Last Days in Vietnam Champagne Party

DOM PERIGNON Honors RORY KENNEDY for Last Days in Vietnam at Annual Academy Awards Luncheon
A Champagne Toast to Director Rory Kennedy for ‘Last Days in Vietnam’ Documentary

 

 

The event: She may have lost out in the Oscars race, but Rory Kennedy, director of the nominated documentary “Last Days in Vietnam,” was guest of honor Feb. 20 at Dom Perignon’s fourth annual pre-Oscars luncheon.

The crowd: Kennedy is Robert F. Kennedy’s daughter, and among other guests toasting the filmmaker were her cousin Maria Shriver, sister-in-law Cheryl Hines (married to Robert Kennedy Jr.), actors Minnie Driver, Julian Sands and Peter Fonda, producers Ron Yerxa and Mark Samels, Valentino brand ambassador Carlos Souza, designer Nicky Hilton, hotelier Andre Balazs, Nicole Ruvo of Dom Perignon and the film’s co-writer Mark Bailey, who also happens to be Kennedy’s husband.

Click here to read my entire story in the “All the Rage” section of the Los Angeles Times. Scroll down the page to the photo gallery to see more pictures.

 

As a side note, following a champagne toast, Kennedy told a touching story about Stuart Harrington, an American Captain seen in her film, who had been dedicated to helping the Vietnamese. Kennedy recounted how, in those last days, as he was overseeing the evacuation of the embassy in Vietnam, he had to abandon 420 South Vietnamese.

Harrington, she said, had been been instructed to tell the group not to worry, they were on American soil and would not be left behind. Yet he had to get on the last helicopter and leave them.

DOM PERIGNON Honors RORY KENNEDY for Last Days in Vietnam at Annual Academy Awards Luncheon
One of the South Vietnamese, Binh Pho, came to the U.S. in the years since and on learning of the Oscar nomination, Kennedy said she invited both Harrington and Pho to join her at the Academy Awards ceremony.

“I called Binh and I said, ‘Do you want to go out on a date on the 22nd?” she recalled saying. “I then said Stu Harrington is coming, and (Pho) was very excited and then he kind of paused, and he said, ‘You know, who would have thought 40 years ago when I was left behind at the embassy by Stu Harrington, that 40 years later we ‘d be going to the Academy Awards together?’”

 

Top photo: Hotelier Andre Balazs, left, actress Minnie Driver and filmmaker Rory Kennedy at the Last Days in Vietnam Champagne Party, hosted by Dom Perignon (Billy Farrell / BFAnyc.com)

Second photo: Maria Shriver at the Last Days in Vietnam Champagne Party, hosted by Dom Perignon (Billy Farrell / BFAnyc.com)

Third photo: Nicky Hilton at the Last Days in Vietnam Champagne Party, hosted by Dom Perignon (Billy Farrell / BFAnyc.com)

 

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Last Days in Vietnam Champagne Party

Published Mar. 6, 2015 –  Ellen Olivier, SocietyNewsLA.com