Thoughts on the 85th Academy Awards & Fashion Commentary

MacFarlane. Kevin Winter/Getty

I went into this year’s ceremony more excited than usual because many of the categories were not predictable. Yes, Daniel Day-Lewis and Anne Hathaway were sure things, but there was possibility for surprises in the best actress, supporting actor, director, and screenplay categories. And the surprises did come to pass—who predicted Quentin Tarantino winning original screenplay for Django Unchained? Mark Boal had won the WGA award for Zero Dark Thirty.

Most pundits thought Steven Spielberg would take director since Ben Affleck wasn’t nominated, but Ang Lee won, though Life of Pi had claimed several Oscars by the time best director was declared so it wasn’t a huge shock. I started wondering if Naomi Watts could pull off an upset in the best actress category but Jennifer Lawrence prevailed and I was perfectly fine with that. I loved both performances; Watts’s work was just more harrowing.

Oh, did I mention a tie in the sound editing category? That’s only happened five times before in Oscar history! Both Zero Dark Thirty (Paul N.J. Ottosson) and Skyfall (Per Hallberg & Karen Baker Landers) won.

Unpredictability aside, this was one of the most awful ceremonies in recent memory. Seth MacFarlane made James Franco look like Bob Hope when it came to hosting. I was begging for him to cut short the interminable and painfully unfunny Star Trek opening bit with William Shatner. It had nothing to do with the nominated movies. If MacFarlane wanted to be ahead of the curve and tie in a number to Star Trek Into Darkness coming out this summer, at least have Chris Pine at the helm.

He went on to perform a musical number about seeing different actresses’ boobs in movies. Yes, really.

Tatum & Theron. Mark Davis/WireImage

When MacFarlane tried to class things up by bringing out Charlize Theron and Channing Tatum to dance along while MacFarlane sang “The Way You Look Tonight,” it still had nothing to do with this year’s movies. The classic tune from Swing Time won an Oscar for best song back in 1936, and MacFarlane could have included it later on in the show, but the opening should be about the current crop of movies.

Overall, MacFarlane just wasn’t funny. I think the only joke of his that made me laugh was the one in which he teased that the cast of Prometheus would appear to explain “what the hell was going on with that.” Daniel Day-Lewis was wittier when he said Meryl Streep was Spielberg’s first choice to play Lincoln, while the actor was supposed to portray Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady.

And what was that final number, an “ode to the losers,” that MacFarlane performed with Kristin Chenoweth, who deserved better? So embarrassing! Mr. PCN quipped, “The only things this number needs are Rob Lowe and Snow White.”

Let’s go over some of the winners in the major categories before I move on to the fashion.

ARGO producers: Grant Heslov, Affleck, George Clooney. Kevin Winter/Getty

Best Picture: Argo (announced by the biggest surprise presenter of the evening, Michelle Obama!)

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

Best Actress: Jennifer Lewis, Silver Linings Playbook

Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

Best Director: Ang Lee, Life of Pi

Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Best Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio, Argo

Best Song: Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth, “Skyfall” from Skyfall

Best Score: Mychael Danna, Life of Pi

Best Cinematography: Claudio Miranda, Life of Pi

For a full list of winners, go here.

OK, let’s critique the fashion!

There were many nicely dressed stars, but nothing made me say Wow. Mr. PCN popped in and out as I watched the red carpet so I’ve included his comments here as well.

Jessica Chastain. Kevin Mazur/Wireimage

This is probably the best I’ve seen Chastain look—she glows. Her red carpet style has always been a bit off somehow. Here, she looks classy and polished, if a little safe.

Mr. PCN: I have a problem when people are the same color all over.


Jennifer Lawrence. Steve Granitz/WireImage

White is boring, and it’s too big at the bottom, but above the waist she looks gorgeous.

Mr. PCN: Looks like she’s wearing layers of fake snow you see in amusement parks.


Catherine Zeta-Jones. Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Wearing gold to the Oscars (and then posing in front of a poster of it) is trying too hard.


Naomi Watts. Steven Granitz/WireImage

Ooh, interesting neckline. Pewter or gunmetal is not my favorite color, but this dress is so sleek and just the right amount of sparkly.

Mr. PCN: It screams, “This is my favored breast.”


