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This is reportedly a McQueen but it reminds me so much of Naeem Khan's Fall 2011 collection. Sorry for the text over some of these pics.

Here's one of Naaem Khan's designs from last year.

I love Jessica Chastain’s Oscars dress. I’m glad. She deserves more attention. Just not for “The Help.”

It’s almost funny that she was nominated for that performance when she was in something like seven films in 2011 and her role in “The Help” was probably the least deserving of an Oscar nomination. Why not her as the mother full of grace in “Tree of Life” or — even better — her married-to-a-mad-man-or-is-he-actually-a-prophet role in “Take Shelter”? Liked her in “The Help.” Loved her in the others.

Anyway, she’s one of my favorites this year, dress-wise. Her chances of winning an Academy Award this year are less than zero, but she looked great. Rooney Mara also has almost no chance of winning but I love her look. Still refuse to see the *new* “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” since the original was fine. (I feel so bad for Noomi Rapace, why no nod for her?)

I feel like I had more favorites at last year’s Oscars, but maybe I just haven’t seen the best yet… (And check out Naaem Khan’s 2011 collection here. It’s amazing.)

***BEST DRESSED***

I do love Rooney' stark black hair and white dress.

Rooney looks French to me, for some reason. More French than the real Frenchies with “The Artist.”

Gwyneth Paltrow is almost always good for best lists. I remember I liked her dress last year even though not many others did. This is more of a cool GOOP classic. Very regal. I guess I love white this year.

I don't normally like nude as a dress color, but damn it, Kristen Wiig makes it work.

It irritates me a bit that Kristen Wiig is beautiful on top of being funny and a talented writer. At least Tina Fey has the courtesy to be closer to the pretty/average side.

Penny! I haven't seen the bottom of Penelope Cruz's dress yet, but I'm guessing it's good. I love this color. Love love love.

I'm boring myself to include Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie on the best list, but they do look good. Every time I see her she's lightened her hair a bit more.

Here's Wendi McLendon-Covey. I like her dress second best of the "Bridesmaids" so far. It reminds me of stuff I've liked better before, but whatever.

No idea who Rachel Smith is. I'm just here for the necklace.

Octavia Spencer will be winning the Oscar Jessica Chastain will not get.

Like this, but don't really love it. Maybe I was expecting a "wow"? I've seen Jennifer Lopez's hair like that too many times.

Here's Tina Fey crossing herself as she passes the "ashes" of Kim Jong-il, as dumped on Ryan Seacrest by "The Dictator," aka Sacha Baron Cohen. Nice of Sacha to pimp his next film instead of supporting "Hugo," which he was also in.

***WORST DRESSED***

Nancy O'Dell did NOT want to be missed on the red carpet.

Do you think Nancy wore this purposely to make worst-dressed lists?

I've seen Melissa McCarthy look beautiful but this dress does not work for her. I'm not sure it would flatter anyone.

I love Viola Davis and she's going to deserve her Best Actress win tonight, but this color, cut and fit don't work for me on her.

Judy Greer and her racing stripe.

***SPLIT DECISION***

I'm kind of meh about Michelle Williams' dress. I guess it's coral, not red or orange. The more I look at it, the more I like it ... but ... not best for me. Not for her. She's worn some amazing things.

I remember when "Brokeback Mountain" came out and I thought Kate Mara would be a big deal. Now her sister Rooney is the big deal.

Just in case George Clooney forgot Stacy Keibler was his trophy girlfriend, she literally looks like a trophy. No matter what, he'll go home with an Oscar statue! She's beautiful, but how sad.

I love "The Artist" couple Berenice Bejo and Michel Hazanavicius but I'm not wowed by her dress. He's a cutie, though.

I don't know. I like Emma Stone and this looks good, but it also looks like her neck is a Christmas present and the color clashes with the red carpet.

At first I hated this, but it's Meryl Streep — who usually wears worse — and it seems to have pockets.

Are those ... polka dots? No. Just look like it at first. The bottom looks a bit wrinkled too. Too much time sitting in the limo?

Gwyneth Paltrow's posture is not doing her any favors here. On TV, I like her dress a lot more than Nicole Kidman's, but here Nicole's poise is giving her a win.

I wish I cared. This is the first Oscars in memory where I am not passionate about ANY of the categories. And by passionate I mean I don’t even hate anything (*cough*TheBlindSpot*cough).  Last year I wanted “The Hurt Locker” and Kathryn Bigelow to win and thank God, they did.

Some people I just don't get. I don't get Amy Adams.

