Tina Rowley

writer + (performer) + [space left open for surprises]

Filtering by Tag: oscars

ye olde 500th annualle oscarre dresstravaganza commentarye and reviewe

I've translated this from the original Chaucer, who as everyone knows was a total pop culture Nostradamus. Oscarre Teuthousande and Tweylfe!

Let's beginne at the beginning, which was 2:00 PST, as I waited like a seagull to pounce on the wandering french fries of the red carpet. Nobody was there yet to discuss except Giuliana Rancic and Kelly Osbourne, but a seagull will eat whatever, especially when it only ate like one little bacon and gouda breakfast sandwich, and that was four hours ago. That had been four hours ago then. When we began. It's twelve hours ago now. I think it's important to start with facts, for credibility. Now all my opinions will be your opinions because I've forcibly won your trust.

Giuliana Rancic, when I first beheld you, you were wearing some kind of heavily decorated matching housecoat over this, but I can't find any visual record of it. Are you trying to gaslight me? I think that's wrong. I liked your weird, elegant, skinny housecoat. You looked like Jane Jetson ate Mildred Pierce. But look at you here, in your "real outfit". I wish I could stay mad at you for psyching me out but I can't. You look like a very pretty cockatoo that got waxed within an inch of her life. Hurray!

Kelly Osbourne, you look glum. Lavender hair must be heavier than regular hair, especially when it's all forced to one side, which is a look I support when it's done well, for example elsewhere, and elsewho. Your neck hurts, maybe. But it must have been comforting to have Giuliana Rancic nearby, since the two of you were like a futuristic Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons, rocking it new old-lady style, until she took off that housecoat that was maybe never there. Oh, let's just get down to it. Why did you dye your hair gray and then purple? Are you feeling okay?

Missy Pyle, I've included you here at all because you're wearing an eco-friendly dress made out of fabric woven by cruelty-free silkworms who then turned on you by making your bodice so stiff and tight that it appeared to be trying to engrave your bosom, which is kind of cruel, and brings us to what a maddeningly off phrase "cruelty-free" is. Or maybe silkworms in general are TOTAL FUCKING SOCIOPATHS. Anyway, my own boobs felt so squirmy watching it all that they ran down the street and joined a commune. (There's a commune down the street.?) Let us also note that you are the first on the carpet to sport the evening's saddest trend, the Drooping, Dispirited Arm Strap.

Milla Jovovich, or Mee-la YO-vo-veetch, which everybody was saying tonight, which is how I suppose you pronounce your name, although I will pronounce it MILL-a Jo-VO-vitch forever because I'm sorry to inform you that it's too late for me to do anything about it...you looked so pretty. EXCEPT. Look at your expression. You wore that a lot. And it says to me, "Can you losers believe how seriously I nailed my outfit this evening? And my makeup? And my hair? You. You there. I bet you a thousand dollars I'm on a best-dressed list tomorrow. You. Camera guy. Bet me. Bet me."

Jessica Chastain is very pretty and possibly also bulletproof.

Emma Stone calls to mind Nicole Kidman from a few years back, when she wore a long red column with a big bow at her neck like the Queen of Hearts. Nothing but love for this. And the color was so much better than it is in this photograph. A deep rose-fuschia-red. I wanted to eat it. And who wants to quarrel with Emma Stone? She's like pizza. You probably ate pizza tonight, that's how much you like pizza. Even if it's not your top favorite food, you're not going to say no to pizza. So you flop that big bow around, Emma Stone. Flippity flop.

Rose Byrne looks like Agent 99. [Lady robot voice: "Compliment complete."]

You know what, there are just different rules for Meryl Streep. So when I say I like this dress, it means that on the Meryl Streep Award Show Spectrum, which -- holy cats -- that's a broad thing....I mean, she could have shown up in chambray, or gingham, or terrycloth, or oilcloth, there's just no knowing. There is no knowing. I don't know how Meryl Streep views awards shows on the dress code spectrum. She just mustn't, is what. Maybe she's like, "Oh, an award show...so...dress like you would if you were having your five closest friends over for a dinner...which is actually a wedding! Or a graduation, or a brunch, or a trip to the museum. Or the symphony, but the symphony's outside in a park." So I like this dress because Meryl Streep seems to have made the connection between the Oscars and fanciness, and gold is fancy, everybody knows that, and I feel like that's such huge progress, and maybe that's why they gave her the award.

