Monday, February 26, 2007

The 79th Annual Academy Awards - Fashion & Film Review

The 79th Annual Academy Awards
Sunday February 25, 2007

The civilized world can finally rest easily knowing that perennial Oscar loser, Martin Scorsese has finally won the competitive Best Director accolade on his sixth nomination. And what a lovely moment in Oscar history it was when his old chums; Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg were on hand to present him with his long overdue honor. Would that the Academy had extended a similar courtesy to the great Peter O’Toole on his eighth unsuccessful bid, but perhaps they’re waiting for him to deliver the goods next year. Ahem! Last night’s telecast of the 79th Annual Academy Awards was filled with humor, pathos, bathos, shadow puppets and both deserving and undeserving winners.

The selection of Scorsese’s “The Departed as Best Picture was a marginal surprise, in that it does not reflect the breakthrough style and spirit of his earlier nominations. But quibble if you will, his mobster comedy thriller charmed the critics and his talented all star cast drew in the moviegoers. It was a “nice” if not brave moment in Oscar’s history. Much like their belated bestowing of the top prize to legendary director George Cukor and his leaden adaptation of “My Fair Lady” in the twilight of his years. Well, okay, that’s a stretch.

The other major awards went to the usual suspects this season: Dame Helen Mirren and Forest Whitaker trumping the competition for their royal turns in “The Queen” and “The Last King of Scotland” respectively. Shenenehchicken-necked” her way to stealing the Oscar from more deserving women for the wretched “Dreamgirls” which blissfully managed to lose the Supporting Actor Oscar that had been declared a done deal for Eddie Murphy. Veteran character actor and scene stealer supreme, Alan Arkin won for “Little Miss Sunshine” and we feel that it was the wisest choice. Given the nominees. Cough, cough.

Another very wise choice encapsulates the entire wounded spirit of Awards in general. Faithful readers will know that we simply adored Guillermo del Toro’s visionary “Pan’s Labyrinth”, finding it to be one of the Best Films of 2006. But when Cate Blanchett and Clive Owen opened the envelope for the Best Foreign Language Film to announce Germany had won for “The Lives of Others”, we couldn’t begrudge the Nazis their Oscar. Both films are truly fantastic in such disparate styles, that it was a near impossible choice to make. The true winner would be the moviegoers, who are able to run out right now and enjoy both marvelous movies! GO!!

And the real losers would be the television viewers that suffered through all twenty hours of pre-Oscar Red Carpet coverage on the E! channel. Okay, that was us. In a moment straight out of “Sunset Boulevard”, bitter Brown Betty Jennifer Holiday, the original star of the Broadway musical “Dreamgirls” stood atop the Roosevelt Hotel, next to the Cinegrill sign and belted out an emotionally overwrought version of an already musically overwrought song: “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”. It was one of the most pathetic moments in show business history as she looked over the red carpet to the Kodak Theatre, singing basically to the A-lister’s publicists and the paparazzi. The only way she could have redeemed herself is if she had actually jumped off the roof after finishing the final strangling chords. Pity she did not. And pity the fact she had to answer this question from Ryan “Q-tip” Seacrest without one second to regain her breath.
“Is that a tough song to sing?” Nooooooo. You bubble headed ‘Mo. It’s easy breezy, look, anybody can do it.

And now for the moment you all have been waiting for – our fashion round-up! We begin with the biggest shock to come down the red carpet in years. Our choice for the Best Dressed Woman:

Reese Witherspoon in Nina Ricci by Olivier Theyskens with Van Cleef & Arpels private-collection jewels.
Oh Sweet Jesus! Finally. After years of disappointments, last year’s Oscar winner and perennial “Worst Dressed” woman has found a look that flatters her new found freedom and assured “A-list” ranking. We almost wept with joy. And where on earth had she been hiding those curves? Brava, Reese, Brava! You done us proud. Sniffle. And how fitting that the Worst Dressed Woman off the Night would be her former nemesis from the great “Hand Me Down Crisis of 2006”:

“Off With Her Head!”
Kirsten Dunst in Chanel Haute Couture, sporting a vintage Bulgari bracelet and a clutch by Roger Vivier.
You know what you little minx, we loved your lead turn in the wonderful “Marie Antoinette”, the deserving winner of last night’s Best Costume Design Oscar and you had to go and ruin the evening for us by dressing in this. We absolutely detest everything about this look. From the seafoam hue that absolutely melts into your watery skin tone, to the dropped Peter Pan collar which accentuates your chipmunk head to the molting feathers listlessly hanging about the bottom of this mess. And to top it all off, you just couldn’t be bothered to comb your hair, so you pulled it back with a rubber band and went with floppy bangs? Hideous.

