Sunday, July 31, 2011

Horrible Bosses ***

Director: Seth Gordon
Cast: Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, Charlie Day
Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell, Jennifer Aniston
Julie Bowen, Jamie Foxx

Since time immemorial, humans have rebelled against authority figures or despotic members of their hierarchy. From entire countries and cruel monarchs, the arrival of seemingly uniform democracy made it tougher for those in power to abuse their subjects, which is why this model is now mostly used in two places: school and work.
These are the two instances when not even being right gives you any benefit, how can you argue first, with a system that will give you and education and provide a job, and then with the very workplace you were trained to excel at?
Insurrection in either of these two means you either become an outcast or starve to death, what to do then when the situations get simply out of control?
Horrible Bosses is not the answer to the complicated ethical conundrum exposed in the previous paragraphs but as an accurate portrayal of men-children caught in a cycle of senseless torture, it might be one of the cleverest movies to come out of the harsh economic times the world has been through.
Essentially the film shows us the ghastly work situations of three men whose bosses specialty is creating living hell on Earth.
There's Nick Hendricks (Bateman), an executive whose boss, Dave Harken (Spacey), tortures him with the promise of a promotion that never materializes, while chiding him for being two minutes late, making him work inhuman hours and tricking him into drinking booze early in the morning.
Kurt Buckman (Sudeikis) is a pleasing accountant who has to deal with his exemplary boss' (Donald Sutherland) son, Bobby Pellitt (Farrell), after the elder Pellitt dies of a heart attack. Bobby not only loathes Kurt, he's also a cocaine addict who en joys the company of Asian escorts.
Last, there's dental assistant Dale Arbus (Day) whose perfect life with his fiancee (Lindsay Sloane) is only threatened by the insatiable libido of his boss Julia Harris (Aniston) who tries to coerce him into having sex with her.
The three poor chums, who also happen to be life long friends, decide that the only way to make this stop is to eliminate the very source of their trouble: they must kill their bosses. They hire the shady looking Motherfucker Jones (Foxx) to be their "murder consultant" and then set out, a la Hitchcock, to kill each other's bosses. This of course leads to a large amount of hilarity and truly ridiculous situations.
It's funny to think about it but the very premise of this movie would've had a different genre connotation a couple of decades ago. The very notion that an everyman is set to kill his boss just screams noir and sends images of Bob Mitchum in a trench coat and a cackling Dick Widmark pushing ladies down a staircase.
How and when murder became hilarious instead of horrifying? That is the question. Then again, not really because what Horrible Bosses aims at goes beyond "let's make fun of these goofballs' failed murder plans", it actually makes us wonder how deep in crap we are that we have begun to think of lives as commodities we can bargain and deal with.
In a way then, this film is just as horrifying as anything that might've sprung from the WWII-bruised minds of the greatest film noir masters. The film explores the notions of survival in a very immature way (it's either murder or $20 handjobs for these guys...) but perhaps unintentionally it taps into a very primal conundrum which director Gordon (if you haven't seen his Donkey Kong documentary, what are you waiting for?) handles with dexterity and much needed grace.
Despite its rooting in the Judd Apatow school of immature adult men coming to terms with existence, Gordon seems to find a voice of his own and delivers the hilarity with politically incorrect, almost passive aggressive darkness; the very name of Motherfucker Jones calls for a whole essay on the blaxploitaition movement, and as much as Gordon tries to pretend he's just another comedy director, his movie references and twisted homages tell us that he's a filmmaker to watch. You don't see Hitchcock, Danny de Vito and Kiss Me Deadly thrown in together into a single reference so frequently, do ya?
If there is one thing the film fails at is establishing why these guys need to be friends in the same place, something noir-ish would've been more benefited from the pros of anonymity, heck the very name of Strangers on a Train says it! So why do we need to know they are members of this boy club? Do they allow other members? it would've been interesting to see how Gordon developed his characters under the stress of unfamiliarity.
Other than that, the film shines for its excellent portrayal of hard economic times, the refusal to grow up and you haven't lived until you see, the usually too-good-to-be-true, Jennifer Aniston spraying Charlie Day's crotch trying to figure out whether he's cut or not. She gives the comedic performance of the year!

Style Sunday.

Someone should tell Mila Kunis that the audition is over; Nina Sayers got the part of the Swan Queen. I kid you. Mila looks absolutely ravishing in this delicate Elie Saab dress. The color and the ethereal top make it seem a bit too ballet-y but Kunis proves she can always play the part.

Rose Byrne's hair usually annoys the crap out of me, somehow I truly love it here. She's the image of careless hip fashionista (she was going to a concert) in this stunning ensemble which includes a leather skirt courtesy of Zimmerman. I wonder if she pulled off the mosh pit in those shoes though.


Has Rachel Weisz always been this freaking gorgeous? This Louis Vuitton dress and the way in which it highlights her stunning body is sex. As simple as that.

How do you feel about Rose Byrne's fringe? Has Rachel, indeed, always been so sexy?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Giver.