Hello, ballerina whose name nobody can recall. It is I, Natalie Portman. I stole your boyfrusband*, whatever he was, and now I look as good as I've ever looked in my polkadot swoofy thing. Feel vindicated by my boring jewelry and your ex's curious hairline, and now continue crying into your consommé.

*Benjamin Millepied. This is a funny last name for a ballet dancer, or ballerino, as male dancers love to be called. Benjamin Thousand-Foot. You have to be five hundred times more graceful when you have a thousand feet.

Let me tell you what happened to me when I saw Rooney Mara on the red carpet, and then heard Kelly Osbourne deconstruct her outfit. Here, let me quote Kelly Osbourne (something I will never say again):

"I love that she is so into structure and she keeps it simple because structure says so much, and you can really go wrong with adding a necklace or a bracelet or even the color of your lips, and because she keeps everything so simple, it makes the dress pop in just the most magnificent way."

I was nodding furiously and then rewinding my Tivo and scribbling this all down like Kelly Osbourne was Pema fucking Chödrön dropping some satori on my seventh chakra, I agreed so hard. Let's pause, though, to consider that you can go wrong by adding the color of your lips. Don't add that.

Some on the television were wondering aloud about the little awnings over Rooney Mara's breasts. Judging by her conversation with Ryan Seacrest, they were to deflect small talk.

Penelope Ann Miller had no such awnings, however, and Ryan Seacrest looked exhausted when they were done talking. Penelope Ann Miller has been representing hard for "The Artist". Did you watch the Independent Spirit Awards? She was practically the only person on hand to collect the awards that "The Artist" won, and she kept on giving different speeches for everybody instead of just taking the thing and discreetly slipping away. Whoops, it's me again! Penelope Ann Miller! Remember me from before? The 80s or 90s? Well, I'm back! I'm in "The Artist".

Ryan, I designed my own dress with Badgley Mischka, and you know what? He really liked my ideas! It was supposed to be like The Twenties, you know, when "The Artist" is set, that I'm in, "The Artist", with that sort of glamour, but then he convinced me to go more modern with the headband. And so I did! ((curtsey)) I'm in "The Artist".

I think she looks okay, though, despite that modern Simpsons/Young Frankenstein hair pouf that all the kids are doing these days so we know we're in a new hair decade. It's not to look good, it's to look new. So, there we are. Newish. And I don't know how to feel about those tiny little headbands. Wait....I'm against them. Oh, Penelope. Penelope Ann. I hope you had lots of fun at those parties tonight. I hope you let everybody know which movie you were in.

The only reason I'm including Tina Fey here is that she passed a poofy hair bun baton to Jennifer Lopez on the red carpet. They were interviewed one after the other. Here, interviewer. We know you need one poofy-bunned person near you at all times. I will be with you until...

...here she is. So I'll go now. You're safe. Hey, Jennifer.

Hey, Tina. (bun bump)

Jennifer Lopez. Can I stop a moment to say how much I enjoy in a not-totally-100% ironic way the song "Jenny from the Block"? I missed it back in the day when it came out, but I found it now. We're together. I play it in the car all the time. Loudly. I'M REAL I THOUGHT I TOLD YOU. IM REAL EVEN ON OPRAH. THAT'S JUST ME. "Relax, everybody! I'm awesome!" When a song makes me laugh and makes me car-dance at a stoplight, well. That's the bifecta.

You look weird but still almost good. Like somebody that Captain Kirk would have sex with from some not-too-kooky planet. That said, your sleeves, J-Lo. They look like they're wearing nude nylons in the cut-outs. You're very rich and famous and powerful, you said so yourself in the song, so I feel sure you could have avoided that. Or maybe somebody you trust from the block could have told you. Oh, well. Stars: they're just like us!

Octavia Spencer: I Look Just Fine.

Kristen Wiig: I Look Just Fine, Too, Only I Keep Wearing This Color To All The Awards Shows.

Now we come to a troubling little neighborhood. Oh, little group of performers coming up. I wish things were different. I'm not mad. Nobody made me mad this year, which a little bit makes me mad for the purposes of this post. Hilary Swank, I bitch about you, but I kind of need you. But this next group...I'm going to give you each ribbons, too. Yours will say "PARTICIPANT".

Melissa McCarthy, you couldn't have been more of a joy in Bridesmaids, and the fact that you based your character on Guy Fieri makes me want to write you into my will. But...neckline...and color....and sleeves...it's a little bit like Mrs. Roper if she were going to meet the queen. Your Golden Globes outfit was much better. Let's remember that:

Aw. That's more like it. You go in peace, genius.