Let’s take a gander at the gals who won the Oscars, shall we?

We Are Amused!
Helen Mirren in Christian Lacroix and Chopard jewelry.
What a sexy old slag, that Helen! It may not be our favorite look of the evening, but it is certainly age appropriate and flattering to her still curvaceous frame. And she was so wonderful in Oscar winning role as “The Queen”. God Save Helen! And now, unfortunately we have to shift our eyes to last night’s Best Supporting Actress winner . . .

Science Fiction, Double Chin Creature
Jennifer Hudson in Oscar de la Renta with ice by Fred Leighton and bejeweled pumps by Manolo Blahnik.
Isn’t this lovely? We knew the cow would waddle off with the Oscar, and fine, alright, she did. For screeching and chicken necking – whatever. But we will remind our readers that we had been praising her ensembles on this season’s red carpets for judicious draping of flabbage. Well, that ends right here and right now! A. Everybody repeat after us, THERE ARE NO POCKETS ON OSCAR GOWNS!! EVER!!! B. Unless you are Elvis Presley returned from the grave as a vampire, there is no excuse for a bejeweled dickey with upturned collar. Horrid.

C. Unless your next film is a remake of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”. To think that Sheneneh bested these far more talented ladies . . .

¡Ay, Dios Mio!
Adriana Barraza
, she has to sit there in the Kodak Theatre and watch Sheneneh win the Oscar over real actresses . . . and in this! We suppose she’s taking her performance in “Babel” to heart. Life really can be cruel.

Most Improved
Rinko Kikuchi looking fabulous and downright restrained in Chanel Haute Couture replete with Chanel jewelry.
Quelle surprise!
We were all set for young Rinko to show up sporting some sort of trashbag bedecked with plumage or cotton balls that we had to look twice to realize it was her! Now, this may be a skootch old school for the young lass – it fairly screams “Jacqueline Kennedy Meets the Pope” – but hang it all, it works! More, we want more lovely ladies!

Cate Blanchett in Armani Privé.
Perfect. Dress. Makeup. Hair. Figure. Drape. Talent. Perfect. Hate her. Kidding. Love. Moving on.

You Can Take the Latina Out of Spain . . .
Penélope Cruz in Atelier Versace with Chopard jewels and Daniel Swarovski clutch.
Oh, those Latinas, always finding new and creative ways to sweep a carpet. Well, it’s certainly dramatic. We adored her Oscar nominated performance in the sublime melodrama Volver so much, we’ll let his one go. We actually kind of love the Grand Opera Glam aspect of it, and she is one of the few ladies that would dare attempt such a fashion display – so what the hell!

The Absolved
Jodie Foster in Vera Wang!
Rocking a shortened Jane Fonda shag do and flowing glamour gown! While she obviously still has a hankering for pale shades of blue, it is clearly an improvement from the frock she wore back in 1989 upon accepting her first Best Actress Oscar. Come to think of it . . . maybe she made this year's model from the extra fabric tacked onto her ass way back then!

Ouch! Aw well, it was the late eighties, we’ll forgive her. And we simply adore her for having no bloody clue as to the identity of Ryan Seacrest during the pre-show when he managed to nab her for an interview. A highlight of the evening.

La Belle
Catherine Deneuve in Gaultier Paris Couture with Van Cleef & Arpels jewels.

This Grande Dame of the International Cinema was on hand to present a tribute to the fiftieth anniversary of the Foreign Language Film category. We loved the montage edited together by Giuseppe Tornatore, the director of the Oscar winning “Cinema Paradiso”. Such a treat to briefly bathe in the brilliant cinematic visions of Fellini, Bergman, Truffaut, DeSica, Buñuel, etc. And speaking of lovely visions, even at the plum age of sixty three, she is still stunning. Vive la Française! Compare both Madame Deneuve and the Foreign Film montage to the following . . .

Et La Bête!
Rev. Sally Kirkland
who has so bravely persists in her career despite being bat-shit crazy and resembling a dying elephant seal. This ensemble was put together by some “friend” of hers, or so she claims, that is some sort of Shaman / Monk / Guru. Clearly, the Lord is not with Sally or her friend. She should look into that. Rainbow colored batwings are NOT the “New Black” in case you were wondering. Considering that Sally is one year YOUNGER than Madame Deneuve, and comparing the hideous montage that Michael Mann put together celebrating the “Spirit of American Film” with Tornatore’s edit, (Did he actually use scenes from "1941" and "Scarface"??) we are one step closer to packing our bags and hopping the Concorde to Paris. Thanks for the inspiration, you old crazy twat. We’ll leave you with one of her more delirious quotes:

“Be still, and know that I am God.” Hooookay. Can somebody revoke her Academy membership, please? And back the camera up about eight hundred yards? Speaking of revoking Oscars . . .

