Girls! How much longer can we go on worshipping movie actresses and blathering on about their borrowed gowns? I felt sure that by now the whole red-carpet thing would have lost its popular appeal and we would have moved on to pastures new.
I love to remind people-especially young, culturally illiterate people-that there was a time, not so long ago, when movie actresses were fairly low on the totem pole. I’m talking about that moment in the late 1960′s when the smelly, hairy hippies arrived on the scene and administered a massive and brutal countercultural enema. Suddenly, everything went very Zabriskie Point, if you know what I mean.
Among the first casualties was Old Hollywood: Suddenly the movie sirens, glamour gowns, fanzines and spotlights of the 30′s, 40′s and 50′s seemed ridiculously farty and anachronistic. Almost overnight, Led Zeppelin became a much bigger deal than Elizabeth Taylor. Sorry, Liz!
In order for us to move on from our current celeb/glamour fixation, something major has to supplant it. In the 60′s, we replaced the celluloid goddesses with groovy rock stars, radical politics and wheat germ. If we are ever to be liberated from Nicole’s gussets and Charlize’s bust darts, we need something totally major to take their place. Girls, let’s all make a mental note to figure something out before next year. Between us, I’m sure we can come up with something.
In the meantime, all we can do is grin and take the piss out of it. So here goes ….
My Top 10 fave moments from the 77th Annual Academy Awards:
1. MOST MESMERIZING MOMENT:
With the Michael Jackson re-enactments starting this week on E! (7 and 9 p.m. nightly), it was really hard to concentrate during the Oscars, never mind get mesmerized. However, when Beyoncé sang that eerie French ditty surrounded by rosy-cheeked choir boys (hope Michael Jackson was watching), I was both haunted and riveted.
2. BIGGEST TREND:
Lots of black, but I think this is less of a trend and more of a desperate attempt to look ultra-classy and thereby avoid being slagged off by the likes of moi. I was hoping that Vera Drake (my Oscar pick), with its unremittingly sludgy postwar color palette, would start a trend, sending a river of poo-colored gowns down the red carpet. Didn’t happen. Best poo-colored gown: Natalie Portman (pictured) looked perfect in her exquisite Lanvin number.
3. SMARMIEST MOMENT:
Too many to count. When I told Terry Doonan, my well-groomed and debonair 80-year-old dad, that I was going to cover the red carpet for this newspaper, he said, “Oh, Christ! What a bloody bore!” Terry is qualified to opine. He worked in the BBC news department as a Russian monitor all through the Cold War, and he was the first bloke in England to hear about the Kennedy assassination. He too is mystified by the borrowed gowns = front-page news conceit.
4. MOST ANNOYING MOMENT:
My take-out food from Souen (212-807-7421) was late. I ordered wild salmon with broccoli and brown rice. I can only conclude from this uncharacteristic delay that all the macrobiotically inclined New Yorkers were sitting at home watching the show and ordering in. For a protein-rich dessert, try their adzuki bean mousse ($4).
5. MOST IRRITATING ACCEPTANCE SPEECH:
I missed most of them because my dog Liberace was frantically squeaking his new toy all evening. It’s shaped like a woman’s purse, and on the side are written the words “Chewy Vuitton” (www.glamourdog.com).
6. MOST TURGID HAIRDO:
Hilary Swank’s frowsy, school-marm chignon. See also Drew Barrymore and Renée Zellweger. The least turgid: the wild, neo-hippie Zabriskie Point mane, as worn by Gwyneth, Gisele and Halle.
7. MOST ALARMING TREND:
People turning into one another. Melanie Griffith is turning into Kathy Griffin. Scarlett Johansson is turning into Nicole Kidman. Salma Hayek and Penélope Cruz are turning into each other.
Second most alarming trend: movie stars hard-assing the frock houses. Cate Blanchett, not content with getting a freebie, only agreed to wear her yellow Valentino on the condition that the house bolted its doors and dressed nobody else.
8. MOST POIGNANT MOMENT:
Star Jones Reynolds proudly raising the hem of her gown to show off her own Starlet by Star Jones for Payless $20 sequined evening sandal. Second most poignant: Lou Gossett Jr. snoring during Roger Mayer’s lengthy Humanitarian Award presentation.
9. MOST INCREDIBLE BEAUTY SECRET REVEALED:
Keeping your trap shut. The most alluring, compelling, can’t-keep-your-eyes-off-them women in the house had the least to say. I’m talking about Vanessa Paradis and Gisele Bündchen.
10. MOST RECKLESSLY UN-P.C. MOMENT: Kathy Griffin complaining about the room service at the Hotel Rwanda.
How about this idea for next year: a total ban on European frocks. Every nominee is obliged to commission, and pay for, a frock designed by America’s new sweetheart, Jay McCarroll, the winner of Project Runway. The corpulent and charismatic Jay, who is much funnier than Chris Rock, could also host the evening.
Follow Simon Doonan via RSS.