Charlize Theron. Steven Granitz/WireImage

There is nothing exciting about this—not the color, the style, nothing. It fits well, and that’s the best thing I can say about it.

Mr. PCN: Um, everything about her works for me.


Jennifer Garner. Steven Granitz/WireImage

Jane Fonda. Kevin Mazuz/WireImage

Tie for best color: Jennifer Garner and Jane Fonda. These two stood out from all the white and black and pale-colored gowns.


Halle Berry. Steven Granitz/WireImage

She showed that she could cover up a little and still be sexy, in a strong instead of slutty way.

Mr. PCN: Looks like a girl in bondage, not a Bond girl. It also resembles the Chrysler building.

Stacy Keibler. Steven Granitz/WireImage

Another gunmetal gown I found striking. It looked liquid, as if it was slowly dripping off her.

Mr. PCN: This is what Halle Berry should’ve worn.


Anne Hathaway. Steven Granitz/WireImage

Wish it were a more vibrant pink. And, uh, what’s going on there in front?

Mr. PCN: Those darts are really perky.


Amy Adams. John Shearer/Invision/AP

This reminded me of Kyra Sedgwick’s 2006 Emmys dress, and therefore didn’t seem new or exciting.

Kyra Sedgwick. Frazer Harrison/Getty

Mr. PCN: The skirt [on Adams’s dress] looks like the goatskin pants that Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd wore in Dragnet.


Salma Hayek. Steven Granitz/WireImage

How is it possible for a dress to make Salma Hayek look not sexy?

Mr. PCN: She broke into a museum of old movie costumes and stole that dress.


Nicole Kidman. Steven Granitz/WireImage

Was Kidman trying to land a contract for a Vegas show?


Helen Hunt. Steven Granitz/WireImage

Most Green Award goes to Hunt, who wore an H&M dress she already owned. Yes, you read that right. She said she wanted to plug the brand because the it partners with Global Green. The gown needs some ironing but she looks pretty good. Kudos to her for not getting caught up in all the couture frenzy.


Kate Capshaw. Getty Images

Most badass heels: Kate Capshaw.

What did you think of the show and fashion? Sound off in the comments!



  • Reply
    jenn aka the picky girl
    February 25, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Hahaha: “This is my favorite breast!” Flipping hilarious.

    Chastain’s dress was pretty but washed her out. I’m just grateful she didn’t do the horrible part thing she did at the Golden Globes. Hathaway’s dress was all wrong, mostly because of the fabric. That type of material is super stiff. It actually looks like it stands away from her body, which is just all wrong.

    I didn’t watch but stalked Twitter because I was actually curious who won this year. Thanks for the recap!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Tried to watch it but couldn’t handle the sophmoric “humor”. Hubby used to be involved with the in-house AV, and lots of old pals still work it, so I try to at least show some interest. All of the pale gowns blurred into one after a time. I hate the red carpet interviews, so shallow. This was the first time in decades that I saw a bunch of the movies, so I thought I’d be more interested. Sigh. Read a book instead. However, I LOVED your and Mr. PCN’s comments! They make the whole thing worth looking forward to the morning after!

  • Reply
    Laura Benedict
    February 25, 2013 at 8:20 am

    You and Mr. PCN are my new favorite red carpet team. “This is my favored breast,” wins the day!

    Just got done reading Nikki Finke’s live snark, so I was really up for the fashion parade. Must say, I am woefully disappointed by the lack of risk-taking, here. It’s like they knew how boring the show was going to be, but didn’t want to upstage it.

    Chastain–Lovely and tasteful. Monochrome works for me.

    Jennifer L.–I like how age-appropriate her dress is. She’s 22 and I like that her stylists haven’t tried to make her slutty. I’m sure that will change in five years. (BTW-have you seen the Miley Cyrus Cosmo cover???!!! Run to the store. Now.)

    Catherine Zeta-Jones–What has happened to her face????? Her surgeon must have some kind of patent on the age-reduction thing, but she’s really starting to look creepy. Even creepier than her husband–Speaking of whom…When does Liberace come out? I can’t wait. He was born for that role.

    Charlize–Ugh. Victor Costa called from the ’80s and wants his peplum back. She looks like a reject from Say Yes to the Dress.