The Dummy Returns
Rachel Weisz in a Vera Wang drape with Vintage Cartier necklace.

We had almost gotten over the horror of watching her win the Oscar last year only to be reminded of the fact upon her presenting the Best Supporting Actor statue to Alan Arkin. Flesh tones, gals. Think twice if yours is that particular shade of reanimated corpse. Although emerging from a tomb would help explain the hairdo. When does “wispy” and “loose” cross over to “wind shorn” and “slipshod”?

Party Crasher
Portia de Rossi in Zac Posen and Kwiat diamonds.

Nothing clears you through the restrictive Oscar security like declaring, “I’m finger fucking the hostess, now let me through!”. Let’s face it, without that not so specialized talent, this gal couldn’t get arrested in this town. Get it, “arrested”? Oh we slay ourselves sometimes.

No Problem In Getting Arrested
Robert Downey, Jr. with wife Susan both in Prada.

Such a talented and handsome ex-convict, that Bob. And good to see he can laugh at himself. Or cry. Whatever the case may be. Somebody get him a good script, will ya? And somebody else rip that Velcro off of his wife’s dress, while you’re at it.

Matron in Manhattan
Jennifer Lopez in Marchesa with a Daniel Swarovski clutch.

“Marc, Maaaarrrccccc! We’re late for the PTA meeting / Civic Light Opera benefit!” What the hell is this? This is one of the “Most Beautiful Women” in the world? What was her competition? Why would Jennifer Lopez want to wear her hair in a matronly helmet hairdon’t, and couple it with a hand me down from Martha Mitchell’s closet?

Powerless Couple
Michael Bublé and Emily Blunt in Calvin Klein – who knew?
Emily is dressed for her audition to the next Bond flick as the Russian / Scottish double agent Rimma McSpangly. We really just wish she would go away.

Gang Bangs of Los Angeles
Cameron Diaz in Valentino Couture with Cariter jewels, Roger Vivier clutch and Brian Atwood shoes.
A gang bang would help explain the conflicted lines of this frock. Did she catch her train in the limo after she caught her hem on the front door to her house after she caught the bodice in the heel of her shoe attempting to outrun her attackers?

Seventh Circle of Hell
Jessica Biel in Oscar de la Renta.

According to Dante Alighieri’s masterpiece The Divine Comedy – the Seventh Circle of Hell is reserved for punishing “Blasphemers, Sodomites and Usurers”. In which case, Missy Biel should fit in quite nicely under the “Usurers” category, for her sins against art. And hey, this being Hollywood, she’ll have plenty of friends from the other two categories to keep her company.

Battlefield Girth
Kelly Preston in Dolce & Galbana. Fatso in Giorgio Armani.
“Keep holding still, Kelly, they’re almost done with our wax mannequins”.
Kelly, a word of warning – leopard print at this stage in the game is never an option. Unless you wish to be bagged and stuffed. And that sounds more like your hubby’s alleged preference.

Eyes, Neck, Chin, Forehead and Cheekbones of Laura Mars
Faye Dunaway in J. Mendel.

Zowie! Well, we suppose when every pore on your body has been scraped, yanked and snipped by metal, you collect a lot of excess baggage around your thighs. So, clearly the Oscar winning star of such classics as “Bonnie & Clyde”, “Chinatown” and “Network” has no other option but to attempt to camouflage it by wearing an accordion pleated centerpiece from her own funeral. Nothing says “I’m Still Here” like “Gothic Chiffon”!

Leonardo DiCaprio in Giorgio Armani
, doing the whole “Hey, man, what’s up Dawg.” schtick. Leo. You’re white. And puffy. And greasy looking. We’d still do you. Eat a salad.

Viva Las Vegas!
Celine Dion in vintage James Galanos and Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry.
You know, as much as this woman has brought countless hours of pain to our hearts and minds and eardrums, we think this is rather a slick look for a Vegas showgirl. Oh, please people, she’s a French Canadian lounge singer living in Sin City! We’re lucky she didn’t trot out it sequined snowshoes.

“Move Your Blooming Arse!”
Anne Hathaway in Valentino and Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry and Brian Atwood shoes.

Miss Hathaway who is apparently besotted with the famed Black & White Ascot Gavotte sequence from “My Fair Lady” has taken the worst elements of that classic scene and applied them haphazardly to her lithesome frame. Which is a pity. Perhaps less bow, less lace, less dress . . . . less. The key word here, Annie, is less.

