Oscars 2012: Best Dresses With the Meh Factor
Dear Ladies of the Red Carpet:
Where's the shock of the swan dress or the pizzazz of the goth showgirl of yesteryear? Come on, ladies, this is the Oscars, and it's 2012! Why are so many of you million dollar actresses playing the Grace Kelly card? We are fully aware that all of you can't pull off a nip slip like Jennifer Lopez, or a bare-leg pose like Angelina Jolie. But you can still be poised and scandalous at the same time.
Please, don't get us wrong, we're not asking for sex-on-a-stick -- we're just looking for some real Hollywood bravado. We would be perfectly content if you had wowed or offended us, but we just hate being on the verge of a yawn. Thankfully, there was a nun on the red-carpet, and Sacha Baron Cohen in his dictator garb. Even veteran actresses like Meryl Streep in a shiny gold long-sleeve Lanvin and Glenn Close in a strapless/blazer Zac Posen put their younger counterparts to shame.
First off, here's what goes through our mind when we see a meh dress:
1) That's it?
2) I wonder what kind of shapewear that is.
3) Oh, brother, move it along already.
4) Expensive prom dress.
5) Where's Nick Nolte?
This first batch of ladies was a perfect opportunity for a bathroom break. Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer, who won Best Supporting Actress for The Help, is only 40-years-old and insists on looking at least ten years older. Her Tadashi Shoji gown had a lot of finely detailed beading, but the tee-shirt sleeve cut and the beige coloring were completely blah. Actress Kate Mara, sister of Rooney Mara, wore a light pink, lace Jack Guisso number and looked so sweet -- and so gag-me-with-a-spoon. Sure, that's harsh, but we're tired of the whole cutesy-charming thing. Her Girl With The Dragon Tattoo sis could have given her some pointers. Busy Phillips, BFF to a Brooklynite that we love, Oscar-nominated actress Michelle Williams, is always the wing-girl at these award shows, and we know she can be spunky. She was wearing Irene Neuwirth jewels (AKA awesome 1980s-style earrings), and Brian Atwood hot pink heels, but the Dolce & Gabbana gray lace dress is something we could easily find at Nordstrom.
This next group is really upsetting, in a sad sort of way, mostly because we truly love Bridesmaids. Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, and Melissa McCarthy had completely uninspiring dresses. We were hoping these cool and funny gals would add a punch of personality to the red-carpet but instead, we got Byrne's trashbag gown, Rudolph's purple plain Johanna Johnson dress (though we did like her side-swept curls), and McCarthy's peach drapey Marina Rinaldi look.
Now we know we're going to get a lot of shit for this, but the most meh dress of the Oscars is: Williams' red Louis Vuitton strapless dress. There, we said it. Some are praising this as the best dress of the night but really, it's not a stretch from last year's white beaded Chanel Haute Couture gown. Though she is sort of erasing her stigma from the frightening "daisy" dress that she wore at last year's Golden Globes. But we would rather take frightening than predictably demure any day. The orange coloring was beautiful, but the peplum and the accessorized bejeweled ribbon on the side is something a teenage actress would wear. We love Williams and we loved her in the yellow Vera Wang dress she wore to the Oscars in 2006. But there's some fire missing in her latest choices. She needs to recall her days as the badass Jen Lindley in Dawson's Creek.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.