Sometimes it’s even more fun to root against something. So I’ve decided the best I can do is root against Melissa Leo for Best Supporting Actress in “The Fighter.”

To me, Christian Bale was the only good thing about that movie. I not only grew up in the Boston area, I lived in Lowell, Mass., for five years. He was great. Melissa was over the top. And I normally love her. She’s amazing. Not this time. And then there’s that whole thing with putting out “for your consideration” ads for herself. Not cool.

Why Amy Adams is even on the list is beyond me. Hailee Steinfeld should win. I’m not even into “True Grit,” but she was the best thing in it and it was a lead role.

I would be happy if Natalie Portman lost Best Actress to Annette Bening or Jennifer Lawrence, but that’s a pipe dream.

“Social Network” vs. “The King’s Speech”? Meh. I liked both. I’d be OK with both. I prefer “Social” mostly because it’s very right now, whereas “King’s Speech” is evergreen. But I’m shrugging either way.

I just want Ricky Gervais to host. Then I’d care.

Anyway, on to the fashions. I admire Jennifer Lawrence for going for a simple red dress with little makeup and jewelry. I love what Sharon Stone is doing — and that Sharon Stone is still very much Sharon Stone, know what I mean?

BEST DRESSED

Wow. This is a good way to get noticed.

No one does this. No one just wears a simple red dress without the frills, without jewels, without smoky eyes or whatever. Love this. Jennifer Lawrence is showing a lot of confidence to do this. Good for her.

 

She's so cute.

I really like Hailee Steinfeld. She knows how to dress for her age (14) and act her age, without being obnoxious. I want to see her in something better than “True Grit.”

 

 

Oh HELL yeah.

Frankenstein’s bride meets Cruella De Vil meets Sharon Stone, who is a goddess. I just love her. And I miss her. Not as much as I miss Cher, but still. (And, yes, that’s meant to be a compliment. Take it or leave it!)

 

Holy crap. Which one of these two is famous, again?

Wow. Matthew McConaughey has never been my cup of tea, but he has great taste in women. His girlfriend, Camila Alves, looks insane. Definitely the best significant other of the night.

 

 

Very mod squad.

I like the simple stuff. This is what I like about Reese Witherspoon. It’s actually one of the only things I like about her. She doesn’t do anything for me as an actress. But she has great style. And I love her hair in this ponytail.

 

 

I barely recognize her anymore.

I love this. Jennifer Hudson should just be “Jennifer” or “Hudson” now since she lost half of herself in the past few years. This is tangerine, I guess. It should clash with the carpet, but it doesn’t. Even the side boob isn’t too much.

 

 

Can do no wrong.

Halle Berry is timeless. And if Halle Berry can’t find a decent boyfriend/husband, I’m thinking no one else should even try.

 

WORST DRESSED

 

Nah.

Is Melissa Leo trying to be the new Helena Bonham Carter? Because she can’t pull it off. She can’t pull off HBC or Tilda Swinton. Or Bjork. So she should stop trying. Melissa is awesome and actually quite beautiful, but she makes the oddest choices.

 

I'm surprised by this.

I expect Anne Hathaway to wear something simple and classy and instead she wears a busy dress that clashes with the carpet. She’s co-hosting, so I’m sure she’ll wear 100 things before the night is done, but this is the red carpet dress. I’m disappointed.

 

Love her, but not the dress.

I’m too lazy to look it up, but many moons ago Cate Blanchett wore this amazing metallic dress to … I think it was the Oscars. Now she’s wearing this. She and Michelle Williams seem to be channeling the same brain and unfortunately I’m on a different wavelength. I trust that they know better, but I’m just not impressed.

 

When bad ideas happen to good people.

I don’t mind Marisa Tomei. Sometimes I even like her. But this dress is incredibly unflattering.

 

Who is this?

Ugh. Nicole Kidman is always a lock for the best dressed lists. Now she’s just … wtf? Why do hip wings exist? And I’m not into the ruby slippers.

 

She doesn't have enough boobage to fill this.

I like the simplicity of Jennifer Lawrence’s red gown, but I don’t like this on Sandra Bullock. Not only is she missing the required, uh, assets upstairs, she looks pale-in-a-bad-way and her face looks too tight. I don’t like her hair either. Sorry.

 

 

Really?

Mark Wahlberg’s wife, Rhea Durham, wins for worst-dressed significant other.

 

SPLIT DECISIONS

 

Javier Bardem is definitely a win, anyway.

I love Penelope Cruz, but this dress — with her ta-tas hanging out — is a little too night-out-in-Vegas for me. The color is great on her, but it looks kinda cheap. I feel like I could buy this down the street.

