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Spheres of Influence

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NEVER MIND THAT AL PACINO UNEXPECTEDLY snared Best Actor honors for Scent of a Woman—the hottest buzz from the 50th annual Golden Globe Awards was that Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman are proud adoptive parents (see Passages, p. 61). And, oh, yes—that Emma Thompson (who won Best Actress for Howards End) had a confession to make about her hubby, Kenneth Branagh. Sweeping into the Beverly Hilton on the arm of Howards costar Anthony Hopkins, she said sweetly, “I’ve had Kenneth killed so I could come with Tony.” (In truth, Branagh was in London, starring onstage in Hamlet.)

The evening’s sponsor, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, is made up of correspondents for publications little known in the U.S., but they throw a festive party, at $450 a plate, and their knack of giving awards that often presage the Oscars has made the event a must for Hollywood’s elite. Honoring TV as well as film work, the Globes draw an eclectic crowd. Catherine Deneuve rubbed shoulders with Peg Bundy herself (Katey Sagal), and Robert Downey Jr. chatted with Shirley MacLaine. Explained Jay (“I’m lucky to have a job”) Leno: “It’s like a show business prom.”