    Jennifer and Jane–I agree Jennifer’s color pop is welcome, but it’s a weird shade. She looks like a mom who jumped out of a minivan and into whatever was waiting for her. Jane? I can’t imagine the rigging involved. Like a steel-girded lemon meringue pie.

    Halle–Mr. PCN is absolutely correct!

    Anne-Her non-boobs have gotten enough coverage already. I think the darts suit her. Can’t even think of anything funny about them except that they don’t match her hair. You really need much more hairspray to balance out darts. (See: The Sixties)

    Amy, Amy, Amy–You are not a cool enough blonde to pull off this gray. It’s a ridiculous color for a ball gown. She should be sitting in the ashes singing In My Own Little Corner In My Own Little Chair. This dress could only be redeemed by Jennifer L. in tangerine. Or something.

    Helen wins the red carpet! I couldn’t give a flying patoot about the whole recycled dress thing. She is stunning and embodies my new favorite word (that I made up this weekend). Helen is clancy! (classy + fancy)

    Thanks, Mr. and Mrs. PCN

  • Reply
    February 25, 2013 at 8:22 am

    I had read there were going to be a lot of musical numbers, but I don’t think it warned me enough for what I saw last night. Pretty bad host, too. I tried to be objective about the humor, but it just wasn’t funny.

    Fashion wise: I wasn’t impressed by anything I saw on the carpet. Mostly, i was just surprised these women can walk without falling down (speaking of Jennifer Lawrence). overall, I think it must be tough for all the actresses out there to do something different and add a WOW factor every year at a bunch of different award shows. Guys just throw on a tux and shave and it’s all fine. Seems unfair. There should be a better way to even it out.

  • Reply
    February 25, 2013 at 10:59 am

    We only watched the first half hour. Not by choice. Comcast cable had an outage that covered a 750 mile radius. Lots of unhappy customers. When it came back on every time I tried fast forward through the commercials on the DVR, it would get stuck in FF and wouldn’t stop, so we gave up.

    BTW, kudos to Mr. PCN for rocking the 25-year-old Dragnet reference.

  • Reply
    February 25, 2013 at 11:53 am

    I actually liked the broadcast, but didn’t quite love it. I did laugh at some of MacFarlane’s jokes, but cringed at others.

    I didn’t think the “Lincoln” joke was that offensive, but I do understand why some felt them so. That may be because we Mexicans are (a lot) more cynical towards history and politics and do not get offended when mocking or own heroes.

    Anyway, I liked the surprises. Was laughing my behind off with DDL’s speech and Jennifer Lawrence’s graceful comeback after she fell.

    Thanks for this review. I laughed at Mr. PCN’s comebacks (I agree with him about Theron).

  • Reply
    Shell Sherree
    February 25, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    I was confused by Seth MacFarlane’s opening! At first, I thought, “Oh, damn, unclassy tasteless jokes ahead,” but then he trotted out the Star Trek thingo to make fun of himself and his tasteless jokes ~ but does making a mockery of one’s tastelessness cancel out the tastelessness? Then it piled on some more questionable humour and still didn’t have the grace to pay homage to the nominated movies. Aside from that {!}, I did laugh at a few of his quips and hey, his singing is quite good. I loved Daniel Day-Lewis’s speech and he was funny, sweet and gracious. It was one of the highlights of the night for me {I’d resigned myself to Hugh not receiving the award, much as I’d have high-fived myself if there was an upset}.

    As for the fashion, I give my vote for colour of the night to Helen Hunt’s gown ~ double points for the eco side of things. {And I agree with Mr PCN that being the same skin tone as one’s dress is not the most flattering choice. Pale skin plus jewel colours = stunning.}

    Thank you so much for the entertaining coverage, PCN and Mr PCN! Astute and witty as always.

  • Reply
    February 27, 2013 at 10:19 am

    I didn’t hate Seth’s performanace. It had lots of lows (boob and loser songs) but I actually enjoyed some of his opening, although having Shatner there was weird. I thought he was mediocre, which is what he was going for 🙂
    Your gown coverage was great. I thought Jennifer Garner looked great and somehow Halle’s gown worked for me. Maybe it was just nice to see her a little more covered up for once. I applaud Helen Hunt’s setiment but that wrinkled dress was awful. I think that’s why you pay extra to get the good fabric. As for Naomi, loved the dress, and really, don’t we all have a favorite boob? 😉

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