Monday, February 26, 2007

Oscars MEGA Fashion Post

The Oscars are fun to watch (if you're in California -- anywhere else and you'll have to lose sleep to see that to the end!), but aside from checking the winner's list on Monday morning, the most exciting thing about the whole show -- the aspect that makes Hollywood the dream it is to so many people throughout the world -- is the glamour, the glitz and the shine, in short: the fashion, baby!! (Note: click on the pictures for larger version)
The Leading Ladies

Helen Mirren - winner, best actress

Mirren achieved great things in this snow white gold leaf dress, not least that she looked stunning and sophisticated for her age (with no evidence of plasticating surgery, I might add!), and she looked comfortable (no small feat at this event!). While the Saccharinist has little regard for the real Queen or the film Mirren starred in, there is no doubt that Mirren performed at the top of her field for the win.

Cate Blanchett

Cate is not a conventional beauty, certainly, but she has a classic look which she always, without fail, matches with an elegant dress. This crystalline gown is no exception -- she looks like a star.

Nicole Kidman

As we have documented in the past, frail pale Nicole has gone way overboard on re-molding her face. Fortunately for you, it's not thoroughly evident in this picture but just for the rundown: her lips are so blimped up you can see the inside of her top lip curled over her bottom lip, her forehead and cheeks have lost all sensitivity and spend most conversations at complete standstill, her eyes take turns blinking and her nose is just a few notches away from Michael Jackson's skeletal airholes. But moving right along to fashion, Nicole has always complained about being a stick (which she is) but variety makes the fashion world interesting and what would designers do if they didn't have tall sticks like Nicole to dress? Her gown gets 5 stars for ravishing color and as always, she looks elegant and refined. It's a shame more women don't wear bright colors to these events.

Reese Witherspoon

Fresh off her win for Walk the Line last year and a terrible divorce, Reese looked absolutely flowery in this finely woven silk dress which literally looks as if she's been delicately wrapped with the petals of a violet. It's simply beautiful and looks soothing to the touch. I'm increasingly surprised at Reese's cosmopolitan sense of style considering her Southern homegirl roots. Well done!

Jessica Biel

Jessica is a nobody as far as I'm concerned -- I've never seen her in any film (though I heard she was quite wonderful in the Illusionist). She's not particularly beautiful with that wide grin and strangely down tilted nose, but her choice of dress has put her on my list to watch. The color alone is magnificent -- just beautiful! and the style is pure elegance. You can never have enough color on a red carpet!

Jennifer Hudson, winner, best supporting actress

From a hurtful loss on American Idol one year to an Academy Award winning actress the next, this girl has truly lived the dream -- let's just hope she's not broken to bits when she realizes how short Hollywood's attention span is. She exhibited some true talent in Dreamgirls and deserved a win for performance (since so many times this award is given as a duty to a known actress that didn't particularly perform well). Sadly, however, she chose to wear fecal brown for her win -- what are these people thinking? Brown? Brown is the amalgamation of all colors, why do you think a certain natural product is that color? Have you ever played with finger paints in school and mixed them all up? What do you get? BROWN! It's a poor choice most days of the week, and certainly on Oscar night. I will, however, give her bonus points for a dress with pockets! That's brilliant!

Jennifer Lopez

JLo has a big butt, but she dresses it well, as we all know. This dress is straight up maternity, of course, which I'm not a fan of, but it looks elegant and flowy on her and that's good enough to pass the test. The bejeweled neckline also gets bonus points for being creative and glimmery!

Jada Pinkett

Jada is a very interesting character -- an extremely intelligent, strong and creative woman -- and that alone brings a shine to her demeanor. But she also has a very keen sense of style and as far as I can tell, has never disappointed on the red carpet. This gold corseted gown is a beautiful 18k gold color and is fitted to perfection (if not a little tight). My only complaint is the flat-chested design on top which rather erases any curvaceousness necessary for a truly feminine look.

Rinko Kikuchi

Babel was a masterpiece and we all knew it wouldn't win any top prizes at an American film occasion (and especially on the night the Academy had decided to honor little Marty Scorsese -- though that was well-deserved, I might add). Rinko brought some charm to the common black sleeveless corset -- with some lace and beautiful embroidery work. But what really styled up this gown was her carefully waved coif -- cute.

Penelope Cruz
Volver was definitely a masterpiece of filmmaking and Cruz's nomination was well deserved (though it does beg the question, as with Babel, whether international films can only be considered in the running with American films if their stars also act in Hollywood films on the side??). Sadly, Pen rarely has good taste on the red carpet and last night was no exception. Pale colors are hideous on film, the tight woven corset removes all her curves and while the feathery train looks fun to sleep in or wear at a wedding, overall the whole thing smacks of disaster. And let's not even mention her tightly greased up bun -- waves, darling! Hair needs to look like a silky invitation -- kind of like what the Prophet deemed a danger to men! heh heh...

