Whitney Pastorek
February 29, 2008 AT 05:00 AM EST

It’s not hard to see where things went wrong. Tilda Swinton’s never been to the Oscars before, and she’s not so much the following kind. That glossy, amorphous, one-sleeved Gothy thing (courtesy of Alber Elbaz for Lanvin) was doomed from the start. But we’d like to offer another perspective, and suggest that given this year’s risk-averse crop of ”film prom” dresses, there was something jarring, even necessary, in the fiery redhead’s decision to go crazy with the fashion Cheez Whiz — and if anyone can make washed silk satin seem avant-garde, it’s her. Meanwhile, another Oscar rookie was having a tough time of the opposite sort: In floppy vintage Jean-Louis Scherrer, Ellen Page appeared not only uncomfortable but Stepfordized. Hey, we get it — Page isn’t actually frumpy old Juno, but it seems possible that amid all the hubbub, she forgot to have herself a little fun. Thankfully, we’ve got her Indie Spirits suit to tide us over until her next shot at the carpet. And there will be more.

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