A Rush of Blood to Our Hearts
Gwyneth Paltrow looking quite nice in Zac Posen.

We know that this was not the favorite ensemble last night, but we have to disagree. She certainly has the lithesome figure and bearing to sport this. Yes, it does begin to resemble a filleted Salmon if you stare too long. Chalk it up to one of those inexplicable moments where we feel kind and loving towards Gwyneth. It certainly wasn’t for her last screen appearance. Although she was lovely in “Infamous”. Maybe we’re dizzy after gazing at all the fashions . . .

Shaken and Stirring
Daniel Craig!!!!!!!
Oh, Sweet Christmas! That certainly cleared our heads.

Listen Up, Bitch
Beyoncé in Armani Privé.
We don’t care how many gold records you sell, or how many Grammys® you win, your amateur turn in “Dreamgirls” has forever tainted your reputation in this town. The Miss Universe frock held together by a Coral Reef ain’t helping matters. Trollop.

Holy Smoke, Indeed!
Kate Winslet in Valentino Couture with Chopard Jewels and a vintage Bulgari clutch.

The youngest actress in Oscar history to rack up five nominations by the still relatively young age of thirty-one, looks simply stunning in this pale green finery. We love it. We love her even more. Pay attention folks, this is the Katharine Hepburn or Meryl Streep of her generation. We think Kate can rest assured she’ll be chalking up the Oscar noms far into the autumn of her years. So come 2057 when she has to wheelchair into the Kodak Theatre to lose for the twenty third time, we’re positive she’ll look stunning.

Did you say Volvo or Valvo?
Queen Latifah in Carmen Marc Valvo with Chopard jewels and Fendi clutch.

While black may be considered “slimming” to some, using a tire-track motif may only accentuate the curves. Apparently, "Tire-tracks" are the "New Black".

Maggie Gyllenhaal in Proenza Schouler.
Oh, Maggie. You are such a talented young actress. And since your brother is our future husband, we feel close to you already. So we want to share this secret with you. Never wear a dress by two twinks that are designing for Target®!!! It’s just a hop, skid and a car wreck to Kathy Ireland territory after that. Pull it together! (Hate the feathers at the hemline the most.)

Portrait of a Star
Nicole Kidman in Balenciaga by Nicolas Ghesquière with a Bottega Veneta clutch.
My, my, my. Such drama, Nicole. Now, at first we balked. Well, actually we puked. But that might have been a strong visceral reaction to the blazing color choice for your . . . how shall we put it . . . chalky, white, honky skintone. But, we must say, after gazing at it for the past twelve hours or so, it kind of grew on us. Like the Ebola Virus. Which might explain your gaunt frame. Eat something!

Oh, thank God, Nicole found some candy in her purse and is about to pop it into her mouth. Hang on . . .

The Lollipop League
Abigail Breslin in Simin with Harry Winston jewels and Daniel Swarovski clutch.
You mean there’s a person underneath that candy wrapper? We like wrapped candy. Who doesn’t like wrapped candy? We don’t think you should dress like one.

Speaking of which, this would be the Milky Discharge from the aforementioned Ebola Virus.
Naomi Watts in Escada with Chopard jewels.
Oh, Naomi. Such a beautiful and talented actress. But Naomi, darling when your dress matches the Oscar pattern on the rug (Nice, by the way. Real subtle, Academy.), and you begin to slowly melt into the background, we’re just not having it. Better luck next year.

Lemony Skintone’s Series of Unfortunate Choices
Meryl Streep
who has either lost her mind or has decided to take the opportunity to pay homage to her own career on the eve of her completely unnecessary fourteenth Oscar nomination. Take an Aboriginal necklace from “A Cry in the Dark”, a radiation proof smock from “Silkwood”, the scarf she wore on her head as the cancer victim in “One True Thing”; cleverly disguised as a belt, the tablecloth from “The French Lieutenant’s Woman”, a pair of platform pumps from her society rich bitch character in “Julia” and top it off with the child you left behind in “Sophie’s Choice” and voila! Instant buswreck! Speaking of abandoning children . . .

Best Peformance by a Proud Mother Sitting in the Audience
Jada Pinkett Smith in Carolina Herrera

When Jada and her Oscar nominated hubby, Will Smith’s precociously talented young son, one Jaden Christopher Syre Smith . . . whew, that’s a big name for such a small kid . . . came out onstage to present the Oscar for Best Short Subject with Abigail Breslin . . . we’ll wait for it . . . you got it? Short Subject? Short People? Heeeeelarious! Anyway, where the fuck were we? Oh, yes, when young Christopher Jaden Kennedy Onasssis toddled out onstage, the look of pride and joy on Jada’s face was priceless! What a proud mom. We were touched. And apparently, Jada is a bit touched in the head from the looks of her ensemble. We’ll forgive her for attempting to dress like an Oscar. Mistakes happen.

