Monday, February 25, 2008

Hollywood Continues to Bore Me

Okay, here it is. Last night was the 80th Annual Academy Awards and we got to watch the traditional running of the bulls -- er... I mean, red carpet entrances. Once again, it was a big fat snooze. I'll spare you, just insert my usual lack-of-adventure-and-creativity rant here.

Let's start with one of my usual targets, the animatronic Nicole Kidman. Good god, even pregnancy hasn't made her look human. She consistently wears Balenciaga and she consistently makes it look boring. How does she do that? Say what you will about Ghesquiere's work, but it's almost never boring.


I will say, though, that this necklace was spectacular. It's L'Wren Scott, and reported to be something like 1400 carats total weight and it's just the sort of mad, over-the-top thing I adore. Why Ms. Kidman chose to wear it, however, over a dress with a competing neckline is beyond me. If ever a piece of jewelry called for a high neck, this is it. If you're going to work that piece, you need to give it what it needs and not fight it. Wasted opportunity. It could have been legendary. Instead, it's just confused.


Amy Adams in Proenza Schouler. Pretty. Green. Whatever. Please note the neckline of her dress. Apparently, if you get nominated for a Disney movie you're contractually obligated to work their iconography into your look somehow:


Am I the only one who noticed this?????

Here we come to what my friend Plumcake calls the "Oh, Honey, NO" portion of our entertainment, this year largely dominated by the men. I just... I don't...


All I can do is throw up my hands in resignation. So, insert my usual how-hard-can-it-be-to-pick-out-a-tuxedo rant here. But I do have a new theory about men and their formalwear: the distance afield a man strays from a classic tuxedo look is directly proportional to how difficult a boyfriend he would be. These are obviously guys who cannot resist taking something easy and making it complicated and awful. If they can do that to a suit, imagine what they could do to a relationship.


Famously naked for a scene Eastern Promises, the film for which he was nominated this year, Viggo Mortensen overcompensates by wearing waaaaaaay too much jacket. Obviously this man should not be allowed to dress himself.

Daniel Day Lewis, once again carrying the eccentric British thing too far. And what's worse, he's taking his very gorgeous wife, Rebecca Miller, down with him. She's wearing Lacroix, which I would ordinarily applaud. Sadly, it is not the right Lacroix for her. It looks like she is wearing Christian Lacroix's sofa.


Dear god. He is wearing brown suede shoes. With a tuxedo. My head may explode. Perhaps he made them himself...


I don't understand why Javier Bardem couldn't shave for the Oscars. He couldn't have been running late -- think of all the time he saved by just zipping up his jacket instead of dealing with those troublesome buttons.

George Clooney is very, very reliable. He no doubt owns that tux and he no doubt wears it to every single awards show and I do not have one iota of problem with that because it looks smashing on him. Where did he go wrong tonight?


The vacant-eyed arm candy. When I saw these two chatting with RegisgodhelpusPhilbin on the red carpet, I was pretty sure this young woman didn't have a pulse. Seriously, George??? This is what you're going with? Surely you can come up with something a little more convincing.

Here's Forrest Whitaker, avoiding the Clooney Pitfall by escorting his absolutely stunning wife Keisha, who, unlike whosis above, actually looked as though she enjoys having her man's arm around her. Whitaker looks incredibly smart in his double-breasted tux (and he's a good-sized guy, so you know that jacket was expertly fitted to make him look so trim).


Here's Katherine Heigl. She looked very, very pretty.


She's here as a representative of about 403 other 20- and 30-something Hollywood starlets who looked very, very pretty. Hell, just throw a dart, they're all the same.

Oh, look. Here's Renee Zellweger in a skintight strapless Carolina Herrera dress. Quelle surprise.


My god, woman. Eat a taco or something.

This is Saoirse Ronan, from the film Atonement, in Alberta Ferretti. I really loved this on her. I loved it because it was a beautiful color (Ms. Ronan said she wanted to wear green because she's Irish, which is sweet) and I loved it because it is age-appropriate and still pretty.


