To me the top two dresses were Penelope Cruz (winner for Best Supporting Actress!) in a 60-yr-old vintage Balmain dress with amazing lace and ruching all the way down (as Tim Gunn said on the red carpet, it's a dress for winning in, and it proved to be her lucky charm I guess -- much like Julia Roberts's fabulous unforgettable vintage Valentino years back), and Natalie Portman in this ethereal orchid-colored dress by Rodarte. It looks like the very first buds you see on trees in the first days of spring, and the fabric is so light and airy.
I love the mix of structure and loose draping in this red dress on Amy Adams, and she found a shade of red that absolutely complements her hair color without being too much (not easy for a redhead, I'm sure). Anne Hathaway looked perfect on the red carpet in Armani with beautiful silver sequins on the bias that seem to swirl around her, and then look almost like a pixelated photo at the bottom. Onstage in the opening sequence she joined Hugh Jackman in something a little easier to move around and be swept off her feet (literally) in -- but equally dream-like.
I loved the black tulle-heavy ballgown that Marion Cotillard wore, which is just unusual enough to be special and daring, but not too prom-like. I wasn't crazy about Kate Winslet's dress, or her hair for that matter, but it fits in with the other black and navy dresses she's been wearing to shows this season -- understated, elegant, and regal -- and I can understand why she'd choose that Grace Kelly look for what has been a very big moment for her.
For many of the other dresses, it was once again the proliferation of a ton of white/cream/silver sparkly gowns, like we've seen all season. I guess it's this season's "safe" choice. Marisa Tomei's pleated Versace gown stands out though, as well as the intricate beading on Jennifer Aniston's simple dress (she always looks fantastic though because she looks really happy to be there -- not to mention nowhere near 40...). I didn't like Jessica Biel's white Prada, but I guess I can respect when image- and body-conscious actresses purposely go with something not body-flattering at all. I think my main problem with the dress is the bottom -- even on a column dress you need a little bit of flare to give it shape, and this just looks like when you take a pair of pants to a bad tailor to be tapered. Melissa George on the other hand elevated the safe dress to art in Dolce & Gabbanna -- the huge tulle flare at the bottom of her corsetted dress was flawless.
Best jewelry has to go to Angelina Jolie, who wore bright green earrings as well as a ring, which complimented an otherwise fairly simple black dress wonderfully, and to Amy Adams who topped off her beautiful dress is a surprising put fitting multi-colored gem necklace that looks like something out of ancient Egypt or Rome in its sheer size... I'd be surprised if her neck wasn't a little sore this morning from carrying all that around.
I must say again I'm loving what Miley Cyrus picked -- she must have a great stylist. It might be a little bit over-the-top princess-y, but she's young enough and big enough of a star to pull that off.