 

There she goes again with the "I'm so f-cking hot" face.

I think my problem is with the stuff over the boobs. When she was talking to Ryan Seacrest on the carpet, I kept thinking that lace stuff was going to give a wardrobe malfunction. I do love the color, though. It’s not her, though. I don’t see this kind of romantic thing for her.

 

 

When good dresses happen to the wrong people.

I like this dress for someone else, just not Hilary Swank. That’s all.

 

 

For heaven's sake, SHAVE already!

Christian Bale needs to shave and his gorgeous wife, Sibi, needs to come up with a second hairstyle. She has worn her hair in this center part forever. There’s nothing wrong with mixing things up every so often.

 

Get your hands off She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named's future husband!

I don’t like Scarlett Johansson’s messy hair, but at least she’s not doing the Hillary Clinton helmet anymore. The top of her dress looks too sheer. It looks like we can see her bra. Why do men just wear tuxes? So boring.

 

Meh.

I don’t know. Fine. Sure. Whatever. Natalie Portman. Color is good.

 

 

What is this about?

Busy Philipps and Michelle Williams were holding hands as they arrived on the red carpet. I don’t know how I feel about Michelle’s very simple, color-less, fitted dress. I wish she would do something exciting for once. On the red carpet, I mean. Beyond holding Busy’s hand.

 

 

You go, Uncle Teardrop!

“Winter’s Bone” just robbed a bank. I love it.

Not only did it get itself one of the 10 Best Picture nominations — and it wouldn’t if we were back to the much more reasonable 5 — it got a well-deserved Best Actress nod for star Jennifer Lawrence and a very surprising Best Supporting Actor nod for my boy John Hawkes.

I can’t even tell you how happy I was to see his name.

He was astounding in “Winter’s Bone,” but he’s great in everything. He’s one of those journeyman actors I just sort of take for granted and never expect to see on a nominations list because he’s not flashy.

He’s not pushing for an Oscar like Christian Bale (who will probably win) or Natalie Portman (who will win). He’s just awesome. “Deadwood.” “Lost.” “The Perfect Storm.” “American Gangster.” “Eastbound & Down.”

The guy’s been in everything. Just check out his IMDb profile. You’ve seen him.

Of course, some people are calling Andrew Garfield of “The Social Network” an Oscar snub, saying he should’ve gotten one of the supporting actor nods. Bull. I loved “The Social Network,” but bull. I’m not seeing the “It” factor with Andrew Garfield and I even sat through “The Red Riding” trilogy.

I can't wait to see this. But why did she get a nod and not him?

I loved “Winter’s Bone” and it’s a helluva lot better than “True Grit,” even though I give Hailee Steinfeld all the credit in the world … for a leading performance.

She’s in just about every scene, so why did they stick her in the Actress in a Supporting Role category? Bull again.

But maybe they figured she could win over the supporting ladies when she can’t beat Natalie Portman. No one can.

“True Grit” is one of the most overrated films of the year, I’d say, although there are still plenty of films I need to see.

This is not the year to stick with the 10 Best Picture nominees, especially when there are still only five Best Director slots. Yes, “Inception” directed itself.

I loved “The King’s Speech” but should it win Best Picture? Should it win as much as it probably will? I’m not sure. It’s kind of an evergreen film. You could pop that out at any point. It’s not timely. “The Social Network” is very right now. And it’s amazing how David Fincher turned a story about guys sitting at computers into something exciting, urgent and even emotional. I think that’s the film of this year, as opposed to any year.

Here are the top films I still have to see, if they ever come near me or to Netflix:

Blue Valentine (dying to see this)
127 Hours (dying to see this)
Animal Kingdom (What the hell is this? I only heard of it when I saw Jacki Weaver’s name on the supporting actress list)
Rabbit Hole (although I’m not really dying to see it; it was already a play and once it’s been done… just like “True Grit,” I guess)
Biutiful (Go Javier Bardem! This is Colin Firth’s win, but good for the Spanish hottie)

***

Here’s the full list of nominations:

Best Picture
“Black Swan,” Mike Medavoy, Brian Oliver and Scott Franklin, Producers
“The Fighter” David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Mark Wahlberg, Producers
“Inception,” Emma Thomas and Christopher Nolan, Producers
“The Kids Are All Right,” Gary Gilbert, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Celine Rattray, Producers
“The King’s Speech,” Iain Canning, Emile Sherman and Gareth Unwin, Producers
“127 Hours,” Christian Colson, Danny Boyle and John Smithson, Producers
“The Social Network,” Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca and Ceán, Producers
“Toy Story 3″ Darla K. Anderson, Producer
“True Grit” Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers
“Winter’s Bone” Anne Rosellini and Alix Madigan-Yorkin, Producers

