On a carpet that was an attractive shade of sun-bleached red, the throngs of celebrities began their march toward prestigious recognition, or utter disappointment. Mainly disappointment. Unless you were Colin Firth.
Let's be honest here. There's one reason I watch the Oscars, and one reason only. To tear apart those feeble minded individuals that think their stylists can actually style, and to gush over those who in fact actually have taste.
I'll begin on a positive note (unusual). Cate Blanchett. Her dress was so great that I could even tolerate her canary diamond earrings. And I HATE canary diamonds. Now despite my loathing for these apparently exquisite gems (gagging) the accessory to dress pairing was appropriate, and neither detracted from the other. Then there was Mark Ruffalo's wife; apart from her ridiculous first name (Sunrise), she had everything right. In particular, her gold tassel earrings that peeked out just below her perfect blunt bob. An ensemble to admire, from head to toe.
I wish the same could be said for:
Annette Bening (poorly chosen emerald drops to accompany a matronly flapper style dress)
Marisa Tomei (channelling Katy Keene and having little success, with an ill-fitting bodice and too much tulle. Her earrings appeared to be canary diamond sunbursts, encompassing everything I hate about the gem and were the antithesis of the tasteful Cate)
Reese "Oscar Barbie" Witherspoon (terrible hair piece, partnering with equally terrible emerald earrings)
Sandra Bullock (held a dreadful burgundy crocodile clutch to "match" her average looking red bustle-heavy gown)
On to the men. Russell Brand: Good suit, most things look better with an English accent though, so . . . .
This year the men's favoured accessory was facial hair. And this is a particularly fragile issue for me at the moment. Let's be clear. I am not a fan, unless it's Howard Keel in a 1950's musical. The Oscars were rampant with day-old stubble. Scruff is acceptable, if not fetching, perhaps not for Oscars but nonetheless. The following wore it well:
Robert Downey Jr (natch)
Jude Law (double natch)
Matthew McConaghy (despite patchy tan)
The following wore it horribly:
I don't care if it is for a part. Run a freakin' comb through it and for god sakes pick out the nits. Speaking of gross looking orange things. Valentino looked typically appalling, in an unflattering shade of orange epidermis. Pulled and stretched so that he bore a striking resemblance to Gary Oldman in Bram Stoker's Dracula. . . . when he portrayed that delicate mix of demon and human.
The overall show? There were pros and cons. Lets focus on the cons, as they seem much more amusing. Montages; normally my favorite part of the Oscar telecast. The In Memorium barely brought a tear to my eye. Mainly because I was reeling from hearing Celine Dion warble her way through some song that was so forgettable I've forgotten it. Notable deaths this year, at least for me, were Tony Curtis and Blake Edwards. Seriously, I know Gloria Stewart died, but really? Celine?
There was also the Best Film montage. Done cleverly utilizing the "King's Speech" plus Beethoven's No7 op92. I will say, it must have been sheer hell incorporating clips from Toy Story 3 into the mix. It really had the potential to ruin the whole thing. God knows why that film was nominated for Best Picture? I can barely comprehend the logic for nominating it in best Animated Feature Film. And don't get me started on Randy Newman.
The worst, not to mention most useless montage was the rubbish Auto-tune bit. Total crap.
Cute parts? James Franco most of the time, specifically filming the crowd when Anne Hathaway and him first stepped onto the stage. That kid has come a long way since Freaks and Geeks, yet remains pretty rad.
A group of us had a pool going to vote on who was going to win what. I tied for 3rd place. I did it the same way I passed high-school . . . I guessed. "Hey, I didn't realize the test was double sided!"