Monday, February 26, 2007

Random Oscar notes

Okay, so I watched the Oscars. In addition to observing the usual self-congratulatory self-righteousness from the very rich and very famous, I observed what's far more important, of course: the fashions.

Since I've seen none of the movies except "Dreamgirls," I had no dogs in most of those races--nor have I really cared much about the Oscars even when I did go to the movies far more often. But fashion and hair--ah, that's another story!

A small digression and small confession: when I was about eleven, I wanted to be a hairdresser (that was a few years after I'd given up my dream to become a roller derby star--but more about that, perhaps, another time). When I announced my hair salon aspirations to my mother she was a bit distressed, "Don't you think that would be--ummm--wasting your mind?" I eventually abandoned the idea, but not after spending quite a bit of time in high school and college cutting friends' hair and applying their makeup for proms and special occasions.

And so you're reading the observations of a semipro here, although a very outdated one. And I'm happy to report that this year's fashions (guys, are you still with me?--thought not) were better than in recent years that had featured the sloppy nightgown look. The gowns this year erred in the other direction: very tightly constructed, almost trussed (although what these skinny ladies need trussing for I'll never know). But rather pretty and much more elegant.

Ann Althouse described Nicole Kidman's dress as "all plastic-y and shiny. She's wearing an impossibly tall, thin red dress." True; she looked less like a human than like a walking larger-than-life Barbie. She's a woman with an unusual body to begin with--very broad shoulders and narrow hips--and her dress emphasized the broadness of the former and the narrowness of the latter (no, it's not just envy speaking and being critical--oh, well, maybe just a teeny tiny bit).

Diane Keaton looked oddly severe; but she's always been a very eccentric dresser. Also, she looked rail thin, which I don't remember before. In fact, "rail thin" was very much in evidence in general; did you take a good look at Kate Blanchett's extra shoulder bones, the little ones that stick up when a person goes down to starvation weight? None of that for Jennifer Hudson, who seemed very revved up, but in a manner that seemed natural for an excited young newcomer.

Helen Mirren set a subdued and dignified tone for the Woman of Certain Age (after all, she played a queen). A bit monochrome for my tastes, though. Al Gore--well, he continues to look stuffy, but he actually did a funny bit when his "announcement" was drowned out by the "time to go" music.

As for Jack Nicholson--whom I think long ago became a parody of himself, a self that was already dangerously close to parody even at the outset--he looked bizarre. The camera kept going to him--why, I don't know: celebrity? disbelief? awe? disgust? To me he looked like a cross between Daddy Warbucks and Lex Luther, but even that is being kind.

I don't get Leonardo di Caprio. A good actor who absolutely doesn't interest me, and he looks like an eternal boy. Peter O'Toole, a good actor who does interest me, looked so shockingly old and frail that I didn't recognize him until he was identified. I've always liked Forrest Whitaker, and his speech seemed very genuine. I want to ask Martin Scorcese to take off the Groucho disguise, but I'm too polite to do so.

And I'd like some information on whatever it is that Catherine Deneuve's been doing to keep herself looking forever young. Of course, it doesn't hurt to start out gorgeous, but that's no guarantee that you'll stay that way, as she has.

Enough fluff, don't you think?

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