Actor in a Leading Role
Javier Bardem in “Biutiful”
Jeff Bridges in “True Grit”
Jesse Eisenberg in “The Social Network”
Colin Firth in “The King’s Speech”
James Franco in “127 Hours”

Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale in “The Fighter”
John Hawkes in “Winter’s Bone”
Jeremy Renner in “The Town”
Mark Ruffalo in “The Kids Are All Right”
Geoffrey Rush in “The King’s Speech”

Actress in a Leading Role
Annette Bening in “The Kids Are All Right”
Nicole Kidman in “Rabbit Hole”
Jennifer Lawrence in “Winter’s Bone”
Natalie Portman in “Black Swan”
Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine”

Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams in “The Fighter”
Helena Bonham Carter in “The King’s Speech”
Melissa Leo in “The Fighter”
Hailee Steinfeld in “True Grit”
Jacki Weaver in “Animal Kingdom”

Animated Feature Film
“How to Train Your Dragon” Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
“The Illusionist” Sylvain Chomet
“Toy Story 3″ Lee Unkrich

Art Direction
“Alice in Wonderland”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1″
“Inception”
“The King’s Speech”
“True Grit”

Cinematography
“Black Swan,” Matthew Libatique
“Inception,” Wally Pfister
“The King’s Speech,” Danny Cohen
“The Social Network,” Jeff Cronenweth
“True Grit,” Roger Deakins

Costume Design
“Alice in Wonderland,” Colleen Atwood
“I Am Love,” Antonella Cannarozzi
“The King’s Speech,” Jenny Beavan
“The Tempest,” Sandy Powell
“True Grit” Mary Zophres

Directing
“Black Swan,” Darren Aronofsky
“The Fighter,” David O. Russell
“The King’s Speech,” Tom Hooper
“The Social Network,” David Fincher
“True Grit,” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Documentary (Feature)
“Exit through the Gift Shop,” Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz
“Gasland,” Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
“Inside Job,” Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
“Restrepo,” Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
“Waste Land,” Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

Documentary (Short Subject)
“Killing in the Name”
“Poster Girl”
“Strangers No More”
“Sun Come Up”
“The Warriors of Qiugang”

Film Editing
“Black Swan”
“The Fighter”
“The King’s Speech”
“127 Hours”
“The Social Network”

Foreign Language Film
“Biutiful,” Mexico
“Dogtooth,” Greece
“In a Better World,” Denmark
“Incendies,” Canada
“Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi),” Algeria

Makeup
“Barney’s Version,” Adrien Morot
“The Way Back,” Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng
“The Wolfman,” Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

Music (Original Score)
“How to Train Your Dragon,” John Powell
“Inception,” Hans Zimmer
“The King’s Speech,” Alexandre Desplat
“127 Hours,” A.R. Rahman
“The Social Network,” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Music (Original Song)
“Coming Home” from “Country Strong,” Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
“I See the Light” from “Tangled,” Music by Alan Menken Lyric by Glenn Slater
“If I Rise” from “127 Hours,” Music by A.R. Rahman Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
“We Belong Together” from “Toy Story 3,” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

Short Film (Animated)
“Day & Night,” Teddy Newton
“The Gruffalo,” Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
“Let’s Pollute,” Geefwee Boedoe
“The Lost Thing,” Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
“Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)” Bastien Dubois

Short Film (Live Action)
“The Confession,” Tanel Toom
“The Crush,” Michael Creagh
“God of Love,” Luke Matheny
“Na Wewe,” Ivan Goldschmidt
“Wish 143,” Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

Sound Editing
“Inception,” Richard King
“Toy Story 3,” Tom Myers and Michael Silvers
“Tron: Legacy,” Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague
“True Grit,” Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey
“Unstoppable,” Mark P. Stoeckinger

Sound Mixing
“Inception,” Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
“The King’s Speech,” Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
“Salt,” Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
“The Social Network,” Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
“True Grit,” Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

Visual Effects
“Alice in Wonderland,” Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1,” Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
“Hereafter,” Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
“Inception,” Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
“Iron Man 2,” Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
“127 Hours,” Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
“The Social Network,” Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
“Toy Story 3,” Screenplay by Michael Arndt; Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
“True Grit,” Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
“Winter’s Bone,” Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

Writing (Original Screenplay)
“Another Year,” Written by Mike Leigh
“The Fighter,” Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson; Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
“Inception,” Written by Christopher Nolan
“The Kids Are All Right,” Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
“The King’s Speech,” Screenplay by David Seidler

Kathryn Bigelow worked it out on Sunday, leading her team for "The Hurt Locker" to pick up six wins out of their nine Oscar nominations.