Viola Davis, I am sorry to say that this hair color and style with this shade of dress gives me "sexy leprechaun" feelings, and I don't want to have those. Also, that ruffle thing at the bottom of the dress makes it look like you got scarred in a fight with another sexy leprechaun.

Bérénice Bejo, did you know that you were also in "The Artist" with Penelope Ann Miller? You were, it turns out. Who'd have known? I'm stalling. I'm going to say these things fast:


We pulled off the Band-Aid! All done. Have some wine.

This would look great if Shailene Woodley were Diane Lane. Also, no, you're not just as excited for your friends when they pass a chemistry exam as they are for you now that you've been nominated for an Oscar. C'mon, now.

Judy Greer was out jogging and then she was like

OH NO! It's time to leave for the Oscars! Genie, turn my tracksuit into a dress!


Ryan Seacrest was all "What color is that dress, Ellie Kemper?" and she was like "I kind of don't know!" and he was like "Is it rust?" and she was like "I thought it could be rust! Maybe it's glittery rust!" and then Kelly Osbourne was like "Ugh, you amateurs, that's copper" and I was like 


[[drops mic, exits]]

Glenn Close is what we're working with in the absence of Helen Mirren. She's Primo! to Helen Mirren's Giorgio, Enchanted April to Helen Mirren's Howard's End. I think she looks great. Age-appropriate and foxy. Her statement: I AM SEXIER THAN ALBERT NOBBS.

Bow down before Gwyneth, because when she nails it, it is shut.

Michelle Williams gets on my nerve. I only have one nerve, and she is on it. Ooh, me with my weird, unnameable color WELL I CALL IT ELECTRIC WATERMELON, MICHELLE and my insufferable little brooch on my hip and my demure ruffles and offbeat peplum waist. You know what? All you had to do was not wear that necklace and take that little shiny cricket off your waist and you would still be on part of my nerve, but I'd have enough of that nerve left untrod-upon to run errands or whatever. The way it is, I'm stuck here at my dining room table.

Kate Mara, whomever she may be, is sporting The Droopy Dog. That's the new name for that arm fabric trend. She looks a little guilty about it, too.

I had my eyes glued to the red carpet all night and Angelina Jolie thinks she can just sneak in without my noticing. Well, she could and she did. She stood this way, with her leg out, when she was presenting the awards for Best Screenplay. "This dress has a slit in it. It's for my leg. See my leg. Leg slit." You've got to let it go when you're standing still, lady. When you're walking or sitting, the leg comes out on its own and that's legit. This is just silly. You don't make a crazy gesture to emphasize the body part you're trying to highlight. Salma Hayek doesn't squeeze her arms together and bend forward when she presents an award. Jennifer Lopez didn't slap herself on the ass when she gave out Best Costumes. And Michelle Obama doesn't wave her arms around unless she's teaching us how to exercise.

I have things to say about Stacy Keibler in a second, but here's George Clooney's position, "The woman I'm sleeping with looks better naked than any of the rest of you do, so she never needs to dress well, and fuck you, and HA HA." This has always been his position. (Please to remember Sarah Larson.) So it doesn't matter that Stacy Keibler's hair perpetually gives off the vibe "I'm going to try out this new hairstyle" rather than "Here's my hair, looking good", and it doesn't matter that she has the Droopy Dog strap, or a golden Hurricane Katrina on her hip. She's a six-foot-tall, sexy, pointy ex-wrestler, and George Clooney Does Not Care. And he will not care with his next seventeen girlfriends, for whom it will always be exactly the same.

Jean Dujardin and his wife. I ate them.

Was I not supposed to? Were we saving them for something?

red carpet feelings

We must hurry. There is much to discuss and darkness will fall soon. The cattle will have to be called home and the jam will have to be set for the winter. For the summer. Spring is next? Whatever, I'm not a farmer. Let us make haste and distribute compliments and ridicule.

Renee Zellweger! To start with you is a lesson in cognitive dissonance. You trouble me, Renee. Your face, which you can do nothing about, about which you are innocent, troubles me. Is it attractive or not? Which is it?! No one knows. As soon as we become certain one way, a photo surfaces that confirms the opposite. It's also important for you to know, Renee, that I saw a few minutes of Miss Potter. WHY? WHY SO...WHY WERE YOU LIKE THAT? But you can dress. I'll give you that. You always look great on the red carpet. This silver number is very the-name-on-everbody's-lips-is-gonna-be--ROXIE!...in a good way. Congratulations. Please go figure out if you're attractive and also whether you're a good actress or not. I will go and try to figure out the same thing for myself. Maybe we can be pen pals.

