February 26th, 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And so you’re reading the observations of a semipro here, although a very outdated one.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?

19 Responses to “Random Oscar notes”

  1. Ymarsakar Says:

    GIve me the pictures, Neo, I really need the pictures to figure out what you are talking about with fashions. I cannot visualize from word alone, at least not to any useful effect. No artist am I.

    You make the “fluff” sound rather intellectual and analytical, Neo.

  2. Ymarsakar Says:

    I took my own advice and tried to find the pics.

    Peter Otoole

  3. Ymarsakar Says:

    I can’t believe it, haloscan rejected my comment cause it had too many links.

    Gwynneth Paltrow, interesting design for a dress. I know not what it signifies

    That is fracking hilarious. They disappeared the enlarged versions of Jack Nichol’s photo, just look at the bottom, clicking on it just gets Tom Cruise!

    Nicole Kidman

  4. Ymarsakar Says:

    what the crack, is this link working now for Nicole?

  5. Ymarsakar Says:

    Oh great,

    it is chopping off the link after photo.

    Well, Haloscan might think it kicked my arse, but that’s why I have wordpress.

    All the pictures that actually work

  6. Fausta Says:

    The rumor is that La Deneuve had a partial facelift with gold thread holding up the jowls.

  7. stumbley Says:

    Sorry, Neo. Won’t happen again.

  8. Lee Says:

    I just love to say “Catherine Deneuve” because of the way it rolls off the tounge: “Catherine Deneuve”. Probably the same reason I like “Chow Yung Fat”.

  9. Fausta Says:

    I love Chow Yun Fat!

  10. Lee Says:

    Thanks, Fausta. I knew I was spelling his name wrong.

  11. Jimmy J. Says:

    Neo, I’m intrigued by your confession of dreams of being a hairdresser. My mother followed that dream. Started at eighteen, eventually owned her own shop with 2-6 operators, depending on the season. Raised three boys, saved her money and eventually retired comfortably. She was always interested in style, both hair and clothes, and was quite stylish herself. As for wasting her mind, you’d be surprised what she learned from her customers. No, it wasn’t all gossip. Many of her customers were wives of wealthy, power-broker men with stock market, real estate, banking and other useful tips.

  12. Robert Schwartz Says:

    I thought that the Departed was a good movie, since you live in New England, you should see it. I enjoyed Little Miss Sunshine. The rest of the movies I thought were PC and real downers. In 1939 none of them would have contended.

    As for Nicholson, How about Jabba the Hut?

    Leo starred in two big movies this year, Departed and Blood Diamond. I thought he was terrific in both of them.

  13. bettiwettiwoo Says:

    Catherine Deneuve has had plastic surgery to keep age at bay.

    Interestingly, and not so little ironically, she had some before become the face for some YSL anti-age cream(s) (admittedly, some years ago now).

  14. Isaiah Hunahun Says:

    Celine Deon was a knockout — as expected. I wish she wasn’t so … brainwashed. Hell, she could have had ME.

  15. Lee Says:

    Since it needs to be said: MARTIN! Drop the Groucho disguise! Gee, that wasn’t so hard.

  16. a guy in pajamas Says:

    Was there a post here, Neo? Something about hair, then, nothing. Weird.

    (Why, yes, I am wearing girl-topic-sensitive sunglasses. Why do you ask?)

  17. ed Says:

    In 1976, I worked as an extra on the movie “March or Die”, shot in Southern Morocco, starring Gene Hackman and Catherine Deneuve. She was then a strikingly beautiful middle-aged woman.

  18. Lee Says:

    Thanks, ed. “March or Die” was my favorite French Foreign Legion movie. It was also my favorite “endless horde” movie. He’s always forgotten, but the “real” star was Terrence Hill as ‘the gypsy’. I’m glad Sprint is giving him credit now in their “faster than Nextel” commercial. He’s the guy who holsters his gun, slaps the other guy, and redraws his gun before the other guy can draw his gun. That clip is from a movie called “My Name is Nobody” starring Henry Fonda. I myself had forgotten about those movies until I saw the commercial.

  19. Lee Says:

    If possible, ed, could you point yourself out? Maybe just which scene or scenes you appear in.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.


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