By Gina Carbone
gina_carbone@comcast.net

Weird that there wasn’t more fuss when Barbra Streisand said “the time has come” and announced Kathryn Bigelow’s name as the first woman to win best director.

Then again, why fuss? She was the best director of the year. “The Hurt Locker” was the best picture of the year. No need to make even more of a fuss about how she’s the first woman ever to win. (I’ve done enough fussing about that.)

Yes, I'll bet at least a small part of James Cameron wishes he could strangle her. Almost not worth the bother for him to show up to the Oscars.

I’m thrilled for her.

The rest of the Oscars went pretty much as expected, except — to me — for “Precious” winning the best adapted screenplay over “Up in the Air,” and “Avatar” getting best cinematography over absolutely anything else.

What cinematography, I wonder? That’s just a bad sign for film when a CGI behemoth is counted as best cinematography.

But anyway…

Bonus: A local girl, Channing Cooke, got to dance with Neil Patrick Harris during that opening number.

I’m posting a full list of winners below. “The Hurt Locker” crushed “Avatar.”

Click here for photos from my best and worst dressed list.

WINNERS

List of winners at the 82nd annual Academy Awards:

— Motion Picture: “The Hurt Locker.” (YES!)

— Actor: Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart.” (Happy for him, although part of me was quietly rooting for Jeremy Renner, especially after Colin Farrell’s sweet and funny tribute.)

— Actress: Sandra Bullock, “The Blind Side.” (I did not like her film but I do like her and she gives the best speeches. Ever.)

— Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds.” (His speeches are incomprehensible but he was the one person who 100 percent deserved his win with no question. There was no competition at all.)

— Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique, “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.” (What was that about how her win proved politics don’t matter? And you sometimes have to do something that isn’t popular because it’s right? What does she mean? She’s been incredibly popular and supported through this, so she must mean something else. I’m tired of her speeches, but she gave a brave, bold performance. Still wish Vera Farmiga won, even with that odd “vagina” comment in her clip.)

— Director: Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker.” (Yeah, I guess so. … Kidding. Ecstatic. Obviously!)

— Foreign Film: “El Secreto de Sus Ojos,” Argentina. (Guess I have to see this now. Netflix, can you set me up?)

— Adapted Screenplay: Geoffrey Fletcher, “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.” (I expected “Up in the Air” to win, since the “Precious” screenplay was a bit overpowering, not always in a good way.)

— Original Screenplay: Mark Boal, “The Hurt Locker.” (Glad for this.)

— Animated Feature Film: “Up.” (Yes)

— Art Direction: “Avatar.” (CGI art direction, you mean)

— Cinematography: “Avatar.” (What cinematography? It was digital. This is total bull. I would’ve put this last on the list. Give it to “Inglourious Basterds” or even “The White Ribbon” (which I haven’t seen) or the “Harry Potter” film (or “The Hurt Locker”) but not flipping “Avatar.”

— Sound Mixing: “The Hurt Locker.” (Yay! This was expected to go to “Avatar.”)

— Sound Editing: “The Hurt Locker.” (Same as above. Yay!)

— Original Score: “Up,” Michael Giacchino. (This score is so beautiful, it made me put my hand on my heart whenever they played a clip.)

— Original Song: “The Weary Kind (Theme From Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart,” Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett. (Perfect. Really good choices this year, I must say.)

— Costume: “The Young Victoria.” (Always put your money on the royal corset drama. Even the lady who won felt kind of embarrassed for winning again for the same kind of film.)

— Documentary Feature: “The Cove.” (So glad to see this. More people expected “Food, Inc.” to take it — and “Food, Inc.” was great — but “The Cove” was so impassioned and disturbing, yet strangely exciting as an action film.)

— Documentary (short subject): “Music by Prudence.” (Guess I’ll have to try to see this.)

— Film Editing: “The Hurt Locker.” (Nice.)

— Makeup: “Star Trek.” (Nice.)

— Animated Short Film: “Logorama.” (Guess I’ll have to try to see this, too.)

Live Action Short Film: “The New Tenants.” (Same as above, although I recall this was one of the films the Concord, N.H., fans picked as their favorite.)

— Visual Effects: “Avatar.” (Fine. I have always acknowledged the visuals in this film were stellar.)

 

I love this Cinderella dress! Amanda Seyfried looks good from here ... even if she and Jennifer Lopez appear to have somewhat similar styles tonight.

