Courtney Love Natasha Bedingfield

Who was William Shakespeare? Did he really write those politically charged, clever, sometimes inflammatory plays? Was he educated enough to be capable of it?

The new movie Anonymous touches on this subject, long a question in the minds of the English literati. The movie is filled with suspense, intrigue, murder, betrayal, revenge, love and lust, fact mixed with fiction, and is highly entertaining from beginning to end.

Audiences will love it, judging by the applause at the Cinema Society and Columbia Pictures screening at MoMA in New York City.

Conversation was filled with speculation at the after-party at Circo, where the likes of Courtney Love, Natasha Bedingfield, Joely Richardson and the movie's director, Roland Emmerich, mixed and mingled.

"I met the young Earl of Essex, he came to lecture in America, claiming his ancestor really was Shakespeare," said The Devil's Casino author Vicky Ward. "No one in the English literary establishment believes that. What they do believe is that Shakespeare is a mystery. It isn't clear if Shakespeare was the man from Stratford. He could have been somebody educated and well traveled, an aristocrat."

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Bette Midler Women's Committee of the Central Park Conservancy Fall 2011 luncheon

New York is a bustling, cacophonous place, and most of us look for relief in the city's many glorious parks. However, restoring and maintaining our parks is neither easy nor free. Luckily, the Women's Committee of the Central Park Conservancy is actively involved in improving our green spaces.

The Committee held its Fall Luncheon on October 17th at Mandarin Oriental, with Bette Midler as guest speaker. Midler has worked tirelessly for the Conservancy and for the city's green spaces, starting the New York Restoration Project 16 years ago. The Project is planning on planting a million new trees in the city by 2017, and on October 18th they will be planting their 500,000th.

"Central Park is vital to the mental and physical health of New York City," said event Chairman Marcia Mishaan, looking beautiful in a Theory jacket, Prada cashmere sweater and Oscar de la Renta skirt. "It's the lungs of the city, and it's a place for people and pets to go and just be with nature and regroup. In the '80's, Central Park needed a lot of care. People assume the city takes care of it all, but that's not true. It requires volunteers to weed and to raise funds. I started out as a weeder and have become progressively more involved."

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Stephanie March Bobby Flay

The Hamptons International Film Festival is a highly anticipated annual event for movie buffs, and the films seem to keep getting better. Last year, The King's Speech was the closing night film. This year, it was a gem of a movie called The Artist. A silent movie filmed in black and white, The Artist is about a silent film star at the top of his game whose life and career unravel as talkies take over the big screen.

It's a sweet and sad movie about love, loyalty and life, and after it was screened at the Cannes Film Festival, it received a twelve minute standing ovation. It's currently a hit in France, and judging by the audience at the Southampton movie theater, which included Christie Brinkley, Margo and Charlene Nederlander, and Alex and Charles Stevenson, it was a hit in the Hamptons, too.

"When my agent called me about this movie, he was almost apologetic, but I said, 'I'm all in!' It really intrigued me; it was a daring, courageous attempt. If anyone had the balls to make this movie I wanted to be a part of it. I'm very nostalgic about Old Hollywood. I'm incredibly proud to be part of this beautiful, magnificent work of art," said Penelope Ann Miller, who plays the silent film star's wife.

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Pedro Almodóvar, Elena Anaya,  Antonio Banderas Cinema Society Screening  ‘The Skin I Live In’

The Skin I Live In, Pedro Almodóvar's new movie is a brilliant combination of thriller, horror, mystery, and comedy. I was reminded of several great films, including Dead Ringers, The Crying Game, The Silence of the Lambs, and, of course, all the wonderful Almodóvar movies that have come before this one.

I have never seen an Almodóvar movie that I didn't like, and judging by the audience at the Cinema Society screening in NYC, which included Debbie Harry, Patricia Clarkson, Calvin Klein, Narciso Rodriguez, and Parker Posey, the greats of the entertainment world agree with me.

Guests arrived, enjoyed De Leon tequila cocktails and settled into the comfortable screening room at the Tribeca Grand. The great director himself introduced several key people in the cast and crew, including Antonio Banderas, who stars as a twisted surgeon who keeps a beautiful woman captive against her will. The movie would give a whole new meaning to "Puss 'N Boots"—you'll have to see it to understand.

"This is a film that makes me proud and happy," said Elena Anaya, who stars as the woman in question. "It's not a film that's easy to digest, so have some wine later."

Two hours later, the audience emerged, challenged, provoked, mesmerized.

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