It was a case of life imitating art, or perhaps vice versa, at Wednesdays night's Cinema Society and Ferragamo-sponsored screening of Two Lovers. The searing drama stars Joaquin Phoenix as a depressed bachelor torn between the woman his parents want him to marry (Vinessa Shaw) and his gorgeous but volatile neighbor (Gwyneth Paltrow). Shrouded in a heavy beard and dark glasses, the man who once played the Man in Black grumpily refused interviews or even well-wishers. (After seeing his demeanor on David Letterman a few hours later, we're glad we didn't push it.) Paltrow, for her part, sounded like the willowy diva she plays in the movie when she corrected the paparazzi on the pronunciation of her name: "It's not Gwin-eth." That left Shaw, the film's sweetheart, to diligently work her way down the press line, leaving no reporter rebuffed. Director James Gray, who seemed as if he might still be recovering from the movie's difficult themes, excused himself before the screening began, saying, "Don't throw food at me if you didn't like it."
There weren't any food fights at the after-party at the new Cooper Square Hotel, where the likes of Kirsten Dunst and Clive Owen joined the cast for a buffet dinner and cocktails. But there was a lot of imbibing. Tinsley Mortimer wondered if it would've been a good idea to serve drinks at the screening, too. "It might've taken the edge off," she said.