By Gina Carbone
gina_carbone@comcast.net

So far the 82nd annual Academy Awards is looking pretty good.

And very white. (Or off-white. Or just pale. Sometimes it’s hard to get the exact colors from the computer.)

The top acting awards seem fairly set-in-stone going in (bank on Christoph Waltz, Mo’Nique, Jeff Bridges and … probably Sandra Bullock), but the fashion aspect was always up in the air.

Speaking of “Up in the Air,” I loved Anna Kendrick’s pink dress, although I wasn’t overly fond of her performance in the film. On the other hand, I loved Vera Farmiga in the film but wasn’t in love with her ruffly hot pink or whatever outfit.

So here are my best and worst so far on the red carpet.

BEST DRESSED

OK, so Jennifer Lopez's dress is much more ambitious and sophisticated than Amanda Seyfried's, but I like both. This fits J.Lo's personality better. She's got more edge to her. Nice classy color, though. A win. Is it pale pink?


 

Love this on Carey Mulligan. The earrings are a bit much, but oh well.

Sweet pink dress from Anna Kendrick of Portland, Maine. (And best supporting actress nominee for "Up in the Air")

Kathryn Bigelow! Love love love. Love her. Love the dress. Perfect.

Wow. Meryl Streep doesn't normally look good, but she looks great here. Chris March made this dress? He of the flamboyant drag queen outfits on "Project Runway"? Fabulous! Fierce, actually.

They clash in this shot, but Penelope Cruz and Sigourney Weaver both looked gorgeous. Nice to see some color from both.

Rachel McAdams -- wow. I love everything about this.

Helen Mirren and Christopher Plummer. It's not fair. She's too gorgeous.

Wow, Kristen Stewart looks great. Poised. Classy. I'm surprised, actually.

I keep hoping to wake up someday and suddenly look like Kate Winslet.

Cameron Diaz almost always knows what to wear.

Sam Worthington is so dang hot. And I like that he has been with his girlfriend Natalie Mark for what seems like a long time, considering he's the It Boy of 2009/2010.

Jeremy Renner of "The Hurt Locker" looks excited to be there. I'm adding this one for my friend Lisa, who is in love with him.

******

NOT SURE

Not sure. Sandra Bullock is looking a little too I-wanna-be-Nicole-Kidman here. And yet she does look sleek.

And here's another one I'm not sure about. Demi Moore looks like a scaled-down version of Penelope Cruz when she wore that Versace dress.

George Clooney's new hairstyle. Discuss.

******

WORST DRESSED

Sarah Jessica Parker. This is how a fashion icon dresses? Ouch.

Charlize Theron and her ... uh ... boob buttons are not doing it for me.

How is it that someone as gorgeous as Zoe Saldana has such trouble with gowns?

Tina Fey, aka cavewoman.

Diane Kruger. This dress is distractingly bad.

I kind of like Susan Downey's dress, but what is Robert Downey Jr. doing with those shoes and sunglasses and that goofy bow tie?

I love you, Vera Farmiga, but I don't love this dress. At all. It's eating you alive. I don't even see you. I see The Ruffles. And they have ridges.

Kathryn Bigelow on the set of "The Hurt Locker," where she earned the best director Oscar.

By Gina Carbone
gina_carbone@comcast.net

Like most people, I’ve wanted to be many things at different points in my life.

Vet. Miss America. Archaeologist. FBI agent. Criminal mastermind (blame “The Usual Suspects.”)

But at some point after I realized everything I wanted to do could be tied to a movie, I decided I wanted to be a filmmaker.

And when I realized no woman — more than 50 percent of the population of our planet — had ever won the Academy Award for best director, that was my goal.

Then I got to college and realized if I have any talents at all they do not exist behind a camera.

So I watched and waited for superior talents — like Jane Campion, Rebecca Miller, Sarah Polley, Susanne Bier, Kasi Lemmons, Gillian Armstrong, Sofia Coppola and Lone Scherfig — to get the job done.

And I kept waiting.

And waiting.

Grabbed a snack.

Went back to waiting.

And now here we are in 2010 and we’ve been graced with only the fourth-ever female best director Oscar nominee.

The first was Lina Wertmuller in 1976 for “Seven Beauties.”

Fast forward to 1993 for Jane Campion’s “The Piano.” (If that hadn’t been the same year as “Schindler’s List,” this would probably be a done deal.)

Ten years later, 32-year-old Sofia Coppola would be the first American woman nominated for “Lost in Translation.”

(I want to support them all, but “Lost in Translation” was wildly overrated and is my least favorite Coppola film.)

