WASHINGTON: A very enthusiastic, often emotional group snacked, drank and watched the proceedings outside on big screens. Below are VIP seats for the parade (we’re at 15th and Pennsylvania – I’m only here because my husband works here). But what surprised me was the huge round of applause when the Bushes’ helicopter took off, not to mention the rush of cameras to the window to document the moment. There, no more bi-partisan snarkiness from me! I’m moving on.
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5:05 p.m.: So we’ve left Ryan Seacrest for Lisa Ling on ABC. I can not believe that Lisa Ling did not ask Naomi Watts about her tummy. She was wearing an empire waist, A-line lemon dress and she totally looks preggers! I know she and boyfriend Liev Schreiber were spotted outside a fertilityy doctor’s office in Australia recently. Looks like it worked. Congrats to them!
5:10 p.m.: Abigail Breslin is an age-appropriate sweetheart! She’s wearing a little off-the-shoulder flower girl-type A-line dress with light and dark pinks. Always stay your age, Abby. It suits you.
5:15 p.m.: Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith and Jaden: The first family of Hollywood. I didn’t know Will produced “The Pursuit of Happyness.” Jaden is just as chill and cool as his dad. He says he feel good about being there and being dressed up.
Ryan Gosling roles with his mom and sister in a traditional bow-tie. How cute is he. He says if he wasn’t an actor he’d be a truck driver.
Cate Blanchett is here and so is another one-shoulder dress, this time in dark brown. She’s humble in an updo and doesn’t think she’s going to win. It’s Jennifer Hudson’s night, Blanchett says. “I think she was brilliant.”
4:50 p.m.: Kate Winslet is gorgeous in celodon, the color of pale green glaze used by potters. And another one-shoulder dress, this time by Valentino. Winslet is the most nominated actress of our generation, and she’s only 31. Unreal. She’s headed for Judi Dench or Meryl-ness. And now looking back, I think Beyonce’s dress was the same color. Another trend, and you heard it here first.
Hey, speaking of Meryl, here she is! Woman’s got 14 nominations, “And I’m a size 14, so it works out perfectly,” Streep says, in a snarky voice.
4:58 p.m.: Nicole Kidman looks like a Dr. Seuss character. She’s wearing a red straight dress the color of those red felt bows at Christmas. And worst of all, there IS a bow on her right shoulder, so it literally looks like she took one of them from under the Christmas tree (maybe off a gift from Keith Urban) and plopped it on her shoulder.
5 p.m.: Stop the presses. Or the blogging platform. Whatever. Reese Witherspoon is here and she’s so freaking hot. Long flat ironed hair but not down to her bottom, like Gwenny or Nicole. It’s to her chest and it’s perfect. She’s also wearing a floor-length black strapless that is so simple, it forces her to focus on her blonde highlights and new size 2 bod. Ryan who?
I’m starting to see some trends: Bare necks. One-shoulder gowns. Slicked back hair — on men and women. Not sure how I feel about that.
4:30 p.m.: Beyonce Knowles looks gorgeous in a slit white or possibly light green gown, but can I make a comment on the bead work in the front? It reminds me and film critic Mary Pols of a midwestern beauty pageant dress. Too much, girl.
4:35 p.m.: Kirsten Dunst has a bit too much going on, too. Strange matronly collar and feathers on the bottom of a silvery dress. At least she knows better and keeps her hair and makeup simple. Just red lips and pixie bands. Not even any diamond studs in her ears. Good call.
Forest Whitaker and his wife of 11 years, Keisha, arrive next. He’s less shy than he was at the Globes and Keisha’s in some unbelievable golden mustard gown. Let’s hope he doesn’t freeze in his speech again this time. I say that because I think the Best Actor is his.
Gwennie!! Mrs. Martin is wearing a burnt orange backless Zac Posen dress. I almost think her hair is too boring. Nicole Kidman has the same thing going on — too flat. What about Kidman’s gorgeous curls? Why fry that out?
Okay, we’re more than half-way through the red carpet stuff.
4:15 p.m.: Co-stars and co-nominees Leonardo DiCaprio and Djimoun Hounsou arrive, looking quite slick in black and white suits and ties. Did anyone else know that Hounsou is the hot mystery dude in both Paula Abdul’s “Straight Up” and Janet Jackson’s “? He trips out when they show clips from the vidoes. It’s almost 16 years ago and he’s come so far!
