It's George Clooney's world and we're just living in it. He made an otherwise reserved and somewhat somber event come alive with that increasingly elusive movie star sparkle.
Never mind that Clooney only won one measly Oscar. He reintroduced Hollywood glamour on the red carpet with his classic bowtie. He made the opening skit funny when he showed up as Jon Stewart's bedfellow.
Clooney spoke intelligently and eloquently to defend Hollywood's relevance in what seems to be a country divided between million-dollar blockbusters and what industry insiders consider a "quality" film. He laughed heartily -- and genuinely -- as the butt of Stewart's "Good Night, and Good Luck" joke. He made funny faces to the camera when the woman who won for documentary film short thanked the academy for seating her next to him at an Oscar luncheon. He made the in memoriam tribute feel glamorous.
Clooney also did something that no one else can -- he made us want to go to the movies again.
The Fashion Factor
Clooney's luminosity was a welcome contrast to Sandra Bullock's dreary midnight blue gown and matching demeanor; to Jennifer Aniston's stiff, uncomfortable aura. Yet, his classic elegance was reinforced by other leading men who (finally!) got the (urgent!) memo that "black tie" means black bow tie. The Szish Dish extends fashion props to Matt Dillon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Heath Ledger, Keanu Reeves, David Strathairn, Luke Wilson, Eric Bana and Russell Crowe.
The Clooney Effect -- defined in the Szish Dish glossary as "inspiring awe and amazement" -- thankfully extended to Hollywood's younger set of leading ladies. So without further ado, let's break down the trends and dive into the best … and the worst:
The Best Dressed
Michelle Williams (Szish Dish top honors)
It's important to note that there were no real fashion losers this year. Dolly Parton doesn't count, because, well, she's Dolly Parton. Instead, the diss-honors go to disappointments ... the style-setters who weren't as spectacular as expected.
Reese Witherspoon -- She won the statue, but lost with a matronly ensemble.
Nicole Kidman -- Her straight hair and white dress washed out this usually brilliant star.
Sandra Bullock -- She looked tired, but if the rumor on the red carpet is true … as a mama-to-be, she's allowed.
Jennifer Aniston -- This should have been her moment to shine … but she didn't.
The Real Doozies
Amy Adams -- Love Carolina Herrera, don't love the dress. What's up with the eyemask sewn on the chest? And the racing stripes?
Jada Pinkett Smith -- Unsuccessfully channeling Halle Berry … Her hair was too stiff and she looked dated.
Terrence Howard -- Was he wearing a brooch?!
Jamie Foxx -- Just say no to electric blue shirts.
Asymmetry -- Charlize Theron, Keira Knightley, Naomi Watts, Salma Hayek.
Volume -- Amy Adams, Naomi Watts, Charlize Theron, Sandra Bullock, Felicity Huffman.
Trains -- Jennifer Aniston, Hilary Swank, Amy Adams.
Barely-there jewelry -- Hilary Swank, Rachel Weisz, Reese Witherspoon, Felicity Huffman.
Vegetable colors -- Keira Knightley (eggplant); Jennifer Lopez (avocado); Michelle Williams (squash).
Black dresses -- Felicity Huffman, Rachel Weisz, Hilary Swank.
Deconstructed updos -- Michelle Williams, Amy Adams, Reese Witherspoon, Naomi Watts.
Drop Earrings -- Rachel Weisz, Jessica Alba, Reese Witherspoon, Felicity Huffman, Naomi Watts.
Statement necklaces -- Keira Knightly (1960s Bulgari); Jennifer Aniston, Michelle Williams.