My pick for best-dressed last night: Gwyneth Paltrow in Tom Ford. What is this dress? Is it intelligent or innocent, classic or futuristic, inviting or aloof, lush or austere? Or somehow, improbably, all of the above?

I also liked Shailene Woodley's long-sleeved 70s look. Although the bow at Emma Stone's neck was kind of ridiculous, it turned out to be a droll frame for her satirical presentation speech; she looked tall, mischievous, and clever.

My least favorite dress was Melissa McCarthy's. She has really pretty coloring--rich hair, greenish eyes--and the color, landing somewhere between pink and camel, didn't do anything to bring that out. Anna Faris is adorable and funny, but her dress was drowning her. I didn't like Angelina Jolie's dress. Setting aside the leg (as she did), it was way too bunchy. It was like she had a whole curtain around her waist. Or like when you buy a floor lamp and you have to scrunch the plastic sleeve to guide the pieces of the pole into place.

The best Oscar commentary, meanwhile, comes from Anthony Lane:

Over the years, I have come to prefer the gibberish of these experts, lightly powdered with panic, to the coarse-ground rhetoric that prevails inside the auditorium. When one of the resident style queens, epistemologists to their nail lacquer, gazed at Tina Fey and said, in tones of unfeigned awe, “I’ve never seen this hair on her,” we were vouchsafed a genuine insight into the unreliable surface of reality, as it shimmers on Pacific shores.

02/27/2012 17:36

Emma Stone's performance as a presenter was my favorite of the evening. She had better comedic timing than even Billy Crystal.


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