The Oscars: A Return to Boring

Glamour, heartbreak, and some interpretive dance

The 78th Annual Awards, like any decent Oscar ceremony, delivered upsets. Three 6 Mafia won the award for best song with "It's Hard Out There for a Pimp," from Hustle and Flow, and Crash stole best award over Brokeback Mountain. But much more upsetting was the overall dullness of the night. Jon Stewart seems to have signed away his balls, and the clothes were almost as safe. We can always derive pleasure from the little moments, though. And for the people who made them possible. Here are our awards for those who added a little magic to the monotony and montages:

Most mind-boggling combination of textures: We have to give it to Ludacris, who found a way to look totally insane in all-black Armani. (Velvet + silk = crazy magician.)

Proudest display of weight gain-back: Philip Seymour Hoffman slimmed way down for his best actor performance as Truman Capote, but he's no sell-out. He seemed to have regained his "so what" belly within weeks of completing the film and managed to shout, "I don't care" just a little louder with a lovably rumpled suit complete with a smudge on the shoulder of the jacket

Salma Hayek makes love to the podium in Versace
photo: Nina Lalli
Salma Hayek makes love to the podium in Versace

Most fascinating impression of the crazy new friend your mom made in her poetry class at the women's center: Lily Tomlin, bless her zany heart.

Most puzzling trend: Gowns don't have pockets because it would look wrong. Thank you, Sandra Bullock, Amy Adams, and Maggie Gyllenhaal, for showing us exactly how wrong.

Nerdiest prop comedy: When the geeks get to come out from behind their computers and hang out at the cool table, they really want to make an impression. For example, the Wallace and Gromit dorks wore matching bowties the size of cats. But they didn't stop there—they also had miniature versions to clip onto their Oscars. Wow.

Nerdiest prop comedy—foreign language: When March of the Penguins won for best documentary, the nerds behind the ice-waddling proved that nerd is a universal language by toting their stuffed penguins on-stage.

Boring gowns people will love: Keira Knightley's Vera Wang, Nicole Kidman's Balenciaga, Hilary Swank's Versace.

Gowns we loved: Uma Thurman's Versace, Salma Hayek's Versace, Felicity Huffman's Zac Posen.

Best hipster couple we hate because we want to be them: Heath and Michelle.

Most awesomely average looking couple: Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy. Yay!

Awkwardest moment: It was probably pretty uncomfortable for Naomi Watts to be onstage when her ex Heath Ledger and his new bride were sitting in the front row. Jake Gyllenhaal must have felt lame when he paused for a laugh that never came. And Lauren Bacall really had a hard time with the tele-prompter. But we were most appalled that even director Ang Lee couldn't resist making a "I wish I knew how to quit you" joke during his acceptance speech.

Most bodacious milk sacks: It's a toss up; post-labor Jennifer Garner or about-to-drop Rachel Weisz.

Most entertaining cutaway: The George Clooney eye-roll and Matt Dillon goon-face were both serious contenders, but nothing beats the horrified look of Best Costume Design winner Colleen Atwood's teenage daughter as the camera torturously lingered on a close up of her face—not once, but twice.

Bloatedest: Joaquin, you're crazy hot and everything, but whoa.

 
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