Star Tracks

updated 04/07/2003 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 04/07/2003 01:00AM

The Independent Spirit Awards

Just so you know, I got asked to do this before the Bond movie came out," said Halle Berry, who served as the event's honorary chair. Joked the actress of the venue: "These Awards are 18 years old—why the hell is it still held in this stupid tent?

Summed up presenter Joe Pantoliano, soaking in the starry daytime bash: "Great movies, wonderful performances and an afternoon at the beach—what can be wrong with that?

Dennis Quaid was among the stars who dressed down to whoop it up at the Independent Spirit Awards, the indie film industry's answer to the Oscars, held March 22 under a tent at the Santa Monica beach. He picked up the best supporting actor prize for Far from Heaven, which swept the ceremonies with five wins, including best feature.

[The war] puts what we do in perspective. It's nice to value our work, but it shouldn't get out of hand," said Far from Heaven's Julianne Moore, who won best female lead.

Jennifer Aniston, a best actress nominee for The Good Girl, stood by her man at the laid-back event. "It's good—it's laughs, it's a casual affair," said Brad Pitt, who kept his sunglasses on throughout the fete.

The emotional highlight of the afternoon came when Antwone Fisher's Derek Luke brought his wife, actress Sophia Adela Hernandez, up onstage to share his trophy for best male lead, prompting her to burst into tears. Exclaimed the actor: "Four years ago I was waiting tables here at the Spirit Awards!"

Movie style was on parade at General Motors' GM Ten fashion and auto show in L.A. on March 18. Stars were outfitted to represent different eras: The Pianist's Adrien Brody represented the '70s by borrowing a look—and busting a move—from 1977's Saturday Night Fever, while The West Wing's Allison Janney targeted the future of film fashion.

Chat and chew: Salma Hayek and Angela Bassett bantered between bites at a March 20 luncheon at celebrity jeweler Martin Katz's store in Beverly Hills. The event benefited American Cinematheque, a film and theater preservation group. Hayek next appears in the action flick Once Upon a Time in Mexico, while Bassett costars in the drama Masked & Anonymous.

Finding herself at loose ends in Los Angeles, Britney Spears showed off the latest in padded-seat fashion. The pop princess is currently working on her next (as yet untitled) album, due this October.

The girls are back in town: Sex and the City's Kristin Davis (left), Kim Cattrall and Cynthia Nixon hoofed it across New York City's Brooklyn Bridge while shooting TV ads for the show's sixth and final season, which premieres in June. "Nothing's sexier than New York," says Cattrall.

That must be one heavy handbag: Liz Taylor and Sharon Osbourne combined forces to hold the purse strings at the Osbournes' Beverly Hills home, where a March 19 dinner raised $600,000 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Foundation.

After finishing a workout in Los Angeles, affianced actors Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez found the perfect way to warm down (inset). The couple costar in the crime drama Tough Love (formerly Gigli), which is due in August.

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