I suppose that the Oscars were boring — heck, Billy Crystal’s schtick probably seemed ancient to the 59-time seat filler in the powder blue tux — but it’s rarely the host or even the show itself that we find entertaining. For us, it’s mostly about the red carpet — the fashion choices, the hilariously awkward interviews — and holding out hope that there will be at least a few surprising moments. (Who would have thought that Meryl Streep winning would ever qualify as a surprise?) While this year’s Oscars may have been light on actual entertainment, there were a few moments that made us delighted to have tuned in.
The Belle of the Ball: Bows! We’re a bow-for-all-seasons kind of girl, but even we can admit that they are not always the height of fashion. So we were thrilled to see bows front-and-center on some lovely dresses last night. Emma Stone’s gown may have been a Nicole Kidman copycat (how long until she can claim it’s “vintage-inspired”?) but we so adore a voluminous, side-worn bow. Michelle Williams’ diamond bow brooch was decidedly more precious and petite, but it helped make her major gown seem somehow more personal.
Look, it was disrespectful and completely not befitting of the gravitas of the event, and sure, it was a gratuitous publicity stunt for his upcoming film “The Dictator”, but Sacha Baron Cohen dumping Kim Jong-il’s “ashes” on Ryan Seacrest’s tux was the first time we’ve ever laughed out loud during an Oscars telecast. Seacrest’s complete and utter inability to roll with the gag, laugh it off and get on with his night only heightened the hilarity — and inevitable notoriety — of the incident. Our guess about what really bothered Seacrest? What his being the target meant. Cohen wouldn’t have dared make a mess of one of his fellow “specials”, but Seacrest, well, much as he wants to be the next Dick Clark he’s still just the guy who interviews stars and then gawks about their private lives on E!News.
We adore Meryl winning, not just because she deserves it (many times over if the award-for-prior-snubs rule applies), but because it validates the kind of celebrity she represents. Meryl is a big deal because she can act and *not* because she is dressed by a professional stylist, romantically involved with someone famous or starved into unnatural thinness. She does not complain about the paparazzi following her nor does she deride interviewers for asking personal questions (both of which are easy to avoid when you don’t trade on your private life). So many young actors who desperately want to be taken seriously but can’t seem to get out of their own ways (cough, Kristen Stewart and Rooney Mara) would do well to take note of Meryl’s off-screen abilities.