This is one of the greatest screen acting moments of the past ten years.
Even those who hated the movie can't disagree, right?

Sheet-y Saturday.

Where we take a look at posters for upcoming features.


What is it about George Clooney and posters that just screams perfection? This one-sheet for his newest directorial effort not only borrows ideas from Time magazine iconic covers, it also creates a creepily attractive creature half-Clooney, half-Gosling that tempts and scares us.
Have you seen the promotional shot for the film that shows Clooney in an Obama-esque poster? This movie sure brims with promise, doesn't it?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I've Just Arrived From the Gym...


...and just like Bridget will turn humdrum life upside down before end of year.
In the meantime go read my review for Bridget Jones's Diary over at PopMatters.
As always come back here and discuss!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Beaver ***½


Director: Jodie Foster
Cast: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence
Riley Thomas Stewart, Cherry Jones, Zachary Booth

Is an artist his own art? In recent times it's become practically impossible to analyze an artistic work without connecting it to the private life of its creator. Ever since the media became obsessed with covering aspects of artists' lives outside their medium of work, audiences have developed strange relationships with them, that in a way makes them believe that a bond exists between them.
However the truth is, that despite Hollywood's greatest efforts to prove us wrong, movie stars have never been like the rest of us. They were made to exist in a different level and as much as we're told that they're just another regular Joe, in reality they are people with whom we may never cross paths. This need to identify with them however should be restricted, or perhaps encouraged, only in those stars who also exude talent.
When said movie star is also talented, we learn to empathize with them, not through their love of mansions, sports cars and super models, but because of the humanity they infuse into their characters. Should a movie star then, be forgiven for his "sins" when they commit themselves to a deeply touching performance?
For starters, who gave the audience the authority to become a moral judge and do movie stars even need to be ethical beacons of decency? Why has separating the public from the artistic become such a difficult task?
Of course on several occasions, film personalities have used the medium to exorcise their public demons (or is it their demons in public?) and we have seen works of art like On the Waterfront arrive in the shape of what looked like an apology, or a justification for previous sins committed.
As usual, this need to separate the two aspects of a performer and to judge them accordingly is left best to each individual, but rarely has this reflection been as crucial to a product and its maker as it is in The Beaver.
After a long battle with alcoholism, outbursts of antisemitism and even domestic violence, Gibson is back with his first "serious" role in quite some time. Appealing to those who think of him, not as a movie star, but as an actor, Gibson plays Walter Black, the depressed CEO of a toy company who one day decides he has had enough.
His wife Meredith (Foster) has kicked him out of the house where she stays with their children Porter and Henry (Yelchin and Stewart), so Walter chooses to go by way of necktie hanging. Moments before, he had found a puppet in the form of a beaver, which he places on his hand. Walter attempts suicide only to wake up realizing that not only is he, well, still alive, but that the beaver has taken over him and is talking to him in a Cockney-by-way-of-Michael Caine accent. The beaver, who works as a therapist of sorts, helps Walter regain control of his life and soon he establishes that he will only address others through his beaver.
Those closer to him put up with his "talk to the hand" policy because they think it's healing him, although his son Porter begins to distance himself from his dad even more and then Walter begins to thrive in business as well (Jones plays VP to his CEO).
After a while though, like any medication, the beaver becomes a nuisance and Walter is in danger of fully losing his identity to a puppet.
As Harvey redux as the movie might sound, the truth is that The Beaver can be filtered through an array of different readings, most of which go beyond facile analysis of suburban farce and character through mental disease dissection.
For starters it becomes impossible to ignore the fact that in a completely meta way, The Beaver acts as Mel Gibson's own beaver. Is he trying to explain his irrational behavior through a movie where a character explains his irrational behavior through a character?
If so it would make sense that it was a commissioned screenplay right? However Kyle Killen's script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for years with nobody knowing exactly how to pull it off. Given to Foster, who is a truly accomplished director, the story is suddenly infused with tenderness, urgency and best of all: a lack of irony.
Foster excels at delivering a movie full of gimmicks that effortlessly overcomes them and feels like a modern take on Frank Capra. That she uses her friend Gibson is extraordinary because she brings out perhaps the greatest performance of his career. One that's both moving and scary to watch. Gibson fearlessly dives into insanity but often achieves sublime tiny moments where all you want to do is hug his character.
As Walter descends into madness, you might find yourself snickering more and more at how this character's path resembles the one of the actor playing him and the film can be studied as a postmodernist take on the public apology.
Is Gibson trying to defend his behavior and throwing out a public cry for help or is he merely trying to seduce us all over with his charm and inarguable talent?
One of The Beaver's most conflicting scenes has Walter being interviewed by Matt Lauer and here audiences have to decide whether they are watching Gibson or Walter, the effect of the movie depends on this, it's as simple as that.
On the other side, and perhaps much more interesting from an academic level, we have an exploration of gender, sexuality and their deep connection to words. We won't pretend that the film's title doesn't strike a funny bone from a childish, vulgar point of view. Especially when the film's title animal can also be used to make jokes about the director's private life (again, both angles can be linked).
What exactly made a beaver more appealing to the writer, than say, a dog or a mouse? As with everything in a movie, even if "subconsciously" done, there are no coincidences and the beaver becomes an embodiment of a feminine side which Walter needs to connect to in order to evolve.
Perhaps from a queer theory point of view, the beaver that takes over Walter is an expression of his deep desire to be someone he isn't. The movie never really hints at bisexuality or homosexuality but it makes it clear for us that Walter is leading an unhappy life that only this tiny furry thing can help. Using his hand in drag gives Walter a freedom he never thought he could achieve.
The inner struggles with masculinity are also expressed through Walter's relationship with Porter. Throughout the movie we see Porter keep a list of the reasons why he does not want to become his dad and the things that are taking him there so far.
What can make Porter so unsure about admiring his dad other than having him represent a facet of being a man, that he doesn't agree with? What son wants his father to have a beaver?
Porter is given a romantic interest in the shape of the always haunting Jennifer Lawrence (perhaps to reassure us of his heterosexual points of view) and while the film tries to give their subplot more importance, the center of the film is always the relationship between father and son.
Kudos to Foster for being capable of removing herself from the main themes and exploring the notions of masculinity with such delicacy. As the breach between father and son becomes wider, Foster suddenly makes a heartbreaking statement and shows us that sometimes the only way for different perspectives to come together is through a symbolic castration.
In the case of The Beaver it must be seen to be believed, especially because you never expect a whimsical movie about the suburbs to explore the issues of "being a 'man'" with such liberated honesty.

