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Based on photos of the red carpet arrivals posted on a few movie sites, there were a lot of great looking gowns and not many horrible misfires. A few first impressions:

Charlize Theron, in full bombshell mode, a (gray?) spangled, backless, form-fitting gown with a split skirt. Quite amazing looking.

Vanessa Paradis, slender as a fashion mode, in a white layered dress. Very busy but it worked on her--as would almost anything.

Diane Lane, her gorgeous hair pulled back, in a white floor-length dress with a cut-out neckline showing just the right amount of décolletage.

Sandra Bullock, her tan set off by her white dress, which was too busy—bows, two rows of feathers. Great hair.

Liv Tyler, great make up and hair, simple and elegant black (or at least very dark)dress, beautiful face set off by choker made of same material as dress.

Catherine Zeta-Jones, perfect coloring for a long red dress with form fitting top and a deeply scooped neckline

Nicole Kidman—needs a new sylist. Ice blue is not her color and those feathers at the hem didn’t add anything. Strapless and extremely form-fitting dress draped very well.

Jennifer Garner—apricot or orange or whatever the color of her dress is not her color.

Renee Zellweger—not at her best. Some of the ladies (Theron, Kidman, Zita-Jones) looked as if they had been poured into their gowns. Renee looked as if she had been stuffed into hers.

Angelina Jolie--white satin/silk dress with plunging neckline, actually a bit daring in the post Janet Jackson celebrity fashion world. Tatoo looked silly, too may necklaces but otherwise gorgeous.

Julia Roberts--still has the one of the best (and biggest) smiles in moviedom. Very well cut satin/silk? dress, plunging V-neckline and flowing skirt.

Kelly Lynch--she should not let herself be talked into wearing a dress with way too much going on.

Shohreh Aghdashloo--what a beauty! Her dress was the perfect shade of red for her coloring. Great hair.

Holly Hunter--Pastel dress could have been a recycled prom/bridesmaid outfit, but she is another woman who looks great in anything. Layered hair style suits her very well.

Naomi Watts--a bit monochromatic (complexion, hair, dress) but strapless gown showed her great shoulders and lovely skin to good effect.

Sofia Coppola--a classic beauty, very understated makeup, well cut and not terribly busy purple dress, good color for her.

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Renee Zellweger—not at her best. Some of the ladies (Theron, Kidman, Zita-Jones) looked as if they had been poured into their gowns. Renee looked as if she had been stuffed into hers.

I believe Zellweger is currently shooting the sequel to Bridget Jones's Diary, in which she plays a, er, plushly proportioned character.

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Since I'm on Eastern time I bailed out of the telecast after about an hour and a half. No way I'm staying up until midnight!

The show itself was ok I suppose, a bit on the bland side. The opening bit showing Billy Crystal interspersed into the nominated films was very funny, although I don't exactly want to see Crystal's naked body with it's saggy breasts again any time soon. :unsure:

As for the fashions I'm pretty much in agreement with Ed Waffle. There were waaayyy to many nude or beige color dresses. I like color! My first thought on seeing Angelina Jolie was that she needed to invest in a good bra. But the more I looked at her the more I liked her dress and style. She's a little on the edgy side when every other lady dresses safe and I appreciated it. She really is a beautiful woman. Liv Tyler I thought looked the best. Lovely glowing skin topped off with that rich black hair, then showcasing it all with a simple but elegant black gown. Wonderful.

I have not liked the way Nicole Kidman has looked lately. I think it has to do with her makeup. She always looks sort of on the verge of death. Too washed out or something. But I did like the dress.

No, Renee Zellweger did not look her best last night, but she didn't look bad either. In my opinion she looked better this year than last year when she appeared way too thin, almost skeletal. I hope she keeps some of the weight on that she gained for Bridget Jones Diary 2. She looks healthier.

It was nice to see Sean Penn win and get a standing ovation. Especially after he was vilified by the right wing last year for his political beliefs. Ditto Tim Robbins.

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Speaking about the awards themselves, I was rather suprised at Lord of the Rings having won ALL its nominations - rather too much, I mean, and cannot help but being suspicious.

I was pleased at Finding Nemo winning some - thought it a charming movie.

And personally I was disappointed at OUR (Uruguayan) Cesar Charlone (City of God) having been beaten on the best Cinematography by Master and Commander :unsure: It was OUR first nomination ever....


