Al Gore may be changing his mind about running for president again.
Gore's triumphant display at the Academy Awards on Sunday night certainly bolstered his ego if not his standing. And standing he got — an ovation inside the Kodak Theatre that not many ever receive.
On Saturday night, Gore made a surprise appearance at the home of billionaire Clinton backer Ron Burkle. This was not a coincidence. The event was for Armani, and Gore is not a fashionista, but he knew this was the place to be. And even though Burkle is committed for now to Hillary Clinton, he has plenty of money to share with other candidates if his main goal is to see a Democrat in office.
Clinton will be honored at Burkle's mansion on March 24 at a star-studded fundraiser.
But Gore still has his Hollywood supporters. At Vanity Fair's star-packed after-party on Sunday night, the former vice president was the most sought-after guest. Leonardo DiCaprio and Jon Bon Jovi were first in line, but there were plenty others, including Oprah Winfrey.
Gore was very complimentary to this reporter for the quote that's featured on his DVD box. (This was a surprise to us since no one asked, but I did think "An Inconvenient Truth" was an important film no matter what your political affiliation.)
Usually during our brief encounters, I would ask him, "Now, will you run for president?" Each time, Gore has either said no or scrunched up his face.
But that wasn't the response I got on Sunday night — this time he merely patted me on the shoulder. The standard "no" has been shelved, I think, while Gore ponders the possibilities.
Of course, the only way Gore could really come into the race is if Hillary Clinton suddenly seems vulnerable. No one will know that for some time — leaving Gore to lecture, tour and capitalize on the enormous goodwill he got this weekend.
It's a great position to be in.
Michael Jackson got a new business partner yesterday, and his flack put out a crazy set of statements that he probably didn't even authorize.
First the news: Martin Bandier, one of the most respected guys in the music business, is coming to Sony/ATV Music as president. Jackson still owns 50 percent of the company, and Sony has an option to buy out half of that stake at any time depending on Michael's level of financial desperation.
Bandier was head of EMI Music and turned it into the most successful of the music publishing companies. He's investing his own money into the venture, making him Michael's partner.
There's an irony here: Bandier was once partners, and remains friendly, with Charles Koppelman, who for three years helped run Jackson's roller coaster financial world.
Bandier knows Jackson better than he probably knows himself. He's considered an angel in a bad business, but he's no fool. Bandier will likely be less compassionate toward Jackson than the business people who were previously running Sony/ATV.
Meanwhile, Jackson's publicist Raymone Bain didn't like the fact that his siblings got past her and elicited a promise to tour with them. I'm not surprised she issued a denial about it yesterday. But it did happen.
And as far as the single with Pras playing on MySpace: It's not new, it's from 1995.
I liked Bain's statement that Jackson is "weighing offers" in Las Vegas. Jackson has no offers. If he did, he would have announced one.
Michael Jackson, to quote a heavyweight in the casino business, is "radioactive." If he wants to work again or make money instead of spending it, he would best wake up. I'm told that Jackson's been making desperate calls around to former backers, hoping someone will save him from having to work.
The Oscars were like a four-hour commercial for a lot of movies. But the audience must not have been impressed.
Box office figures on Monday for "Dreamgirls," "The Departed" and some of other nominated films were lackluster at best. No matter what happens, apparently, no one wants to see "Babel." It's stalled at $33.8 million and it's playing in limited release.
Of all the studios, Warner Bros. is left in the most awkward position. Clint Eastwood's "Letters From Iwo Jima" is sitting in 530 theaters. It has no awards except a Golden Globe for "Best Picture Made in a Foreign Language by a Hollywood Icon" or something.
But putting the lack of awards aside, "Iwo Jima" is a masterpiece, and it might behoove the studio that's been in business with Eastwood for 40 years to try a relaunch this winter.
Meantime, Steven Soderbergh's feature with George Clooney, "The Good German," is a huge dud. I was surprised it hadn't been pulled entirely from distribution. It's still playing somewhere in 13 theatres, with a total of $1 million in the till.
Even if Clooney and Soderbergh deferred their fees, Cate Blanchett had to have been paid at least $1 million. Tobey Maguire undoubtedly got quite a bit more. Paul Attanasio had to have been paid for his script, and — well, you get the picture.
"The Good German" will likely cost Warner Bros. around $50 million, which I suppose they will just lose somewhere in the accounting for "Ocean's Thirteen" and pretend it never happened.
Even though the push is on to shove British soccer player David Beckham and his annoying former pop singer wife Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham down our throats, there may be yet be some problems.
Yesterday it was announced that the Beckhams, who for years craved but could not achieve celebrity beyond the British Isle, would star in an NBC reality series. If this doesn't put a nail in it, nothing will.
How long before we are treated to the arrival of one Rebecca Loos, the 28-year-old model who almost helped break up the Beckhams' marriage in 2005?
According to her Web site, Loos' life "is not dissimilar to a Bond movie, it is fast-paced, full of danger and romance, and has a surprise around every corner!" She could be to the reality series what Alexis was to "Dynasty."
In April 2004, Rebecca, a beauty who has carved out a career as a celebrity in the U.K., told the Sunday Mirror that she had been David Beckham's "alternate wife" when he lived in Spain and played soccer there during his marriage.
Loos should be a big hit if she decides to follow the Becks to the U.S. in search of more fame and money. She has no trouble posing topless for magazines — there are tons of such pics all over the Internet.
How long before she's on "Dancing With the Stars" or "Deal or No Deal?"
I'd say it's minutes away.