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Considering I’d seen an embarrassingly small number of the Academy Award-nominated films this year, quite a bit of my excitement was seeing the glittering gowns as they came down the red carpet. Fortunately, I was not disappointed! So many of the ladies hit it out of the park and even the misses weren’t horrendous. So here are my top (and bottom) picks:

5. Ellie Kemper: Ellie Kemper arrived early in the evening and was easily my favorite so far when she did. This Armani Prive gown is so perfect on her. I love when a fellow redhead turns it out like that. The jewels and clutch were perfect accompaniments and the magpie in me just can’t get over the sparkle. My tiny nitpick would be that I wish her bangs were the tiniest bit shorter! It would’ve been nice to see more of her eyes.

4. Meryl Streep: I love it when Meryl brings it out like this. This very year, she wore a banana clip in her hair to the Golden Globes, so I was so glad to see her show up looking like a million bucks in Lanvin. She looked the part and it certainly paid off with Oscar #3 for “The Goddess” (as my high school drama teacher affectionately referred to her).

3. Michelle Williams: It’s always interesting to see what Michelle Williams will turn up in and I was pleasantly surprised by this departure from her prim, high-necked collars and twee outfits. This coral Louis Vuitton confection complemented her perfectly on her big night. I know people are divided on the peplum detail, but she’s tiny enough that it worked for me. The simple necklace and brooch at the waist were the perfect accessories for the detailed dress.

2. Jessica Chastain: Another of the wild cards leading up to Oscar night, Jessica Chastain has had almost as many misses as hits during this awards season, but she really turned it out in this gorgeous Alexander McQueen gown. Black and gold are two favorites for the big night, but it’s not often you see them woven together so masterfully. To top it off, her makeup and hair are so spot on. I covet that hairstyle.

1. Maya Rudolph: I thought all of the Bridesmaids ladies looked lovely, but my absolute favorite was Maya Rudolph in this aubergine gown by Johanna Johnson. The color is fantastic on her, I love the detailing and the fact that it’s interesting without being bizarre. To top it off, the hair is perfection. She looked beautiful, happy, and comfortable, which to me is the perfect combination for a night like the Academy Awards.

Since I don’t like to dwell on the negative, I’m putting my misses all together here. It absolutely pains me to have these ladies on the list, but on a night when they should look their absolute best, they…well, didn’t. I love Emma Stone from here to eternity, but I did not love that giant bow around her neck. Without it, the dress would have looked a million times better on her. We’ve seen her do so much better. As for Kristen Wiig, she certainly didn’t look bad, but on a night when she could have won best original screenplay, she really didn’t look that special. This is the third major awards show we’ve seen her wear beige. Imagine that dress in a color: so much better!

Oh Viola Davis, I so wanted you to knock it out as you have before. It was close – this color is amazing and I love seeing you rock your natural hair, but the detailing in the skirt is bizarre and, let’s face it, I was worried your bits were going to pop out the top of the dress. Maybe next time. Sandra Bullock was in no danger of having her bits fall out, but the front of her gown was awkwardly loose in a way that looked unflattering rather than artful. The back was lovely, but we don’t generally walk backwards. Well, J. Lo almost walked backwards with Cameron Diaz on stage, but no matter how good the booty looked in this dress, it wasn’t my favorite. I know it’s J. Lo being J. Lo, and her body certainly looked amazing, but it seemed tacky for the Oscars.

So what do you think? Agree? Think I’m dead wrong? Let me know your favorites!

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