Tom Cruise-Katie Holmes Wedding: Friends Weren’t Invited

TomKat Wedding: Friends Weren't Invited | Clint’s 'Flags' Off Studio's Oscar Radar | Aretha's Faith Remains Unbroken | Remembering

TomKat Wedding: Friends Weren't Invited

Scratch from the guest list two names you would think might have been invited to Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' Italian wedding this Saturday.

Penelope Cruz, who was Tom’s companion between his divorce and the time he met Holmes, apparently didn’t stay quite as friendly as we thought with her "Vanilla Sky" co-star.

Cruz will be in New York this weekend doing publicity for “Volver,” her Pedro Almodovar movie that’s selling out every show.

Last night, Cruz was guest of honor at a small dinner at the Tribeca Cinema Gallery, followed by a screening of the film.

Because of the rain, some guests — like hip-hop entrepreneur Damon Dash and designer wife Rachael Roy — were late getting downtown and missed the show.

Not to worry: "Volver" is such a hot ticket among Oscar cognoscenti that a rain date’s been arranged for Wednesday (my prediction: "Volver" will be the first foreign language film since “Life Is Beautiful” to make it into the Best Picture category.)

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And the second uninvited guest to the TomKat nuptials? Holmes’ former “Dawson’s Creek” co-star and teenage boyfriend, Joshua Jackson. He’s in town for the launch of Emilio Estevez’s sensational “Bobby.”

Jackson worked with Holmes for six years on the “Creek,” but like all her other friends hasn’t heard one word from her since she met Cruise in April 2005 and became his insta-bride.

“The invitation must have gotten lost in the mail,” Jackson said without rancor or bitterness. “Maybe just the single friends were cut out.”

Jackson, Christian Slater, Estevez and Freddy Rodríguez all did a Q&A last night following a screening of “Bobby” for British Academy members at the multiplex on West 34th St.

Estevez’s mom, Janet Sheen, had just arrived from a trip to Ireland and confirmed a story her son had told: that Warner’s TV made life difficult for Martin Sheen to shoot Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed” and the last episodes of “The West Wing.” It all worked out in the end, though, and Sheen did both.

“You’d think it would have been easy since 'The Departed' was Warner’s too,” Emilio said, shaking his head. Ah, corporate synergy!

A surprise guest at the “Bobby” screening last night: Ralph Macchio, aka "The Karate Kid," who co-starred with Emilio in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Outsiders” some 23 years ago. This instigated a few reminiscences.

“I thought I was so independent,” Estevez, who was 21 at the time, said. “And remember?” he asked Macchio, “The mail came and there was an envelope from my dad. The note inside just said, ‘Vote Yes.’ It was for some Screen Actors Guild election!”

"The Outsiders," by coincidence, also starred Cruise in a small role. But none of those actors are on Saturday’s guest list, either.

Oh wait — what did we learn about Penelope on this trip? “I never get to Spanish restaurants in New York,” the Madrid native said, “People keep taking me to Nobu.”

Maybe El Rincon de Espana in Greenwich Village can send her a plate of paella, dios mio!

Clint's 'Flags' Off Studio's Oscar Radar

It was a noble effort, but Clint Eastwood’s “Flags of Our Fathers” is over.

The epic war film, which cost upward of $150 million to make and market, has taken in only $30 million at the box office. Very shortly, Paramount Pictures will start reeling it in from wide release before it becomes any more costly.

But the end of its theatrical run will also see its Oscar chances fade from view. That’s because Paramount, in an unusual season, has too many other candidates for various awards.

The most striking beneficiary of "Flags" surprise fall will be Oliver Stone’s "World Trade Center." As "Flags" has unfurled and failed, "World Trade Center" is starting to look more and more like a solid runner in the Best Picture race. Insiders at Paramount aren’t disputing that they’ve switched allegiance to the Stone movie in the last few weeks.

It’s not like Paramount doesn’t have even more to work with. "Dreamgirls," the movie adaptation of the hit Broadway musical, will finally be seen tomorrow night.

At this point, if the film lives up to half of the promise it delivered in a preview at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Dreamgirls is the odds-on favorite to win Best Picture.

But then again, Paramount has high — if not misguided — hopes for the dour "Babel" starring Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt.

Insiders at the studio say that the questionable 80-member Hollywood Foreign Press — the gang of hardly credible “journalists” who vote on the Golden Globes — “really liked it.”

There’s also support for "Babel" at the National Board of Review. But once Babel makes it in front of Academy voters, the hype may swallow itself. While it has many fine things about it, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s film is still very much a “21 Grams” redux.

What remains to be seen is whether Adam Beach, the actor who made a strong impression in "Flags," can carry that through to the Best Supporting category.

That list is getting more and more crowded with actors from movies that were more popular, such as Jack Nicholson in "The Departed," James McAvoy in "The Last King of Scotland," Eddie Murphy in "Dreamgirls," Michael Pena in "World Trade Center" and Freddy Rodriguez in "Bobby."

Aretha's Faith Remains Unbroken

Aretha Franklin never met Bobby Kennedy. She was a fervent supporter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But when she got the call to sing a new gospel song for the “Bobby” soundtrack, she couldn’t resist. She and Mary J. Blige do the honors on the colossal “Never Gonna Break My Faith,” written by Bryan Adams.

I spoke to the Queen of Soul the other day when she called in from her tour bus, parked in Waterbury, Conn. She’s doing a private show tonight in New York for the Marfan Foundation.

In late winter she’ll release an album of duets, including one with Fantasia. Aretha, by the way, is back with Clive Davis on J Records.

Adams’ song, she says, “is one of the best I’ve heard in years. When I heard it, I had to do it. It’s got a heavy, heavy lyric.”

And no, she didn’t get to meet Kennedy, but her father, the late Rev. C. L. Franklin, a civil rights advocate in Detroit, met him with Aretha’s brother, Cecil.

“He was a man of substance,” Miss Franklin said. “His humility was incredible.”


Bob Fennell was a standout among Broadway publicists, a real gem and a truly fun guy. The last time I saw him was at a preview of Julia Roberts in “Three Days of Rain,” and his greeting was warm and welcoming. He will be missed. …

I didn’t know Gerald Levert, but I know his father, Eddie, of the O’Jays. Anytime I saw Gerald perform live, though, it was clear he was a superstar. Like Luther Vandross, the ladies loved him, too. He was their teddy bear.

Apparently he and Eddie had just gotten back from a trip to Africa when Gerald, who was 40, had a massive heart attack at home the other day. Too many members of the R&B community continue to pass away much too young. Condolences to Eddie and all the Leverts. I hope that they play the O’Jays’ magnificent “Stairway to Heaven” at the funeral in Cleveland as a tribute. …