Jennifer Aniston didn’t "reunite" with ex-husband Brad Pitt and his leading lady Angelina Jolie on the Oscars red carpet like many had hoped, but that’s not because Jen has a problem with the Tinseltown twosome … was there another method in the madness?
Aniston skipped out of official carpet duties but the mechanics of her presenting role were almost strategically choreographed. During the live telecast the former "Friends" starlet slightly signaled her head (not once, but twice) directly toward the front-row couple which prompted close-ups of Brad and Angelina, who were obviously well-prepared for the spotlighted moment and had their stick-on-smiles in-place throughout her whole segment.
PHOTOS: Click to see the Red Carpet arrivals at the Oscars.
"It was a bit awkward, everyone was looking and they were trying to play it cool," said an insider, adding that as soon as Aniston left the stage they switched back into normalcy and exchanged a quick whisper.
It was also interesting that during the Best Actor acceptance speech they opted for an over-the-shoulder shot of the audience from the winner’s perspective on-stage with Aniston in clear view and notably this was the one and only time that angle was used in the show. So had that been Brad instead of Sean Penn , it would have been a very clear set-up of Aniston’s reaction to her ex taking the honors …
"It’s a bit nerve-wracking knowing everyone is watching but Jen is totally ready for it. She knows it’s going to happen sooner or later," said a source close to Aniston. "She’s in a really good place now, she’s ready to get it over with and move on."
John Mayer and Aniston were also all-smiles as Nicole Kidman announced Angelina Jolie’s nomination (the camera of course caught that too) and we’re told Aniston had some idea she would be placed close to Brangelina in the theater (she was one row behind and roughly a dozen seats away) and didn’t have a problem with it.
The "Marley & Me" actress was quick to arrive at Vanity Fair’s super swanky post-party with beau John Mayer, knowing very well that Brangelina could make a cameo. According to inside sources, Pitt and Jolie were definitely invited and were tipped to swing by but that didn’t seem to concern Aniston who was all over her new man well into the early hours.
Mickey Rourke’s Loss The Talk Of 'Vanity Fair'
It seems everyone was upset that comeback hero Mickey Rourke didn’t take home the Golden Statue for Best Actor. Well, everyone but Rourke himself. We’re told the minute "The Wrestler" (donning a cool white floral jacket and jeans) arrived at the Sunset Towers on Sunday night for the highly-anticipated bash Jon Voight rushed over to console him but Rourke backed off, assuring him "it was all good."
And if you thought only women gossip and gab in the restroom, think again. Apparently the guys in the men’s room kept telling Rourke that it he was robbed, he deserved it and it’s all institutional/political reasons, blah blah. But despite the disappointment the 56-year-old hung out with winner Sean Penn (who we spotted sneaking through the back door with wife Robin Wright-Penn just after Elton John) and they laughed and chatted for quite some time.
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"Penn is one of my best friends," Rourke told us at a Pre-Oscar party on Saturday. "I’ll stand up and clap for him." (Mind you, he didn’t …)
Also spotted at the very chic but very scaled-back bash was anyone and everyone including Meryl Streep, Natalie Portman, Sarah-Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Marisa Tomei, Uma Thurman, Halle Berry, Kate Winslet, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Tilda Swinton who was seen getting quite affectionate with the very young, good-looking man she brought as her date despite the ring on her wedding finger.
"My husband doesn’t like going to these things," she was overheard explaining to partiers.
Last year, Prince hosted the hottest post-Oscar party in town in his private Hollywood Hills residence, but we’re told this year the "Purple Rain" man pulled the plug at the last minute as he didn’t want to dish out the dosh and it was too hard to get sponsors to sign up. Tarts was told just a few days ago that invites had gone out and that Prince himself was checking the guest list personally to ensure no "trashy Tinseltown types" were invited.
But according to Prince’s peeps, he was in the middle of band rehearsals and didn’t even know he was again playing party host until Marion Cotillard called to RSVP and he then read about it in the papers last week along with you and I. Hmmm, sounds a little off as the party planners had been co-coordinating the bash for quite sometime. ...
In light of the buzz, Prince’s personal public relations team rallied around to put together some-kind-of-something at Hollywood club Avalon/Bardot (although Prince probably would have been better off having an early night) and told Tarts that the show would be a for "few lucky fans" and of course his fave actress, Marion Cotillard. We did however spot the French beauty at the Vanity Fair party instead. ...
Just a few hours before the scheduled start-time suddenly tickets for the initially "exclusive" party and performance went on-sale for $100, although the media alert seemed to be more just a plug for his website LOTUSFLOW3R.com and even included "requested on-air captions and photo captions" promoting the "highly interactive site," but the Web site hasn’t even launched yet … even more strange.
Unlike last year’s star-studded soiree which attracted A-listers like Orlando Bloom, Elton John, Sean Penn, Petra Nemcova, Penelope Cruz, Stevie Wonder, Kate Beckinsale and Eva Longoria this party had no names attached and when we tried to find out why we were told that Prince is so particular about who is invited and keeps cutting the list.
But clearly Prince didn’t really want to be involved in the whole affair himself, as he refused to do any press and wouldn’t even pose for the photographers and fans and all were strictly told to put their cameras away as he rushed inside.
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Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay