Oscars 2011 best dressed include Gwyneth Paltrow, Anne Hathaway

Nominees and presenters made waves at the Academy Awards in glittering sheers, bold reds, asymmetrical details and yards of tulle.
Compiled by Ian Saleh
Washington Post Staff
Monday, February 28, 2011; 8:45 AM

The red carpet at the Oscars was full of celebrities wearing the latest fashion. Liz Kelly reviewed the best and worst dressed at the Academy Awards:

This year's Oscar ceremony was underwhelming in myriad respects. One of them was fashion. This year's crop of gowns failed to produce even one buzzy fashion trend. And wiith considerably less bling on the red carpet, 2011 may just go down in history as the year that Oscar fashion was a bit of a yawn. Still, there were some standouts -- both stunners and stinkers -- worth a second look.

The insouciant Gwyneth Paltrow in utterly stunning Calvin Klein (which totally made up for her off-key on-stage performance), host Anne Hathaway's red carpet look: a dress from the Valentino archives (though we loved her in most of her gazillion on-stage gown changes, too), Helen Miren in drop-dead gorgeous grey Vivienne Westwood and a slimmed down Jennifer Hudson in Versace.

The usually fashion forward Cate Blanchett in a homely concoction from Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci, Helena Bonham Carter in a corseted number she cooked up with costume designer Colleen Atwood (still, an improvement over her Globes look), best-supporting actress winner Melissa Leo in Marc Bouwer's structured, Elvis-evoking F-bomb dropping dress and Nicole Kidman in a white Christian Dior embroidered frock that actually manages to give the lithe Aussie battleship hips.

James Franco made some worst-dressed lists when he appeared in drag. As Celebritology reported:

Oscar host/nominee James Franco channeled Marilyn Monroe (and Madonna) when he walked on stage in a fuschia gown and blond wig. It may have been a first for the Academy Awards, though not for Franco -- who has done this sort of thing before. More than once.

But, in the context of tonight's Oscar broadcast, was there really a point? Or was it just another naked (or thankfully not-naked) bid to woo "young, hip" viewers?

Hank Stuever explained how he felt about Franco's role as host of the 2011 Academy Awards:

As for your hosts, Hathaway worked her derriere off and Franco came off like that lacrosse boy you wish your daughter didn't hang out with so much, sort of heavy-lidded and smirky and ... well, let's give him credit for being James Franco, the 23-hour-a-day workaholic/grad student/filmmaker/soap-opera/not-Best Actor wunderkind of his generation.

Turns out hosting Oscars is when the dude decides to take a rest. The only required trick for Franco and Hathaway was to manage to not look like they were doing one of those flirty commercials for a phone plan. (He's so laid back! She's so hyper! And now they get unlimited 4G downloads and texting! etc.)

Instead, like first-graders at a Thanksgiving pageant, they waved to their relatives. Hathaway's mother stood up in the audience to urge her daughter to stand up straight; Franco's grandmother was given a lame Marky Mark joke to make about "The Fighter's" Mark Wahlberg. Sweet jokes, yes, but not the youth revolution that Oscar's month of hot-new-hosts hype had promised. What's with the moldy "Back to the Future" shtick and the six-degrees-of-Kevin Bacon line? "Inception"-ing Alec Baldwin's dreams in order to figure out how to host the Oscars? Here's a revolution: Host the Oscars and shaddup about it. Skip the self-referencing. Wasn't the idea to lean forward?

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