Gwyneth Paltrow
It's strange to see that name in print because for the last few years, Paltry Paltrow has best been known as Fishsticks by the critical community at large. Why, you ask? Her fishy demeanor, straight as stick figure, and attitude that smells of last week's catch of the day pretty much sum up that nickname. As usual, she looks terrible in a dress that has invented a color I can only refer to as "fish guts barf", hair that's been flattened by an iron and a mug that only a mother could love. P.s. Note to all thin-lipped wonders: do NOT wear dark lipstick of any kind -- it only accentuates your thinlippedness -- and especially do not wear it when it doesn't even match your dress!

Celine Dion
Ah! poor Celine, we forgive her for her horse face, and even for that shrill Quebecois voice which has shattered many a pleasant film. But what we can't forgive is her never abating dearth of fashion sense. Honey, you've got millions of dollars and stylists up the rear, wearing guerrilla green on Oscar night is inexcusable.

Cameron Diaz
Surprisingly, this woman is only 33 years old, though I'd say she could pass as a cute 45 year old. The brown unbrushed, windswept hair is a disaster, the gown is a safety pin short of junior's diapers, and the big mouth, well, shut it! Cammie has a very athletic toned body, but you'd never know from her dress sense!

Anne Hathaway
This big girl was on no one's radar till she pulled that Devil Wears Prada gig. Let's hope it's the last we see of her. The strange thing about Anne is a syndrome I like to call Doesn't Add Up, see, she's got all the elements of standard beauty: big eyes, plump lips, a refined nose, a forehead -- but somehow, when it's all added up it not only doesn't look beautiful but actually looks unattractive. And it doesn't help when she dresses like Daddy's Christmas present. NEXT!

Kate Winslet
There is no doubt about the calibre of this woman's acting -- she is very talented at what she does. Sadly, however, she has never been able to escape that whale-wearing-spandex look on the red carpet. Somehow or other, it always looks like they've forced her into a dress 2 sizes too small thanks to the wonders of spandex control underneath. P.s. pale green -- enough said.

Love in the Family

Now there are some people who take the opportunity of attending the Oscars as a great chance to share something special with the people they love. The following stars shined bright last night because they shined with their family -- I totally respect that.

Kirsten Dunst and her brother

Ryan Gosling and his mother and sister
I found this one particularly charming considering that Ryan's fiancee, Rachel McAdams is a Hollywood starlet who could have taken advantage of this opportunity for increased exposure but instead was fine with Ryan sharing this moment with his family.

Quincy Jones and his daughter Rashida

Quincy gets bonus points for making men's fashion a little more interesting than usual -- and doing it well.

The Leading Men

As we all know, men's fashion on the red carpet is boring -- and this year was no exception.

Djimon Hounsou

Djimon tried to razz it up with a bit of satin on his collar and on his trousers. Sorry! It's still a boring all-black suit.

Clive Owen

If I didn't know any better I'd have asked Clivey for 5 blue chips and my change. The addition of a black shirt to an already boring black suit is a fashion embarrassment, I'd say.

Mark Wahlberg

He's come a long way from Marky Mark -- his performance in the Departed was his best ever, I'd say. But unless Marky is about to refill my water glass, I'd say this here ensemble is a mega waste of my time.

Leonardo DiCaprio

We all know he's a great actor and there is no doubt that his time will come for an Oscar, but in the meantime, can Leo please do something about his hair? His name may be Italian, but he doesn't look it and therefore has no excuse for lookin' like a Don on Oscar night. P.s. save the satin for your bedsheets!


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Round 2: Ahmadinejad vs Sawyer

Let's get the obvious out of the way on this one: Diane Sawyer is a low-grade telehost*** who has the intelligence of a doormat and knowledge of world affairs of your average American soldier: best described as zilch. Her pet peeves are a gray hair flickering amidst the blond, unshaven knees, and "news" gigs that force her to travel beyond New Jersey to the East and Orange County to the West to interview titillatingly calm world leaders whose panache and unbreakable hold on their interviewers makes her want to jump out of her chair and fondle them just to see if her purported (only by her, of course) sexual prowess can do anything as a final resort for domination.

In short, Sawyer's "news interview" (also known as a state-sponsored interrogation) this week with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be a YouTube chuckler for some time to come. (Click here to see the video of the interview.)

As we reported during the previous attempt (see also here and here) by an American telehost (I believe they refer to them as "journalists" in the US) when Mike Wallace interviewed Ahmadinejad and fell to his knees shortly thereafter, Mr Ahmadinejad is impeccably in control in an interview setting -- in other words, he effortlessly propels the interviewer to desperation and emotional grabs for the steering wheel in an interview gone magnetically in his favor.