Short man tip: Jackie Earl Haley and Ryan Seacrest are both on the shorter side, under 5’9”, and are sporting skinny ties. Say it makes them look taller? Try it!
4:20 p.m.: Best actress nominee Helen Mirren comes by holding a British flag. Go Brits! Heck, she won the SAG and the Golden Globe. I say the Oscar’s in the bag for her tonight. All that aside, isn’t Mirren one of the sexiest women in Hollywood? Despite or maybe because of that wavy white bob and her choice of nude-colored dresses and decolletage, she proves you can be gorgeous and confident at any age. You go in that Christian LaCroix, girl!
Omigod. Jennifer Lopez is a goddess. She’s eschewed her typical harsh slicked back look for a soft, throwback bob that matches her gorgeous gown: a vintage lavender empire waist dress with broad diamond collarbone and back. Marc Anthony, her hubby, is wearing Dolce & Gabbana, of course. He always looks so rat-like and scrawny compared to J. Lo.
4 p.m.: Lead actress nominee Penelope Cruz looks stunning in a beige Versace dress with a detailed bodice, full feather skirt and enough diamonds to pay off my student loans, and probably my sister’s, the PhD. Why is her hair slicked back though? It makes her manly and completely the opposite of her voluptuous vibe in “Volver,” with those big bangs and mess of hair. Girl, hire Almodovar as your stylist!
4:05 p.m.: Oh dang. Rachel Weisz is here. She’s in a coppery bronze Vera Wang, and her figure is back since she gave birth to her boy 8-months ago. Best quote of the night so far: “My baby’s delicious.” Weisz said it.
Now they won’t stop coming. Jessica Biel is here wearing a hot pink Grecian dress by Oscar De La Renta. She tells Ryan why she chose it: beautiful color, comfortable and chic. Ryan was on a roll until he put his mic in his mouth and asked Biel who was watching her dog Tina. Who cares dude! Ask her about her next movie, if she can even get any decent roles these days.
4:10 p.m.: John Travolta and Kelly Preston waltz up to Ryan. Kelly’s wearing a dark brown Dolce & Gabbana and her hubby’s wearing Armani. They’re really tight with Forest Whitaker and want him to win bad.
4:12 p.m.: Jennifer Hudson!! Dang, girl’s got it going on! She’s glowing. She worked out with a trainer to slim down, two workouts a day starting with a 4 a.m. run and then another at 1 p.m. Ryan scans to a video message from Simon Cowell. It’s perhaps the most heartfelt thing he’s ever said: “Jennifer, we are rooting for you and I have a feeling you’re going to win tonight. What you have done is literally extraordinary.”
What’s not extraodinary is that God-awful metallic geometric jacket that hides her beautiful figure and takes away from her stunning soft features. As my editor Ardua says: It’s space age.
3:40: Al and Tipper Gore arrive. She’s wearing refined Bill Blass; he’s in Ralph Lauren. Thanks, Ryan! The camera scans to Jennifer Lopez, who looks a lot less harsh than she usually does at these shindigs. Instead of intensely slicked back hair, she’s got a throwback bob and a lavender empire waist vintage dress with a broad
3:45 p.m.: Supporting actress nominee Rinko Kikuchi has a translator, but what you don’t need to translate is hottie! Her blonde hair is as risque as her role in “Babel,” but both put her on the map. I doubt she’ll get the award but I do heart her. Hollywood needs way more Japanese actresses.
3:50: Omigod. Juliana Depandi, Ryan’s fellow red carpeter, just asked Michael Buble how much he charges to do weddings. His answer: A couple beers and free food. Yeah right! Call him up, wedding season’s coming up.
The 79th Annual Academy Awards starts in two hours, but I’m glued to my seat watching the early red carpet arrivals on E!
3:30 p.m.: Ryan Seacrest is slightly annoying me. Already, Maggie Gyllenhaal has arrived in a gorgeous black one shoulder goddess dress, and Seacrest didn’t ask her who she was wearing. Hello! She’s also a new mom. Please Ryan, don’t disappoint us by
pulling numerous Joan Rivers moves all night, where you shamelessly admit you haven’t done any research about the celebrity’s current or future profile.
Oh, Portia de Rossi just arrived. Alone, naturally, since her lady’s hosting the Awards tonight. Ryan didn’t ask her what she’s wearing either! It’s purple, and has daring and very gaping holes on the left and right sides. Sort of goddess-y as well. I honestly think Sandra Oh is the only woman who should stick to goddess. Everyone else, especially when they have curves, should stick to something that shows them off.