We pretty much knew that “The Artist” would be the big winner at the Oscars on Sunday night and that Billy Crystal would knock his own duties out of the park.  Which means that the only real wild cards were the looks and actions of those in attendance. Herewith, a short—and highly personal—list of winners and losers:


Meryl Streep

I loved that her flattering Lanvin gown matched Oscar himself (who else, really, is more deserving of the color?), and I really loved her antique earrings (they looked like something from Kentshire Gallery’s Madison Avenue window, a space I frequently ogle). Best of all though was her wit and graciousness, two qualities in increasingly short supply in today’s Hollywood. The opening line of her speech was perfect: “When they called my name, I had this feeling that I could feel half of America going, ‘Oh no, not her again.’ But you know, whatever.”


Angelina Jolie

Ok, so her arms are too skinny and she looked a tiny bit ridiculous holding that leg-thrusting pose for so long onstage (hilariously mocked by writing crew of “The Descendants”). I don’t care—she has undeniable old-style movie star glamour and the best looking arm candy in town. Speaking of the latter, Brad Pitt is the Robert Redford of his day, so damn pretty and so naturally and understatedly talented that he is far too often overlooked.


Michelle Williams and Tina Fey

They wore the two best dresses of the night. Tina has never in her life looked as good as she did in that midnight blue Carolina Herrera strapless gown. And while Michelle is always adorable, she’s now crossed into high glam territory in that stunning Louis Vuitton red chiffon gown. The accessories (Fred Leighton diamond necklace, fuchsia Bottega clutch) were perfect too, as was her typically self-effacing red carpent comment: “I still feel like a misfit at things like this, but a better-dressed misfit.” Indeed.


Tom Cruise

My mother and I fight about Tom all the time. She thinks he’s a great actor and I say it’s been a long, long time since Rain Man or Born on the Fourth of July. Either way, the Scientologist thing is way too creepy to get past and so is his captive wife. There’s also that obsession with his height (he wears both heels and inserts) and when he took the stage on Sunday I could’ve sworn he’s had a nose job and a few other facial tweaks.


George Clooney

Do not get me wrong. I think George should have won Best Actor two years ago for his understated—and flawless—performance in “Up in the Air” and I think “The Descendants” was this year’s best movie. On top of that, he always adds Cary Grant man glamour to the proceedings. But, seriously, this year’s model is a wrestler? All George’s girls look alike: the cocktail waitress, the swimsuit model, the Italian actress, and on and on. Like past “girlfriends,” Stacy Keibler’s primary job seems to be tweeting so that George doesn’t have to. A post from Sunday night’s proceedings is predictably vapid: “We are off!!!! I feel like I’m going to the prom.” And then there was the one agreeing with Billy Crystal that George is an exellent kisser. Funny from Billy; Silly TMI from Keibler.

About Julia Reed

Julia Reed is a columnist at Garden & Gun magazine and a contributing editor at Elle Décor. She also contributes to The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, and The New York Times, and makes frequent appearances on MSNBC. She is the author of five books, including But Mama Always Put Vodka in the Sangria, Adventures in Eating, Drinking and Making Merry and One Man’s Folly, The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood.

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