Greta Gerwig screamed with delight and relief as she hugged a group of friends once she got into the Vanity Fair Oscar party.
The Lady Bird director and Oscar nominee had just walked down the last red carpet of her long awards season. She quickly pulled up her long flowing gown, kicked off her high heels and put on a pair of chequered Vans sneakers so she could run through the room in comfort.
On the surface, Hollywood's after-Oscar parties are held to celebrate the winners and almost-winners at the Academy Awards. But their real purpose, for many anyway, is to recognise that the entire exhausting epic of the awards season is finally over.
Nowhere is this more true than the Vanity Fair party, where the tables are stacked with junk food made with highbrow flair, and an endless stream of In-N-Out burgers are served in overflowing boxes by the chain's workers in uniform, all of it telling partiers that the time to starve yourself to fit into tuxes and gowns is over. It's time to eat again.
Gerwig was all smiles as she walked into the room in her Vans, saw Octavia Spencer, nominated for best actress for The Shape of Water, sitting on a couch and trotted over to give her a hug.
Saoirse Ronan, the star of Gerwig's movie, went even more casual, walking the room and even the footpath outside while barefoot.
In the outdoor patio of the party hosted by Vanity Fair editor Radhika Jones at the Annenberg Space for Photography on the border of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, best actress winner and rousing speech-giver Frances McDormand was struggling to get through an In-N-Out Burger because of a steady stream of well-wishers that included a fawning Jon Hamm.
McDormand, with her husband the director Joel Coen having an easier time of eating nearby, held her burger in her left hand while she hugged and shook hands with her right, posing for pictures with dozens of doting fans.
She repeatedly joked "I lost it" to all who asked where her Oscar statuette had gone.
While the nominees make it a regular stop, the Vanity Fair party, whose atmosphere with its dim lighting and throbbing music feels like a night club, prides itself on hosting A-list guests that had no part in the Oscars or movies at all.
Australian Associated Press