Keri Russell. I have no feelings about you. I only feel that it's important to wear colors that don't wash you out. You apparently feel differently.

Laura Linney, I like you. You're a fantastic actress. So I feel bad that I have to say bad things about your hair. Why so much volume at the crown? Why so much and also not enough? Why so neither here nor there regarding your volume at the crown? Also, it's time to not wear those sorts of necklaces on the red carpet any more for a few years. For a decade. In ten years it will be all right again. Much about this look is too stiff. But your face is purty and who can fault your dress? And the sides of your hair look very nice. When is your next movie? I'd like to see it.

Marion Cotillard! Vous etes completement la cutie patouttie! How adorable were you when you won, saying how Los Angeles really has angels in it?! Le super adorable. Your movie looks very good! And your dress is gorgeous and you look flawless. You are sans flaw! You are inflawABle!

I am happy for you, Nicole Kidman, that you are having a baby. I think that maybe I'm happy for you about how interesting your necklace is but I think I'm not happy about how it interacts with your dress, and I know I'm happy for you about the simple elegance of said dress but I'm also unhappy that your hem was not three inches longer. But I understand that it's very important you don't trip on it and smush the baby. Please continue inside to a comfortable seat. P.S. Little side bun = cute!

Penelope Cruz: Please see me after class. The drape in front of your dress is confusing and obscures your point. Also, I believe I had assigned no feathers at the top of your bodice. I want you and Laura Linney to get together and write a paper about the problems associated with looking too stiff on the red carpet. You're headed down a bad road. I want you to succeed.

Look, I don't want to talk smack about Sarah Larson. I imagine she's got to be a groovy person in the extreme to have caused love to erupt in the coolest motherfucker alive. And I want George Clooney to invite me to dinner with Barack Obama and Al Gore and Walter Cronkite at his house in Lake Como. So...I won't. I won't talk smack. Congratulations, lady. I mean it.

It's going to happen like this:

That industrial I just got cast in? Where I'm going to be playing a doctor? Someone is going to see that and see how good I am on film. This will lead to a significant role in a serious film where I play a doctor who does battle with internal and external forces of some sort, who succeeds or fails compellingly and Academy Award winningly or at least nominatedly. Then I will do a Jedi mind trick on everyone wherein they permanently forget that Helen Mirren wore this dress and then I will wear it.

And during the week leading up to MY Oscars, I will wake up at night in a tepid sweat after having dreamed I wore this dress that Hilary Swank is wearing, and that I wore my hair like that to the Oscars. Note that it's a tepid sweat. I realize that it's not THAT bad. It's not a cold sweat. But it's not what I want for myself in my moment of triumph. Uptight Grandma on the make. No!

Jennifer Garner, please talk to Laura Linney and Penelop Cruz about your assignment. And then go kiss your adorable baby and great husband! You know, your hair helps offset the stiffness. I'm not mad at you. I like you.

Katherine Heigl, please turn down the color on your set and then carry on. And don't let the turkeys get you down about how nervous you were presenting that one award! It was really sweet and sincere and made you very likeable! C'mere. Oh, my eyes. So bright. Yi yi. But so cute, this look.

In fact, Katherine Heigl, you could have just split the brightness difference with ol' Amy Adams here and you both would have looked like a million dollars. I like this look but the color is just a little bit dull, methinks. Amy Adams, your purse with nothing in it is weird and pretty.

Anne Hathaway, you look almost as good as Kate Winslet looked in her great red number from a few years back. All in all, you get an "A" because we're not grading on a curve that includes looks from previous years. Please continue inside to your seat and enjoy the show.

Cameron Diaz, why are you here at the Oscars? Oh, I don't know what to do with you. I generally like how you dress. This color is sort of lame. And you could have ironed your gown, I guess. I don't know. Go inside.

Hi, Cate. Love you, love everything all the time, etc. See Jessica Alba underneath you? She's got a bun in the oven, too. And she's not afraid of tripping on her dress. Just a few inches longer is all I needed from you. I guess your maternal instincts were just too strong. I can respect that. The scarf-ish feeling at the neckline makes this dress feel a little on the casual side for the Oscars. I'm telling you, the longer hem would have helped. Ah, well. On the whole, I dig it.

