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:
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.
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.
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: style.com, tvacres.com, eonline.com, wireimage, getty