Monday, February 23, 2009

Shine Your Light Now

Another year and a wealth of brilliant movies and performances to celebrate. I really wasn't sure what to think when I heard that Hugh Jackman would be hosting the show. But I have to say, within seconds of his opening performance, I realized that it didn't matter what else happened from that point on, because Jackman's opening was that good. He saved the Oscars. I had no idea that he was so talented and hilarious. For her part, Anne Hathaway was also delightful.

Many of my favourite performances were recognized last night: underdog Slumdog Millionaire (which I thought was just fantastic), Penelope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona (which as you all know is one of my favourite films of the year), Sean Penn for Milk (which Keira and I saw on Saturday and both agreed was absolutely brilliant- Penn is truly a genius) and of course, the absolutely darling Kate Winslet for her role in The Reader. I found myself bawling through more of the show than I care to admit. I also quite liked the format of the show this year. It had a more intimate feeling with the nominees all being seated in the front and I thought it was really special (and coincidentally, more emotional) the way that they mentioned each nominee individually and spoke about their performance.

One other note, while we're on the topic of the films: I saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button yesterday and I absolutely loved it. I really didn't expect to, but I was thoroughly entertained by this film from start to finish. Its bittersweet reverse angle on the aging process is inescapably moving. Performances by Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett and Taraji P. Henson were beautifully honest.

So besides the films, the other reason to watch the awards is, of course, for the fashion.

Here's a quick rundown of my favourite looks of the night:

Kate Winslet in Atelier Yves Saint Laurent by Stefano Pilati. Her gown was grey degrade satin and embroidered black silk tulle. This lady is all class. I couldn't take my eyes off her. I've been a huge fan since she played Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility in 1995. She is truly a brilliant actress and after several nominations over the years, I was pleased as punch to see her finally take a statue home.

Halle Berry in a strapless black and gold tulle Marchesa gown. Halle always seems to get it just right. She never looks like she's trying too hard, she always looks absolutely stunning. Last night was no exception.

Angelina Jolie in an Elie Saab gown, Lorraine Schwartz jewelry, Ferragamo shoes and a Lana Marks bag. Although I consider myself to be a member of Team Aniston, I have to admit that Angie looked beautiful last night. Her gown is elegant and I am in love with her emerald jewels.

Jennifer Aniston in a silver Valentino gown. I thought it was refreshing to see Jen in something other than black. Her silver gown was flattering and gorgeous. Perhaps I'm biased because I often wear my hair the same way that she did (hat tip to JR), but I think it looks adorable. I like that she's taking a risk- while I always think she looks great, Jen often looks the same to me. I give her points for trying something different this year.

Marion Cotillard looked exquisite in Haute Couture Dior and Chopard jewels. Although sequins and tulle can be frightening together, somehow she made this work to perfection. Maybe it's because she's French.

Who were your red carpet favourites? Total misses? What are your thoughts on the show? The winners?

Photos courtesy of Celebuzz


tracy.lee said...

Your fashion rundown was so much better than mine (then again, you know a lot more about fashion than I do) haha. I'm still standing by SJP, I liked it :P and Jen Aniston's hair, it was cute, but not really Oscar hair. I think we probably cried during most of the same parts hahaha.

Keira-Anne said...

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree. Halle's gown was a nightmare that hurt my eyes, while on the other hand, I though Reese's was both daring and fantastic.

Jennifer Stoddart said...

@Keira-Anne: Reese just really disappointed me. In the past, she has delivered some of the most stunning looks to ever walk down a red carpet. Her gown last night was fashion forward enough with the black and blue colour blocking, but the random glitter, and swaths of uneven fabric for straps, not to mention that not quite invisible bra underneath, which looked just... didn't do it for me.

Agree to disagree, indeed :)

VancityAllie said...

Nice review!

I am SO happy Slumdog one... that was definitely my favourite movie of the year. So incredible.

I have to say that Jolie's look was my favourite for the evening. I didn't get to watch the Oscars all the way through but I caught a bit at the end and she just looked amazing. Loving the jewelry as well! So classy.

Raul (hummingbird604) said...

I am so happy that Winslet won! I wish my dearest Meryl had won again!