It was the end of her long night as host of Louis Vuitton’s Saks Fifth Avenue launch party in midtown, but Maggie Gyllenhaal lit up when asked about her new film, “Crazy Heart.”
“I think it’s my favorite film I’ve made,” Gyllenhaal said of “Crazy Heart,” a character portrait that stars Jeff Bridges as washed-up country singer Bad Blake. After early Oscar buzz, the film is being rushed into theaters in December to qualify for awards season.
“It is a little movie that is really about things, that’s complicated,” Gyllenhaal said. “They don’t make them like that any more.”
Gyllenhaal plays a journalist and single-mom who falls for Bridges’ character, and said it was the first movie since she completely threw herself into since the birth of her daughter. “Working with Jeff Bridges — It was how it’s supposed to be,” she said. “It was five-page-long complicated deep scenes that we were allowed to play in a hundred different ways. It was like a movie from the ’70s.”
The growing Oscar chatter at first rattled Gyllenhaal, almost prompting superstitious fears. But when she re-watched some scenes recently, “it just calmed me. I just thought, Oh, I love this movie. It just calmed me about all the rest of it.”
The star lent her shine to an already-glitzy affair to fete the launch of Louis Vuitton’s new ready-to-wear boutique and their 2010 cruise collection. Serena Williams and model Arlenis Sosa were also in attendance. A wishing tree sprouted in a corner (someone wished for their p.r. company’s health), models sat at a decked-out dinner table chatting and posing for camera phone shots, and in an inspired vignette, three Vuitton artisans imported from Paris cobbled and hand-painted Vuitton trunks while people circled with Champagne flutes. Surrounded by trees, moss and greenery, the artisans suggested latter-day luxe Keebler elves.
For all the high-glitz factor, the push was ultimately about nudging people to buy. “I think it’s good to be celebrating in a tough economic environment,” said Saks Fifth Avenue president CEO Stephen Sadove, “to let loose and celebrate a great evening.”