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I'm not inclined to be too hard on the ladies – sometimes I think the talk about fashion, although generally harmless, can border on the misogynistic (doesn't matter whether it's a man or woman doing the commenting). Can't help noticing there's less preoccupation with how the men look – heaven help Sofia Coppola if she had turned up as the feminine equivalent of Peter Jackson, who looked like something pulled out of a drainpipe, assuming that he could have fit into the drainpipe. Geez, Peter, I was happy that you won, but you could have combed your hair for the occasion.

That said, I agree with Ed that Kidman needs a new stylist, or something. This was an improvement on the bag-lady outfit she wore at the Golden Globes, but. Also, her upper arms are looking scarily thin, and her face looks sort of laminated. I caught Far and Away on cable not long ago, and even accounting for the passage of time, I must say I miss that fresh and original-looking girl. I thought Renee looked great, incidentally, but then I applaud any woman who can wear solid white without looking like a white board. If I had a body like Theron's I'd certainly show it off, but on the other hand it might be nice to see her in something not sprayed on once in awhile.

Mel Gibson, usually a regular, notable this time for his absence. Gosh, wonder why?

Rather a dull show, as mentioned. Awareness of the five-second delay seemed to keep everyone on his best behavior, except that "best behavior" at awards shows often means "boring." No big surprises, which didn't help, either. Charlize, I know everyone said you were a lock, but you could have tried to look just a little more surprised. Pleased to see ROTK make a deserved clean sweep. Enjoyed the shots of Eastwood planted in his seat, looking grim. (Some of us haven't forgiven you for Bird, Clint.) Penn certainly is entitled to his award, but I had been rooting for Bill Murray -- Penn will have other chances, but this was Murray's first and last shot at it, I think.

My tape missed the first half hour or so, so there may have been people I didn't see, but the show seemed exceptionally lacking in senior stars – no Paul Newman, no Nicholson, etc. I felt the absence of Gregory Peck, who could be counted upon to lend gravitas to the often absurd goings on, and the tribute to him only emphasized the gap. I saw the Billy Crystal montage later on and must confess I didn't find it funny. I quite liked Ferrell and Black's "Boring" number, though.

I still miss the horrible Paula Abdul dance numbers, too. What's the Oscars without a little camp?

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Forgot to mention Errol Morris' deeply tacky acceptance speech, wherein he thanked the Academy for "finally recognizing my films!" (I didn't like the way his movie let McNamara get away with all those disingenuous evasions, either.) :unsure:

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My favorite part of the Oscars: the song from BELLEVILLE RENDEZ-VOUS. It seemed so original. For a minute I almost wanted this song to beat out Annie Lennox.

People I most enjoyed looking at: Patricia Clarkson, Sandra Bullock, Susan Sarandon, Johnny Depp.

Best speech: the woman who won for CHERNOBYL HEART. And Tim Robbins...

Missing person: Russell Crowe...I think he deserved a nomination for MASTER & COMMANDER.

There should have been a special award for "Best Voice in an Animated Feature" going to Ellen DeGeneres for her hilarious performance in NEMO.

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oberon, the Best Actor category is historically the most competitive, as it was again this year, because there are so many good roles for male stars out there. I liked Crowe in M&C too, but I must confess his delivery was so understated I often couldn't hear him very well, so I can't really judge. :)

I'm sure Academy members looked at Keaton and thought, This is why we didn't vote for you, Diane. Thank God we picked the hot babe and not some middle aged broad in drag.

Adolphe Menjou would be upset with you, Farrell Fan. His suits were far better cut. :)

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Guest Angel2Be

I always enjoy the Oscars, no matter what a silly ritual people claim they are. And it was nice to see Lord of the Rings finally get the credit it deserves, and maybe more...

I agree, Nicole Kidman: too drawn, too botoxed. :) Liv Tyler is beautiful, but her hair looked like something from Edward Scissorhands! Johnny Depp, just wow. Vanessa Paradis is beautiful wife for him, though I'm a little jealous! He certainly chooses thin women (Kate Moss, etc.)... no ballet dancers, though. :)

One more thing: Not many political comments this year? I told my mom I thought they would be out of fashion.

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There was a wonderful picture in the L.A.Times of Sean Penn receiving his award : photographed from head to toe in color, half a page (the tall half), photographed from slightly behind so that you can see his Oscar held behind him in one hand, head bowed, and in the background the audience giving him his standing ovation. I was so happy he won, and the photo captured the moment perfectly. Even better than the superb Penn in "Mystic River" was Tim Robbins.


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Penn certainly is entitled to his award, but I had been rooting for Bill Murray -- Penn will have other chances, but this was Murray's first and last shot at it, I think.