But going into tonight’s Oscars — starting at 8 p.m. on ABC — Kathryn Bigelow will enter the Kodak Theater not only as the fourth woman nominated (and second American) but as the first-ever frontrunner.

“The Hurt Locker” was far and away the best film of 2009, and I am gratified to see so many local film fans agree with me on that.

(If you feel like it, read my July 16, 2009, review, “‘The Hurt Locker’ review: First female best director Oscar right here”)

I never thought Kathryn Bigelow would be the first woman to win best director, but she’s earned it this year.

(I lobbied hard for her 2000 film “The Weight of Water” to play at The Music Hall in Portsmouth, because it’s an adaptation of the Anita Shreve book about real-life murders that happened on the Isles of Shoals, off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine. But the movie was just as bad as they said it was. Glad we got to see it, though.)

Her ex-husband, James Cameron, has NOT earned another best director Oscar this year with “Avatar” (he already has one for “Titanic”), although I am happy to see they are “good exes” and compliment each other.

“The Hurt Locker” had a budget of only $11 million (versus, what, $300-$500 million for “Avatar”?) and was shot in the heat of Jordan and Kuwait without cushy Hollywood benefits or green screen.

The 58-year-old 5’11 1/2″ director looks like a former model, not someone rolling around in the desert making a war film with a bunch of young guys. But she has handled this whole Oscar season with grace, elegance and humility.

Even if Kathryn Bigelow were the 82nd woman to win best director, she would deserve it this year. That’s all that matters.

Having said that, if/when she wins the Oscar tonight, I plan to jump up and down and scream like a tween at a Justin Bieber concert.

I want her to fulfill my dream.

Go Team Kathryn!

***

RELATED OSCAR STORIES

‘The Blind Side’ gets best picture Oscar nomination? What a joke!

Please give ‘In the Loop’ Oscar nominations, at least for Peter Capaldi

How is it that I keep getting awards and everyone is ignoring you?

By Gina Carbone
opus619@gmail.com

From now on, “The Blind Side” is my Alamo.

Whenever anyone tries to justify the new 10-film best picture Oscar system, I’m going to remember “The Blind Side.”

I never liked “A Serious Man” but I can understand why others did, and it made the awards circuit rounds before the Oscar nominations were announced today.

“The Blind Side,” on the other hand, is clearly a “filler” nominee. Someone probably flipped a coin and there it landed. Wonder if “Star Trek” or “Bright Star” or even “Invictus” was on the other side.

If you feel compelled to support a saccharine feel-good movie, why not “Invictus”? Or go for the full romantic comedy effect and pick “(500) Days of Summer,” one of the most overrated films of the year, but at least it has been recognized for other awards this year.

Up to this point, only Sandra Bullock had been recognized — and how — for “The Blind Side,” despite Quinton Aaron being the actual main character.

Anyway, other than “The Blind Side,” the only other real eyebrow raiser was Maggie Gyllenhaal as best supporting actress over Diane Kruger for “Inglourious Basterds.”

I like Maggie, but Diane had a larger, stronger role in her film. She should’ve been a lock for a nod, if not the win, which is already going to Mo’Nique (real name Monique Imes).

Read below for all of the top nominations and my thoughts/rants.

*****

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Avatar — No. DO NOT LET THIS WIN!

The Blind Side — I don’t know whether to laugh that this is here or sob; I’ll go with laugh.

District 9 — I loved this film, so I’m glad to see it recognized.

An Education — Good film.

The Hurt Locker — MUST MUST MUST MUST WIN! Fantastic film

Inglourious Basterds — Good film with some truly great moments; Christoph Waltz is a rock star.

Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire — “Important” film and like so many of its kind, it’s hard to watch.

A Serious Man — Seriously lame; Coen Brothers’ naked emperor.

Up — Beautiful, touching, funny. Belongs here.

Up in the Air — To me, this is “The Hurt Locker’s” closest competition. I refuse to recognize “Avatar” as a serious threat.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart — Will win; love him, always will.

George Clooney for Up in the Air — Too close to his “Michael Clayton” performance. I like Clooney, but he’s not exactly Daniel Day-Lewis.

Colin Firth for A Single Man — Great performance in a good film.

Morgan Freeman for Invictus — Good performance in a good film.

Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker — Great performance in a great film; I want him to win, but I doubt it will happen.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side — Likely to win, sadly.

Helen Mirren for The Last Station — So glad she was nominated for this; did you see it? She’s magic.

Carey Mulligan for An Education — This will not be Carey’s only nomination, mark my words.