Hi, Jessica Alba. I like this better on tv than I do in this photo. But I think you look nice. I like your braid-y, milkmaid-y hairdo. I even don't mind the feathers atop your bodice. You weren't given the same no-feathers dictate I'd given Penelope Cruz. The color of your dress is yummy, flattering and unusual. You're like a big, cascading, boysenberry waterfall. Kudos, mommy!

That's it. I can't go on. More people were there, but I just cannot talk about them all. I'm just one woman! Tilda Swinton, you run free. That's right. Run! Run away in your weird, one-sleeved gown and no makeup, with all of your indie integrity and huge, weird talent. Run, with your heavy Oscar that looks like your agent! I loved you in Michael Clayton, so you just run, now. There's a hole in that fence. You can sneak through it.

oscar cake baby post

Lots to cover in this post:

1. Oscar dresses and what I think of them.
2. A cake I made for my belated father's birthday.
3. There have been requests for Finn photos.

It's going to be long.

I can only talk about the dresses, really, and not the actual awards. Having a baby pretty much knocks out that year in movies for you. I should have piped up about the Emmys. Those I was qualified to discuss. Lots of time logged in front of the television this last year.

All right. Onwards.


Helen Mirren is so foxotronic. I'm going to throw in her Golden Globes dress for confirmation, here, because I loved that color.

Yeah, whoosh.

Kirsten Dunst is a sartorial train wreck in her everyday life - AS AM I - but I like what she does on the red carpet. And I like this weird little groovy demure Chanel business.

I thought Rachel Weisz looked ravishing in the extreeeeeeeeme.

Nicole Kidman. At first I was like....."?" And then I loved it. It's like Alice in Wonderland ate the Queen of Hearts. I also like Naomi Watts in this creamy yellow thing.

Anika Noni Rose - I love things like this. I love the cut and the simplicity and the lack of jewelry.

Cate Blanchett, it's like it's not even worth mentioning it anymore. How great it always goes. I actually would like to see her fuck up now. Next time, please fuck up. I seriously think she can't do it. I am throwing down the gauntlet. Try to dress badly. I'll give you five dollars, Cate Blanchett.

On the other hand, here's a small parade of people who dressed in unfortunate Southwestern colors that don't suit them.

Kate Winslet is usually so stellar. Here the sour cream drowned the guacamole and then the Grand Canyon spat up a little lipstick and made out with her.

This putty color is a bummer, Penelope. Adobe floor. Boo.

Gwyneth Paltrow would look great, I think, if she weren't wearing this terra cotta shade that doesn't have anything to do with anything good for her.

Moving on, we have the puzzling Eva Green.

When she came out to present her award, I loved her dress. But then her gothic hair and makeup troubled me. Now I'm just troubled. But I feel like I could see a different picture and then love it again. I don't know what's going on.


My dad died two years ago and I made this cake for his birthday which was last Thursday. (Long story behind it. Tell you later, maybe.) In any case, I'm a baking wizard these days.

We're building a house right by my mom's place, right? So this cake is our two houses on some chocolate cake soil with green coffee frosting grass. The houses are white cake. My mom's house is the one with white frosting. It's got lemon filling because she is a freak for lemon. Her sitcom would be Everybody Loves Lemon. She says that all the time, that's a quote. She says it very definitively. The gavel has come down when she says it. She is a motherfucking out-of-control lemon advocate.

Our house-to-be is the purplish one. It's got plum filling, as some great plum trees are getting uprooted in the cause. Note the hazelnut path and the hazelnut shingles. What possessed me?! And I baked these bastards from scratch. I've never baked a cake from scratch before. Suddenly I baked three and piled them on each other. And they're delicious, if sort of retarded and abstract. Lookatem:

Yeah, it's bigger than you thought.

3. FINN!

Oh, this boy. This BOY. After I breastfed him the other day and he was lying on my lap smiling up at me, he suddenly said, "Hello." I was like, DOING!!! (doing = my eyes popping out of my head) And on that same day, he allowed sweet potatoes to enter his mouth, repeatedly. His previous stance was fuck vegetables and fuck you for offering them to me. Every now and then he likes to blow my mind. You like that mama? Yeah. Mixing it up. Coming at you from the left, and then coming at you from the right. You don't know how I feel about vegetables. Maybe I like them now. Maybe I don't. Maybe I speak. Maybe I walk. Maybe I don't.

Finnaroo. I brought him into our bed the other morning, and when he saw Dave, he said DADA?!?!?!?! so incredulously I don't know if I can get it across. Dave said it was as though Finn spotted him out of the blue in a marketplace in Cairo.