So Julia Roberts, Taylor Swift and Harvey Weinstein walk into a room

The cast of August: Osage County (Getty Images)
Here's how I described the Grey Goose Soho House after-party for August: Osage County—one of the most anticipated screenings at TIFF this year—for The Grid, for whom I've been doing some festival party reporting: 
 
Have you ever seen Michelangelo’s painting of the Last Judgement on the altar wall of the Sistine Chapel? Christ is in the centre, the Virgin Mary by his side, and with the circular motion of his hands he conducts the end of days—casting up souls into heaven and banishing wretched ones to hell. The August: Osage County after-party was something like that. But unknowingly conducting the revelry, which was almost exclusively contained on the second floor of the private club closed to members that night, was movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and screen goddess Julia Roberts. Like moths drawn to their light, both celebrities and plebs alike circulated around them—or just hovered close by—for the chance to be illuminated by their prowess. This wasn’t something out of the Book of Revelation—this was Hollywood heaven.
 
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It was overwhelming. And the whole evening got me thinking about old-timey Hollywood, or least what I think old-timey Hollywood is. Actually, it was a specific moment; when I saw a round booth with a little placard that read "reserved for Harvey Weinstein" on it and wondered who the anointed ones would be to dine with him. Roberts herself? Or Ewan McGregor? Chris Cooper? Durmot Mulroney? Juliette Lewis? Seventeen-year-old Abigail Breslin? They were all there. I must have wandered upstairs to the rooftop, where I saw Avatar's Sam Worthington, Draco Malfoy (a.k.a Tom Felton) and Jason Bateman nestled around tables. When I came back down, I secured a chair right behind Weinstein's booth, which was now filled with the mogul himself, five guys in suits and one woman, who I could only see from behind. I nervously jotted down the following notes in my iPhone: 
 
Group of six. That woman in the white cut-out dress? Who is that? Holy s--t I can see her spine. She's sipping cola. Her arms are so thin. Her hair looks brittle and dry. 38 years old? What is she doing with these guys? Is she the model-wife of one of these big wigs in a suit? Is she an up-and-coming actress that they're debuting? Is this old-timey Hollywood?
 
What I mean by old-timey Hollywood is the idea that in the '30s, '40s and even in the '50s, stars belonged to studios and when the studio had something vested in a star they were more interested in fostering a career. Remember in The Godfather when Tom Hagen has to fly to Hollywood to try and get Johnny Fontane that part in the movie produced by producer Jack Woltz? And Woltz is all like, No way kiddo, because: "Johnny Fontane ruined one of Woltz International's most valuable proteges. For five years we had her under training. Singing lessons; acting lessons, dancing lessons. I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on her. I was gonna make her a big star! And let me be even more frank, just to show you that I'm not a hard-hearted man, and it's not all dollars and cents. She was beautiful; she was young, she was innocent. She was the greatest piece of ass I ever had, and I had 'em all over the world!"
 
But the woman in the white dress wasn't a protege, or a producer's model wife. It was actually 23-year-old Grammy-award-winner Taylor Swift. I was gob-smacked. What was Swift, who was in town to promote One Chance, a film for which she wrote and performed a song, doing at Weinstein's table at a party celebrating a movie she had nothing to do with? 
 
What happened next continued to bewilder: I saw Taylor Swift, who was born the same year that Steel Magnolias hit screens, spot Julia Roberts. Nervously, she extended her hands to the actress and Roberts grabbed them and they immediately embraced. Camera phone flashes went off, capturing Hollywood royalty meeting present-day Pop.
 
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Lainey, one of The Social's four hosts, recently wrote on her blog, "When Julia met Taylor is a Harvey Weinstein production." 
 
Eureka! Of course it was! You get a photograph of Swift with one of the most successful Hollywood actors working today, than that legitimizes Swift. The question is, for what? Swift the singer doesn't need help from Weinstein or Roberts, but Swift the actor might. I'd wager that we'll be hearing about a Weinstein production very soon that stars Taylor Swift—and maybe even Brenton Thwaites, the young Australian actor who was glued to Swift's side the entire party. In fact, fellow party reporter Si Si Penaloza reported that she overheard Weinstein's parting words to the pair: "See you in South Africa, if not before.” 
 
Seeing Julia meet Taylor for what appeared to be the first time left me feeling funny inside. Let me try to explain:  At one point I saw the pair take a picture together in a photo booth at the party. Right after, Taylor asked Brenton Thwaites if they should visit the photo booth, too, but then one of the staff photographers on duty asked them for a snapshot. They happily obliged. Swift slinked into an out-of-this world photo face and pose for the first shot. Then the photographer noticed that Thwaites was holding a cocktail glass and asked him to put it down for the second shot. Swift joked to him, "You have to protect your image, you know," like she's been handed the same advice a thousand times before. So Thwaites handed the glass to the photographer, who in turn handed it to me. After the photo, I handed it back to Thwaites, who not only forgot to say thank you but also did not acknowledge my presence. 
 
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This has nothing to do with my ego. It's just that that that moment—the eerie way in which Swift posed and the way she was handled by her handlers and in turn, how she handled her handlers and how the couple seemed oblivious to the plebs (including me) around them—was such a sharp contrast compared to Julia Roberts: the Julia who had earlier cleared a space in the crowd so a server with a tray of glasses could get by; who wore her spectacles for most of the night; who changed into nude-toned, patent leather kitten heels from her red-carpet pumps; who embraced a practical stranger after said stranger told the actress that she may have worked with her sister years ago, who hasn't filled her lovely face with any sort of fillers; who seemed infinitely less plastic after 25 years in the business than Taylor; and the Julia, in a glorious moment, who shuddered at the crowd closing in around her, and summed up the experience to a few friends: “F--k, f--k, s--t. The world is going to hell!” She said.
 
And then her head titled back and Roberts laughed that laugh, while the whole room watched. 
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