Gabourey Sidibe for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire — I feel bad that she’s been looked over while Mo’Nique has had all of the awards glory.

Meryl Streep for Julie & Julia — Seriously, she’s just here because she’s Meryl Streep.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Matt Damon for Invictus — No. Come on. Matt Damon is a good actor, but as a South African rugby player? No. Must’ve been a slow year for supporting actors.

Woody Harrelson for The Messenger — Subtle acting in a quiet film.

Christopher Plummer for The Last Station — This was more of a lead role, but he and Helen Mirren were fantastic together.

Stanley Tucci for The Lovely Bones — I guess this means I have to see “The Lovely Bones.” Dang it.

Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds — Will win. If he doesn’t, I may pitch a fit.


Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Penélope Cruz for Nine — Out of everyone in “Nine” (which was pretty lame), I would’ve chosen Marion Cotillard for a nod. Penny just gets nominations for showing up now. She’s the young Meryl.

Vera Farmiga for Up in the Air — Love her in this. The best one in her film.

Maggie Gyllenhaal for Crazy Heart — Strange to see her here.

Anna Kendrick for Up in the Air — Overrated, but I’m happy for the Maine girl.

Mo’Nique for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire — Will win. I’m tired of hearing her speeches. She, Christoph Waltz, Sandra Bullock and Jeff Bridges are going to give their umpteenth acceptance speeches and I have no real interest in hearing them again.

Best Achievement in Directing

Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker — PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE make her the first woman to ever win best director. She directed the best film of the year and that is still the only thing that matters.

James Cameron for Avatar — No

Lee Daniels for Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire — No

Jason Reitman for Up in the Air — No, but I can see it

Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds — No, but I can sort of see it

Details on Oscar stuff

From an ABC press release:

Academy members from each of the branches vote to determine the nominees in their respective categories – actors nominate actors, film editors nominate film editors, etc. In the Animated Feature Film and Foreign Language Film categories, nominations are selected by vote of multi-branch screening committees. All voting members are eligible to select the Best Picture nominees; this year that category features 10 nominees instead of 5, as had been the case since 1943.

Nominations ballots were mailed to the 5,777 voting members in late December and were returned directly to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the international accounting firm, for tabulation.

Official screenings of all motion pictures with one or more nominations will begin for members this weekend at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Screenings also will be held at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater in Hollywood and in London, New York and the San Francisco Bay Area.

All active and life members of the Academy are eligible to select the winners in all categories, although in five of them – Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject and Foreign Language Film – members can vote only if they have seen all of the nominated films in those categories.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2009 will be presented on Sunday, March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live by the ABC Television Network beginning at 5:00 p.m., PT / 8:00 p.m., ET.

Peter Capaldi and James Gandolfini get heated in "In the Loop."

By Gina Carbone
gina_carbone@comcast.net

I don’t often guffaw, but today I guffawed at least half a dozen times over the genius writing and delivery of “In the Loop.”

Have you seen it? See it. But only if you appreciate British humor and especially if you believe — as I do — that the original version of “The Office” is 100 times better than the American usurper.

“In the Loop” is a political comedy about U.S. and U.K. government underlings debating a war with an unnamed Middle Eastern country.

James Gandolfini is the Big Star, but he’s a supporting player. The key actors are on the British side, especially Peter Capaldi as a foul-mouthed Scot named Malcolm Tucker.

I would marry this man.

Also brilliant: Tom Hollander as dimwitted Simon Foster and the lovely and amazing Gina McKee as beleaguered Judy Molloy.

Mimi Kennedy holds up best on the U.S. side, but it’s also nice to see Anna Chlumsky, whom I’ll always remember from “My Girl.”

Steve Coogan also makes a cameo. Fitting since the director and co-writer, Armando Iannucci, was also a writer/producer/director on Coogan’s genius projects, “I’m Alan Partridge” and “Knowing Me, Knowing You With Alan Partridge.”

“In the Loop” is a kind of spinoff of the British TV series “The Thick of It,” which I can’t seem to get through Netflix.

But you can get “In the Loop” from Netflix and if you haven’t seen it, DO IT NOW. Seriously. It’s January. It’s cold. Don’t pretend you were going to have a wild night on the town.

I want “In the Loop” for a best screenplay nomination, if nothing else. Hard to say if it’s adapted or original, but it’s fecking gorgeous.

Capaldi deserves a best actor or supporting actor Oscar nomination, but I know he won’t get anything. I just want it on the record that he deserves something and to leave him off the ballot is S star-star T.

Read some of the more memorable quotes here.

Watch a film trailer here.

Enjoy!

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