Listen, is it superficial to judge people based on what they wear and how they behave during one evening? Oh yes. Is this a superficial business? You’re damn right it is. Make no mistake, 90% of these actors come to the award shows (provided they’re not nominated) to sell themselves. To sell you on their brand. That’s why they host SNL, that’s why they give interviews. So you’ll like THEM and therefore fork over money to see their films. I try not to let the likability of an actor influence my opinion of their ability to perform. One has nothing to do with the other. I don’t fancy Christian Bale, but the man can tear the roof off a role. So here is some harmless, superficial, judgmental fun. Claws out, kittens.
Down: Melissa Leo Not for the swearing, oh no. I love a salty, foulmouthed dame. For the horribly executed decorative Christmas table cloth dress with a slit so dangerously high I almost saw the whole kit and kaboodle when she climbed up the stairs to accept her award. Also, the woman stole Kirk Douglas’s cane. HE NEEDS THAT CANE, YOU WENCH.
Up: Sandra Bullock I’m in the camp that feels she didn’t much deserve her Oscar last year. It’s a big camp. But I still like her. I like her very much for her adorable presentation of the Best Actor category and I like that her taste in kissing partners has significantly improved from last year.
Up: Colin Firth I didn’t think it was possible.
Down: Randy Newman I didn’t think it was possible.
It’s A Wash: Purple Boob Lace Dear purple boob lace, it was quite the night for you, my friend! Here you are, obscuring and not at all enhancing one of the most famous racks in Hollywood (down).
And yet here you are again, you scamp, delicately clutching the Kunislingus assets. We’re jealous (up).
Up: Hella Wanna Bone Her Carter For wearing normal hair and still managing to look completely deranged. I love her.
Up: Warren Beatty and Annette Bening I made up a story that involved Bening and Beatty getting massively stoned before the ceremony with Mark Ruffalo and his (stupidly named) wife Sunrise. Otherwise, I have to confront the fact that Warren and Annette are getting older and that’s why they came off as vague and confused in every red carpet interview. I’m not ready for that jelly. Also, Annette looks like she’s wearing a fancy Tron gown…so maybe Bridges joined them in a spliff or two. So for sharing an entirely imagined pre-Oscar joint…they go up.
Up: Hailee Steinfeld For pulling off that “pretty pretty princess” look. That’s not an easy one to sell.
Down: Cate Blanchett For wearing what appears to be formal octopus with shoulder mustard stains. Who gets mustard stains on their shoulders?
Up: John Hawkes Oh, I know, he didn’t do anything. He just showed up, filled out a tux and went home empty handed. But I already loved him and now I love him in formal wear.
Down: Seal Overheard in my friend’s living room last night, “You know what that dress cost? Seven years bad luck.”
I’m Not Sure: Russell Brand I know you don’t like Brand to begin with. Well I do. But that suit was bad. But he took his mum! But his schtick with Helen Mirren was cute. I think. But then he did that shouty thing where he thinks loud is funny. So, you know what, I’m not sure.
Up: Anne Hathway Was she sort of insufferably smug and did she come off as, to paraphrase a frequent commenter, a walking jazz hand? Oh yes. And if she had been presenting alone she would have been down, way down. But she had the fortune/misfortune to be presenting alongside the most apathetic and uncharming host in Oscar history and so, you know what, Anne? A for effort. We know you tried.
You really, really tried.
Like, a lot.
Also, and this ain’t nothing in this business, you clean up real nice, my dear.
Up…Up…All The Way Up: Kirk Douglas and His Pool Boy At first this segment elicited awkward laughter. “Why did they do this? How could they let Douglas embarrass himself like that?” And then, at least where I was watching, we stopped laughing at Kirk Douglas and started laughing with. Perhaps the only genuine guffaws of the night. The guy killed. So did Julio. Well done, Julio.
Joanna Robinson thinks Bruce Villanch came off worst of all. Poorly done, Bruce. Poorly done.