I still miss the horrible Paula Abdul dance numbers, too.  What's the Oscars without a little camp?

I agree about Murray, though I'm hoping that he'll search out more roles like this now that he's taken the plunge.

I think the last Oscar dance "spectacular" I saw was made by Debbie Allen, but that's a distinction without a difference in many ways. I just wish that they'd had a choreography award during the heydey of the Hollywood musical. Film choreography is a challenge, and I still love to pull out my Busby Berkley and Hermes Pan tapes...

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sandik, you are correct, it was Debbie Allen. I was confusing the two of them.

Actually, Murray's been doing nominatable work for years now, IMO – Groundhog Day and Rushmore are the two that spring to mind – he just hasn't gotten the nod before. I'm sure he'll have other good roles – but they may not be in the kind of movies to which the Academy generally pays attention.

Giannina, it was nice to see Penn win, but I must confess I thought Tim Robbins' performance in Mystic River was several pounds' worth of boiled ham. It wasn't all his fault – the overwrought dialogue didn't help – but he's done a lot better, I think. Kevin Bacon was great, and completely overlooked – probably because he wasn't Acting with a capital A.

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Bill Murray was heartbreaking in "Lost in Translation" -- I can't remember when I was so moved by a performance. It was sort of sad how the camera remained on him after Sean Penn won -- he looked truly devastated. Broke my heart a second time! I guess I admire, though, that he didn't put on some fake smile and clap heartily in that faux generous way nominees often do.

That said, and without even having seen Mystic River, I was happy for Sean Penn. I've always loved his work and thought his speech was both authentic -- he managed to get his politics in but briefly and rather wittily -- and elegant. You really sensed how seriously he takes his work, and how much he admires his colleagues.

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scoop, you're a nicer person than I am. I rather enjoy the sadistic closeups of the losers, although not always. I still recall Michael Caine's crushed expression from last year after Adrien Brody's name was announced – he's never won as Best Actor, and you could tell he was in bad shape.

What I thought was really nasty was Billy Crystal addressing Murray from the stage after Murray lost. Talk about rubbing salt in the wound.

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I, too, was rather curious about why Crystal did that.

As to Murray finally "taking the plunge," let's not forget his turn in "The Razor's Edge" many years ago with Bess Armstrong. It may not have been critically acclaimed, but he showed great promise and daring back then. Also, I thought he was brilliant in "Groundhog Day," a deceptively profound movie. I give him kudos for being one of the few alums of SNL who has not focused solely on silly cookie cutter slapstick block busters. Stay the course, Bill. We want to see more of you.

As to Penn's speech, I'm almost sorry he was subdued. I guess once you have a few kids, you have to reign it in for their sake. It was almost as if he'd been given Thorazine.

As to the way the ladies looked, I'm surprised at the minimal lack of comment about Zeta-Jones. Only a dancer could walk the way she did down the steps to that podium to present an award. I'm not talking about how I feel about her personally one way or another. But there wasn't a woman in the building who could hold a candle to her that night when it came to drop dead gorgeous. Fantastic figure (neither zoftig, nor emaciated) in a fantastic dress, with a world class walk. That face and the rest of the package was reminiscent of some of the great beauties of Hollywood: Natalie Wood, Hedy Lemarr, Gene Tierney, etc.

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I'd bet a large sum of money that Crystal is furiously jealous that Bill is getting Oscar nominations and doesn't have to appear in hideous sequels like "Analyze That." I think the wisest thing would be for Murray to search out a role that requires lots of yelling and crying. That ought to do it for him. :)

Zeta-Jones is a true dish. You're right, there are very few stars these days with that old-time glamour, and she's one of them. I enjoy that aura of "Yes, I'm gorgeous, I'm a movie star, I'm the center of attention, and I just love it!" that she emanates.

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Zeta-Jones is totally glam -- I love how when she first married Michael Douglas she instantly and unapologetically embraced her ascension into the ranks of Hollywood royalty, even though she'd hardly made any movies at that point. It was amazing how during last year's Oscars she was hugely pregnant yet still managed to look like the cover of one of those '40s-era fan magazines. I almost don't recognize her in those cell phone ads she does -- the jeans and the tank top totally disguise her.

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I had previously seen her in the tv version of "Titanic" with George C. Scott, and she was a pretty girl, but has grown into quite the beauty. However, when I mentioned I'm not speaking one way or another about my personal take on her, I just have to jump off topic for two seconds to say that I think her husband's first wife was the classiest act, and a truly incredible beauty -- Diandra Douglas.

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