Ms. Ronan is still only in her early teens, and I think whoever chose this dress for her did a lovely job of dressing her up without dressing her old. Very pretty.

Diablo Cody, who wrote the movie Juno, in Christian Dior.


I love this dress. It's interesting. It's animal print (I love someone who has the nerve to wear animal print to the Oscars). It moved beautifully because it was made of chiffon. Much has been made of Ms. Cody's past experience as a stripper (Yes, stripper. I refuse to buy into the "exotic dancer" or "burlesque artist" euphemism. You take your clothes off for money, you're a stripper. Period.) and even though I like the dress, the look on the whole is not doing much to dispel that image. There's a lot going on here, but ya know what? I actually prefer it to the yards and yards of tasteful humdrummery most everyone else subjected us to, so you go, girl.


Julie Christie, who is still so drop-dead gorgeous it hurts. This is the hair I have been longing for for many years now, and which my corkscrews do not want me to have. I don't know whose dress this is -- given Ms. Christie, it's very likely something from her own closet (she is famously un-Hollywood-y) -- but those sheer gloves look like something Marc Jacobs did for Vuitton. While I love the gloves, I do not love them with this dress. Still, A for effort.


French actress Marion Cotillard, in French designer Jean-Paul Gaultier. Conventional wisdom has it that this dress was "daring" and "risky." Eh, whatever. I wear riskier stuff than that to the grocery store.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Queen, in Georges Chakra.


There was a time when Helen Mirren could not be trusted to appear in public and not humiliate herself (we all remember that hat, right?). Those days apparently have passed. I don't know who her current stylist is or what she's paying her, but she's worth every pound. Many a skinny little Hollywood dolly could take some advice from Ms. Mirren on how to look beautiful and sexy without looking like a tart.

Tilda Swinton is going to be crucified for this dress and I think it's a damned shame, because I really dig it.


It's Lanvin, it's dramatic, it's absolutely stunning in motion, and it looked like nothing anyone else was wearing. I don't really know anything about Ms. Swinton (how refreshing, huh?) except that she's a fantastic actress (Have you ever seen Orlando? One of my favorites, and some great costumes there, too.) and judging from her acceptance speech she does not consider herself at home in the murky waters of the Los Angeles film swamp. She's rather an exotic creature by Hollywood standards, and she looks it in this dress. I think it was amazing, it was by far my favorite of the night. Most folks, no doubt, will disagree.

So that's my Oscar fashion reportage. What did you guys think? Who got it right? Who should be flogged? Who didn't bore you to zzzzzzzz's?

Photos:,,, wireimage, getty

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Anonymous said...

I thought Marion Cotillard, Katherine Heigl, and Jennifer Garner all looked stunning. So did Julie Christie (but the gloves were ridiculous). I admire Tilda Swindon, but she looked like a one-winged bat in that dress. Overall, it was a bit of a snooze this year. Karen G

Jen said...

I think the stars try too hard to keep off the worst dressed list that they end up mostly playing it safe. Glad I skipped it this year for Buffy Season 4 on DVD.

Deja Pseu said...

I thought Tilda Swinton's dress suited her perfectly, and applaud her choice.

Sian said...

Love Marion Cotillard's dress, love the leopard skin Dior and Katherine Heigl's kind of pretty I could definitely live with.

CarInUtah said...

I swear I'm gonna lose it if I have to see the dead, waxy forehead of nicole kidman again--I don't watch ET or Extra or read gossip rags. How is it possible to see that lifeless fem-bot so many times??? Anyway, I was very bored by all the black gowns last night and I think Jen is right--everybody is trying to stay off the worst-dressed list.
Style Spy I don't know if you read these comments or not but I'd love to hear (or see a photo) of what Nicole-bot should have worn with that fantastical necklace? The diamonds were divine, I'm only sorry she was the one wearing it. I agree with the "competing neckline" comment but don't know what would be better in its place...
Helen Mirren and Julie Christie were the most beautiful ones on the red carpet.
Okay my post is too long but I've got to comment on Renee Zellweger. I'm sorry--I know she's an Austinite but the story of The Emperor's Clothing comes to mind whenever I see her. She is neither beautiful nor is she a true fashionista. Her stylist plunks her into a Carolina Herrera at each event, that is all that can be said for her.
Sorry for the rant--Renee and Nicole both drive me nuts & they both happened to be on today's post:) Style Spy--so what is you're wearing to the grocery store that is riskier than the fish scale dress? Photos please!