The best thing about the Sawyer interview, which like the Wallace one involves condescension and racism of a level that reminds one of the slave master's rancor toward a slave who knows who the real master is, was that Sawyer lost her temper, lost her false gentility and practically thrusts herself toward Ahmadinejad at times, only to be kept slightly at bay by her genuine concern that the headscarf she's been forced to wear (the hilarity of this power dynamic amuses me to no end) might slip and give Ahmadinejad the satisfaction of seeing her dark roots.
It seems the main purpose of the interview, aside from employing the US government's highly secret weapon intended as a last resort toward regaining power in the Middle East, known only by its code name "Condi's Legs", was to inform the dangerously underinformed American public that while billions of their US tax dollars have been squandered on weapons and genocide in Iraq, while thousands of their young soldiers have been murdered by their own government in a sadistic rampage of profit, the much bigger danger to world peace is that a handful of grenade launchers found in Iraq have been identified as having Iranian serial numbers. The level of stupidity at play here is astronomically astounding.
The interview is riddled with laugh out loud punchlines mostly due to the fact that Sawyer proves her inexcusable ignorance about very basic facts pertaining to Iraq, Iran, Middle East politics and culture, and, well, anyone at all who doesn't wear Chanel lipstick or drive a tractor. One particularly entertaining highlight was when she pretty much gave away a state "secret" when she accepted Ahmadinejad's insinuation that the American government and forces have been active in organizing the killings of Shiites in Iraq. She then goes on to ask "Are you here to solve the problem of the American government in Iraq?" thereby capping off an already embarrassing litany of confessions.
And in a final bullet to the heart of her nadir of professional credentials, Ahmadinejad struck at the one thing an American "journalist" cringes at: accusations about sources:
Sawyer: You said you have 52,000 suicide bombers. Where would you deploy them?
Ahmadinejad: Did I say that?
Sawyer: One of the Iraqi officials said that...
Ahmadinejad: [laughs] Well I think you should check your source...
(Sawyer has now publicly admitted that "Ahmadinejad was right to challenge me, it was not a statement by an official but a so-called unofficial organization dedicated to suicide bombing.")

God I hope more American telehosts do these filmed interviews with Ahmadinejad -- they not only serve to embellish an already gratifyingly high level of disdain for the American media worldwide, but also keep us all entertained for hours on end.
***just for the record, The Saccharinist coined this term, in this article, on this day.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Finders Keepers

I know it's been a few weeks since I last posted and everytime you (or I, for that matter) think I've given up this blog for bigger (or at least more pressing) things, I find myself tracking right back to it because heck, there ain't no other way for me to share my thoughts to the world at the click of a button on my terms and with my judgement and editing - oh yeah!

Yes, there have been wild and disturbing developments in world affairs since my last post -- thousands more people have died in Iraq; Condosleaze Rice has continued her war of words with a man who's had a much larger share of fun mocking her, Hugo Chavez; Bush and the US government (all of them - that's right) have continued to mock not only the decency of the American people but now even their intelligence with his efforts to rob the poor and spend the money on killing more Iraqis; and well, Americans are making a mockery of themselves by attacking Iranian interests in Iraq (uh, didn't that happen years ago when they attacked Shiite holy places in Iraq the first time?? Yes, yes it did).

But the story that has caught my attention and compelled me to share with you again is a simple but perhaps equally baffling one:

A cabbie in New York City spent a good deal of time tracking down a woman who gave him a 30 cent tip on an 11 dollar bill to return a bag of 31 diamond rings she left behind in his car. As if that's not bewildering enough, said woman troubled herself to pay him a measly 100 dollar reward for his troubles -- which he only accepted to cover the pay he lost while wasting his time tracking this stingy lady down!

His comments when interviewed? "I'm a hard worker, I enjoy my life. I'm satisfied. I'm not going to take someone else's money or property to make me rich. I don't want it that way."

Is Bangladeshi native Osman Chowdhury some kind of saint or nut (the 'nut' vote seems to be winning on this one)? A number of other questions come immediately to mind:

Would I have kept the bag? (Possibly. Probably. Seems likely, actually. At least a ring anyway)

Would I have been displeased with a mere 100 dollar reward (Definitely, and then sustained a healthy amount of bitterness for having wasted my time doing a good deed for someone who neither needed nor warranted it.)

Was this the right thing to do? (No, not really: finders keepers, losers weepers. I figure that in the final calculation of things we reap what we sow, at least, that's the kind of attitude that makes the sun shine on a cloudy day. Therefore, Mr Chowdhury was actually due those diamond rings according to the balance of things in his life and he, sadly, foolishly failed to recognize this harmony of nature. Dummy.)
Did this woman need the money from these diamond rings? (Most likely not if she could afford to lose them in the backseat of a New York taxi cab)
Is life fair? (no, which is why Mr Chowdhury should have recognized a sweetass deal when it smacked him on the head.)

Let's just hope that Mr Chowdhury does eventually get something sweet out of this whole situation -- and I'm not talking about a warm, fuzzy feeling for having done 'the right thing.' At least a reward for Good Citizenship (or citizenship itself, as the case may be).