We ♥ Humpyboys!
Mark Wahlberg in Giorgio Armani.
Marky Mark
, you should count your lucky stars you were even nominated for “The Departed”. We loved the film, and every other actor in the piece. Now, calm down. We’d still let you smack us around and berate us.

Speaking of which . . .
Ryan Gosling in Valentino
You talented little emo-cutie. You’re young. They’ll be plenty more awkwardly-filmed-independent-dimestore-flicks-completely-lacking-in-plot-or-substance for you to be lauded for. Too many, probably.

Closer, come closer . . .
Clive Owen in Giorgio Armani.
Oh, sweet baby Jesus, this one does our collective heads in! Whew! Somebody fan us, quick! Or get the smelling salts. Or . . .


Oh, it’s just Patricia Field. Seriously, folks. The Academy almost done themselves in this year by choosing to nominate this fright wigged sow for a Best Costume Design Oscar for basically picking clothes off a rack at Century21 in “The Devil Wears Prada”. Thank God she lost. Now hopefully, she’ll just go away. This has to be the worst, right?

Spoke too soon . . .
Eva Green in Givenchy with Etoile de Montblanc Haute Joaillerie.

We didn’t think it was possible for the lovely Eva Green to look worse than her ensemble she sported at the BAFTA’s. We were wrong. At least that one had a little color. Is this a late tribute to “The Corpse Bride”? Sadly no.

You’ll Never Get Plastic Surgery in This Town Again!
Last night’s deserving recipient of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Oscar was Sherry Lansing, the legendary former boss lady of Hollywood. Whose face unfortunately looked tighter than a snare drum. It didn’t help that she wore some bizarre satanic tinged frock that resembled the ending to “Staying Alive”. Maybe her hubby William Friedkin, the famed director of “The Exorcist” is to blame? We don’t care. Moving on.

Los Dos Amigos
So, while our beloved trio of Mexican auteurs failed to reap in the big awards, their strong showing in the nominations did help considerably in widening their audiences. And speaking of Mexicans we’d like to see widen their range, if you catch our drift. How cute are Gael García Bernal and his fuck buddy (we hope) Diego Luna? Pity, Gael had to endure Seacrest’s patented brand of uniformed reporting. We sat in amazement as he was forced to reply to this barrage of insults:
“What was it like working with Brad Pitt?”
“We didn’t film together, we had separate storylines. I was in Mexico, he was in Morocco.”
“What is he like?”
“I’ve only met him once at a press conference.”
“You’re so lucky to work with Brad.”
“I took the part because the director Alejandro González Iñárritu is one of my best friends.”
“What do you think of Brad?”


Thankfully, the show itself was helped considerably by the charms of Ellen Degeneres in her maiden outing as the hostess. Although, if she returns next year and we see no reason she shouldn’t, she might want to ban the Shadow Puppet Troupe. And while the final votes may not have surprised us, we salute the Winners and Losers of the 79th Annual Academy Awards! Bless you all!

The 79th Annual Academy Awards – The Winners!

Best Picture: "The Departed"
Director: Martin Scorsese, "The Departed"
Actress: Helen Mirren, "The Queen"
Actor: Forest Whitaker, "The Last King of Scotland"
Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson, "Dreamgirls"
Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin, "Little Miss Sunshine"
Foreign Language Film: "The Lives of Others," Germany
Animated Feature Film: "Happy Feet"
Adapted Screenplay: William Monahan, "The Departed"
Original Screenplay: Michael Arndt, "Little Miss Sunshine"
Costume Design: "Marie Antoinette"
Art Direction: "Pan's Labyrinth"
Cinematography: "Pan's Labyrinth"
Sound Mixing: "Dreamgirls"
Sound Editing: "Letters From Iwo Jima"
Original Score: "Babel"
Original Song: "I Need to Wake Up" from "An Inconvenient Truth," Melissa Etheridge
Documentary Feature: "An Inconvenient Truth"
Documentary (short subject): "The Blood of the Yingzhou District"
Film Editing: "The Departed"
Makeup: "Pan's Labyrinth"
Animated Short Film: "The Danish Poet"
Live Action Short Film: "West Bank Story"
Visual Effects: "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"
Honorary Award: Ennio Morricone
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award: Sherry Lansing