Rhiannon said...

Totally bored. Anne Hathaway was my favorite of the Fresh Young Things, but not a single thing really moved me. I actually LIKE Nicole Kidman and STILL can't figure out how she makes Balenciaga look dull. I was expecting something interesting from Cate Blanchett but forgot she was up the duff.

Caroline said...

I know very little about Tilda Swinton either, except that she went to my college! Hooray! May I bask in some reflected fashionista glory, please?

La Belette Rouge said...

I was thrilled to see all the red on the red carpet. I enjoy Helen Mirren's red hot dress. I love that Tilda knows who she is and dares to be that--she is absolutely refreshing. I liked the Dior dress on Cody. I think she is going with her myth instead of trying to obfuscate it. I admire that too.

I will pay big money if I don't have to look at Renee Zellweger. She is growing and more disturbing. And, I had thought Nicole would quit using the Botox during pregnancy. It appears that she has not.

Alexandra said...

I was generally bored out of my skull!

La Belette Rouge said...

Please see my blog. I gave you a "You make my day award." No special dress or acceptance speech required. ;-)

tmp00 said...

I loved Tilda's dress. Wasn't crazy about Heigl's.

I was more interested in John Travolta's hair, which looked like recently lain asphalt.

kpriss said...

By far one of the most interesting articles I've come across in a week or so! Even if I don't approve to all your choices (par exemple I was on the firing squad over Tilda's dress and completely seduced by Marion's outfit) I do get a blast every time you're putting your target and set fire on someone.

My only regret is that oscars don't come along too often ;)

(would have love to see your word if ever angelina showed up)

WinterWheat said...

As usual, I agree with just about everything you've written. Tilda Swinton has the jolie-laide thing down pat. But I must put in my $.02 about Heigl: her makeup looked like the airbrushing of a morgue artist. Way too much blush. When she was presenting I got that weird feeling I was watching someone in one of those clear masks with sprayed on blush that someone like Peter Gabriel wore in his videos in the '80s. Almost real, but not quite. Creepy.

Sian said...

The thing about Nicole Kidman is that in her early, pre-Cruise and just-married days, she had an attractive animated face, enough facial expression to be able to act, and those attractive wild red corkscrew curls. Botoxed fembot came upon her gradually. Shame that Katie Holmes already seems to be drifting in the same direction...

Karen said...

What I find even more off-putting about Zellweger than her boring clothing, her squint-and-pout, and her anorexic body, is the bizarre way she holds herself. Look at that photo of her here! What is UP with the way she's standing? Why has she pulled her elbows back so awkwardly? Why has she stuck her leg out that way with her toe en pointe? She looks so unnatural! It's creepy.

Apart from that, O Spy, I'm with you on pretty much all of the above. Except Swinton's dress. I'm sorry. I'd love to go with you on this one, and I think Swinton is simply stunning. But she did look to me like she was wearing a garbage bag. And for some reason the dress seemed to enhance the impression that she's developed some sort of odd hump, which was obvious as she was climbing the stairs to get her award. I love when Swinton rocks the angrogyny, but that dress was just unattractive and unflattering to me.

Cate said...

-i don't like nicole kidman. that necklace is spectacular, but as you said, with that neckline?
-haha viggo mortensen really shouldn't be allowed to dress himself ^^ i think he's reeaaaaally hot. although i don't like that beard. he was best-looking as aragorn. besides that, he's a great actor.
-ugh that jacket of javier bardem's would really have looked better with buttons. otherwise i think his outfit is fine, and it's also ok with me that he didn't shave ^^
-i like renée zellweger's dress, but her hair: no no honey.
-and tilda swinton is scary.