- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 9, 2010


“The awards at this year’s Oscars were more interesting than the show that gave them out. ‘Best Director’ went to Kathryn Bigelow, the first woman ever to win the award, and her movie, ‘The Hurt Locker,’ won ‘Best Picture,’ becoming the smallest-grossing movie to win the award in ages, over the billion-dollar ‘Avatar’…

“The Oscar telecast, on the other hand, was not very good — but, despite some attempts at freshening it up, it was also not very good in pretty much exactly the ways that we’re used to old-fashioned Oscarcasts being not very good. It was poorly paced and ran long, a classic Oscar failing. …

“‘The show is so long that “Avatar” now takes place in the past,’ joked co-host Steve Martin …

“But when you think classic bad-Oscar-show motifs, you’re thinking interpretive dance, and this Oscarcast delivered it old-school, with a performance to the “Best Score” nominees by the Legion of Extraordinary Dancers.

“The problem with a section like this is not the quality of dancing (quite good) or the cheese factor (in the eye of the beholder), but the fact that it detracts from why the scores are nominated: because of their connection with the movies. Here, they were divorced from both their films and from logic. During Michael Giacchino’s winning score from “Up,” a dancer did the robot, and for “The Hurt Locker” … break-dancing. No, I can’t explain it, either.”

James Poniewozik, writing on “The Oscarcast,” for Time magazine

Winnin’ large

“The fairly ho-hum 2O1O Oscars stunningly came to life tonight in Hollywood when breath-of-fresh-sass Mo’Nique strutted ferociously backstage. Curves aglitter and Oscar in hand, the Best Supporting Actress winner was ready to rule.

“I asked the utterly outspoken Ms. M: What would happen if more actors followed her lead and perhaps had more natural figures and didn’t shave their legs?, as Mo’Nique told Barbara Walters she does not.

“‘They’d win Oscars,’ the royal-blue-gowned gal said in complete seriousness. Oh, she laughed as she answered the question, but Mo’Nique’s steely, beautifully made up eyes couldn’t have been more clear: Don’t sell your soul to the anorexic devils of Hollywood.

“Jeez, is anybody listening to this trailblazer already?”

Ted Casablanca, writing on “Mo’Nique Sticks It to Stick-Thin Actresses,” for ABC

Dimming stars

“Maybe it’s the effect of recession, maybe it’s simply a case of Hollywood fatigue — whatever the reason, buyers and designers at Paris fashion week are declaring the end of the celebrity cult.

“Backstage at the shows, the talk was not of glitzy muses such as actress Lindsay Lohan, but of classic accessories, inspiration from the archives and long-lasting pieces to tempt choosy shoppers amid a slight recovery in spending.

“‘I think we’re moving away from (the star factor), it’s more about the product rather than celebrity endorsement,’ said Sebastian Manes, director of accessories at Selfridges & Co. ‘I think it was very true for beginning of the century, but now we’re going for values.’

“Pop stars and actors still filled the front rows at Stella McCartney [last week], but the spotlight was on mannish blazers and soft knits that normal women might actually like to wear.

“’[Stella] McCartney was the “wow” of Paris for me,’ Stephanie Solomon, fashion director at Bloomingdale’s, said. ‘She pared it down to what she does best.’

“Quilted jackets and waistcoats, striped bumble bee A-line dresses and open-backed orange or fuchsia evening dresses with henna-tattoo lace detail played to McCartney’s strengths. …

“Fashion house Emanuel Ungaro bet heavily on the star factor when it hired actress Lindsay Lohan as adviser last year, but the resulting collection was panned and sold less than expected.

“At the autumn/winter show [last week], designer Estrella Archs tried to talk as much as possible about the Ungaro archives, and as little as possible about her short-lived collaboration with Lohan.”

Sophie Hardach and Astrid Wendlandt, writing on “Celebrities? So Last Season, Say Paris Fashionistas,” for Reuters

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