typical Indian outfit. I just helped assemble it."
This star-studded group was rivaled only by the scene going on uptown at Elaine's famous eatery later, where Joan Rivers, Chris Noth, Alec Baldwin and Dwight Yoakam each commanded tables. And this was a Tuesday in August!
More tomorrow on the utterly charming, winning, intelligent "Le Divorce," which opens in select cities on Friday.
NBC Sports chief Dick Ebersol paid $50,000 to get the answer to a question. I think I can tell you the same answer for free.
The question is: Who is Carly Simon's classic 1972 song "You're So Vain" about? That's the song about the cad who flies around in a Learjet and sleeps with "the wife of a close friend."
The answer is: Warren Beatty.
Many people over the years thought possibly Mick Jagger, or even Simon's then-soon-to-be-husband James Taylor, was the subject of the song. They were wrong.
Jagger, in fact, provides the delicious backing vocals on the record that blend so well with Simon's delivery. Paul and Linda McCartney also sang on the recording.
But Beatty is the guy, no matter how much his name is protested by Simon or by him. Carly dated him in 1971, right after she became an overnight sensation with the lilting, tense ballad "That's the Way I've Always Heard It Should Be."
Carly met Beatty in Los Angeles after she played at the Troubadour. And Warren ... well, you can guess the rest. He was always the first to put out the welcome mat to beautiful young women who had arrived in Hollywood.
In 1988 I interviewed Carly about her incredible career. When the subject of "You're So Vain" came up we discussed Beatty at length. She said the song was "a little about Beatty." It was a composite of three men from her L.A. days. Beatty, she told me, was not a good boyfriend.
"I never took him seriously," she told me. "He was great fun and very, very bright. But noooo ... as a boyfriend. A lot of women like someone who is that smooth. In the beginning Warren was pretty good at pretending he was only smooth on the outside and a bowl of jelly on the inside. But he doesn't do that secondary act very well now."
Ebersol, by the way, paid his $50K at the annual Possible Dreams Auction to benefit the Community Services of Martha's Vineyard, where Simon has lived for more than 30 years.
The beauteous Simon — if you're too young to know — was the first and best of all the female singer-songwriters. Michelle Branch, Jewel, Sarah McLachlan, Norah Jones and so on wouldn't exist without this Grammy-winning, Oscar-winning superstar. Let's hope we hear a new album from her soon.
No celebrities have been booked yet for Sharon Osbourne's talk show, but already the staff knows a few people are not welcome.
First off: Sting. Even though he has a new album coming out this fall, don't expect to see him singing songs from it on Sharon's show.
"She hates him," a source from the show told me recently. "It may have something to do with his wife [Trudie Styler]."
As a Trudie fan, I find this hard to believe. But oh well, it's Osbourne's loss.
So far the only performer who may have nibbled on Sharon's line is Sean "P. Diddy" Combs. And there has been some mention of Elton John and/or Rod Stewart as special guests for Osbourne's show.
In meetings, by the way, Sharon told her staff she didn't know who Wynonna Judd was. She also said she didn't want rocker Courtney Love anywhere near her show.
Meanwhile, former colleagues of Sharon's producer, Mary Duffy, are having a grand time recalling the good old days working with Duffy on "The Montel Williams Show."
"She used to call people RUGs," says one former Montel staffer. "It stood for Really Ugly Guests. We once did a show on teenagers on death row, and she vetoed one of them because they had 'prison acne'."