Hollywood arrived at the Kodak Theatre Feb. 22 to salute the art of filmmaking, and its stars came dressed to impress…except when they didn’t. We grade the most buzzed-about gowns, and analyze the rest of the night’s style.
ANNE HATHAWAY: A+
When the Best Actress nominee waltzed onto the carpet in a paillette-laden Armani Privé gown, we cheered for the return of serious silver-screen glamour. We can’t wait to see more from Hathaway — on screen and off.
EVAN RACHEL WOOD: A
It’s a risky move for someone as pale as Wood to turn up in a practically skin-toned alabaster dress. But in an exquisitely fitted, perfectly pleated Elie Saab, the Wrestler star showed that understated can still make a big statement.
KATE WINSLET: A
The Best Actress winner (The Reader) combined a retro Grace Kelly-tinged hairdo with a daringly modern Yves Saint Laurent gown — shaded silk, single-shoulder, embroidered overlay — to utterly timeless effect.
PENÉLOPE CRUZ: A-
The Best Supporting Actress (Vicky Cristina Barcelona) wowed in creamy, dreamy vintage Balmain. But she set the bar so high in 2007 with her feathered Atelier Versace fantasy of a dress that not even this stunner can measure up.
NATALIE PORTMAN: A-
After a long night of ivory — and champagne and eggshell and a dozen other ways to say white — the presenter brought a welcome burst of color to the night in a Rodarte frock as elegantly sculpted as her coif.
FREIDA PINTO: B+
Capping off an amazing awards season — both for her movie Slumdog Millionaire and her red-carpet fashions — Pinto channeled sari chic with a sheer single sleeve on her cobalt John Galliano gown.
SARAH JESSICA PARKER: B
With a sequel on the way, it shouldn’t be surprising that SJP took the opportunity to remind us of Carrie Bradshaw and her iconic tutu with this princess-worthy Dior gown. But we couldn’t help but wonder: Does playing dress-up ever get old?
AMANDA SEYFRIED: C-
The charming star of Mamma Mia! lost herself somewhere underneath the gigantic bow and unnecessary spaghetti straps on this Valentino gown that was two shades too orange. At least her hair was nice.
MILEY CYRUS: C-
Even Nashville would have to admit: That’s a lot of dress. While we applaud the singer for staying upright in this 12-pound Zuhair Murad, that’s the only good thing we have to say about the overly themed dress on the half shell.
Someone should have told Sasha Fierce that the Oscars do not love an ’80s-era print. Or a wingtipped neckline. Or an exaggerated mermaid silhouette. Unfortunately, this House of Deréon creation achieved that trifecta.
REESE WITHERSPOON: F
Did the former Best Actress not know where to draw the line? Yes, we may have high expectations of the usually best-dressed star, but this Rodarte gown with (shudder) matching makeup is black and blue and bad all over.
One look was not enough for these stars, who changed out of their red-carpet gowns (into something a little more comfortable?) to hit the post-Oscar party circuit…before the rest of us could even put on our pajamas.
On the carpet: The nominee’s architecturally pleated (and pleasing) skirt drew the eye from her Atelier Versace’s roughly cut top.
For the parties: Her Juan Carlos Obando was the reverse: pretty on top, puzzling on bottom.
On the carpet: The oversize bib on Biel’s Prada dress would’ve been better suited to a lobster shack.
For the parties: Given a second chance, she reached for a second dinner napkin — this one by Oscar de la Renta.
On the carpet: The singer’s plum Armani Privé gown was perfectly draped and surprisingly slit.
For the parties: Another refreshing color, another effortless design (by Max Azria Atelier), and not a hair out of place. Brava.
Just how heavy was the jewelry these actresses were carting around? We count the carats on their standout pieces.
Presenter Halle Berry’s H. Stern Hera earrings even outsparkled her gilded Marchesa gown.
When you’re Diane Lane, it doesn’t take much to shine, but this Neil Lane fringe necklace certainly helped.
After a golden debut last year, Marion Cotillard entered a blue period with her sapphire Chopard links.
Thank you, Angelina Jolie, for adding a dash of color, even if only with an emerald set by Lorraine Schwartz.
Rubies, emeralds, and sapphires: If Amy Adams' Fred Leighton collar overwhelmed, now you know why.