Okay, does everyone agree with me that these were the worst dresses ever worn at the Oscars? C'mon, people! It's like you weren't even TRYING.
Look at this one, for instance. Charlize Theron is so beautiful, most days, that it takes an army of makeup artists and serious prosthetics to make her look *ordinary*. But in this dress she looks as if the one role she really wanted last year was that of Zaphod Beeblebrox. (Matt Dillon was pissed to be seated behind her, he couldn't see a damn thing.) And origami, I might add, while a beautiful and worthwhile art form, should be limited to paper. Those big foldy X's across the front make her look like a railroad crossing sign. Or some kind of cryptic pirate "Here Be Treasure" X. (I'm sure none of you will be surprised that this is Galliano for Dior.) And she couldn't get her roots touched up for the big night?
Of course, at least you could tell Ms. Theron was there. A large group of other gown-wearers decided that it was "pretend to be invisible and/or naked" night, and trotted out the whitey-beigey-nude skin-tone dresses. Reese, Uma, Jennifer Garner, Naomi Watts … it didn't work, guys! We can still see you! I'm not even linking to your pictures, the dresses were so boring.
The black-dress brigade was okay. Rachel Weisz's was the best of the lot, which is no mean feat when you're seven months pregnant. (Although I suppose it's easier when you can call Narcisco Rodriguez and say "hey, I have this thing, would you mind whipping me up a little something? Ta ever so …") Hillary Swank did not need a train; Felicity Huffman needed quite a bit of double-sided tape.
And then, of course, were the colors. I loved the yellow of Michelle Williams's dress; I just wasn't sure it should have been worn by her. But the cut was adorable. Helena Bonham Carter was in a very fitting electrified-corpse blue; too bad the cut of the dress was pure "Prom Night 1988"–perhaps that was part of the horror theme? Works for me. Jennifer Lopez … I love that color green. Unfortunately, when you wear it in a dress that is styled like a theater curtain over your hips, it loses nearly all of its charm. All it wanted was a drop-down banner that said "Coming Attractions!" Maggie Gyllenhaal was definitely channeling Slave-Girl Leia. And not in the good way, if there is in fact any good way to do that. (And if there is a good way to do that, please don't tell me. Tell Maggie. Not that it will do her any good NOW, but maybe she'll pass the message along in case Chloe Sevigny gets any ideas.)
The folks who were trying looked pretty good — Amy Adams's dress was super-cute, and it had pockets! (Carolina Herrera, of course.) Too bad she was mugging like crazy. I know it gets boring making the same "I'm so glad to be here!" face a gazillion times, but that doesn't mean you get to amuse yourself by practicing your "manic" and "hysterical giggling" faces. Keira Knightley was a little too matronly (one-shoulder, heavy jewels, dark color), but at least it was pretty. The best dress of the night, though, had to be Salma Hayek. That color! That alone did it.
(By the way, am I the only one who has a "if I ever go to the Oscars" dress planned in her head? Mine would have a huge portrait collar around a sweetheart neckline, and be form-fitting to the knees, then bell out (to balance the collar). I just go back and forth on the color. It would have to be something odd, of course. Because the only way I'd ever be there would be for something odd, like being the subject of the Best Documentary Feature, so I'd have to do a weird color just to get photographed at all! Please spill your own personal imaginary Oscar dresses in the comments, okay?)