Style Sunday.


The lovely Carey Mulligan showed the geeks of the world how it's done when she attended Comic Con in this stunning color block Roksanda Ilincic. For the nerdy convention she went with low key sandals that probably made her look like the girlfriend they all wished they had but attending the premiere of Drive she opted for perfect red pumps which not only added height to her slender figure but made the dress suddenly obtain a regal appearance.
Gotta love how she pulls off colors and nude bits (yes, look closer, it's an open dress on the abs) oh Carey you are such a goddess of effortlessness.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Winnie the Pooh ***


Director: Stephen Anderson, Don Hall

During a movie season where sequels have invaded the cinemas to perpetuate the idea that the loudest and the shallowest means the better, it's refreshing that one of the best movies to come out so far is this small, almost impossibly cute adaptation of A.A. Milne's stories starring Winnie the Pooh.
This is the fifth theatrical release starring the honey-obsessed bear and his friends and as such, it's remarkable to see how in a way the series has evolved while preserving its classic values. As has become the norm, Pooh is in search of honey but in the process he gets caught in adventures that include finding Eeyore's lost tail, facing a mysterious creature named the Backson and trying to rescue his dear friend Christopher Robin.
By now, these characters have become so defined by the generations of fans who have grown to love them, that it's quite safe to say that there's nowhere completely groundbreaking where the filmmakers could take this movie. However, even in their iconic simplicity the characters are lovable and manage to engage you in their adventures.
From the blase attitude of Eeyore, to the hyperactive nature of Tigger, the characters remain who they always have been and you really can't hold anything against them. It's a real treat to listen to Pooh question the narrator (none other than John Cleese in this occasion) and a large portion of the film's sequences often remind us that this is a tale being told. The filmmakers more than ever pay tribute to Pooh's literary origins and in a charming manner manage to convey the idea of watching words be put in motion.
The animation is absolutely breathtaking, with the characters handdrawn using bold strokes that contrast beautifully with the watercolor backgrounds. While Winnie the Pooh lacks the sophistication that has made animated films so appealing to adults in recent years, it holds on to grown ups using nostalgia and adequately does so without overstaying its welcome.
At a brisk running time of an hour and a couple of minutes the film's cuteness won't result unbearable for adults and its message won't be too complicated for children. It serves as a perfect generational bond.
The soundtrack features songs performed with twee delight by Zooey Deschanel, which also go perfectly with the film's mood and intention. Winnie the Pooh is the cinematic equivalent of a big mug of hot cocoa with just the right amount of marshmallows.

Sheet-y Saturday.

Where we take a look at posters for upcoming features.

Andrew Niccol doing sci-fi? Count me in! However I'm still unsure of what exactly does Justin Timberlake's "acting" bring to the movies...
Also this poster looks like a CK ad.

The next two posters are for the new Steven Soderbergh movies and ugh, this man is a genius. He hand picked the designers for his marketing campaign and chose some of the best in the business (the ones that make Criterion covers...)
The one for Contagion has a District 9 feel and truly what stands out in this poster, and also in the one for Haywire is that Soderbergh goes beyond the worshiping of the movie star...


...he has some of the greatest living actors in these two movies, also some of the most beautiful people. Yet on the posters he goes for an appraisal of graphic design as an art form. The one for Contagion has a very retro touristy feel. As if disease took over the mentioned cities. It's also important to mention how influenced by industrial design are these posters. The first one loves typography while the one for Haywire pays tribute to the great Saul bass and to iconic movie posters of the 70s without obviously ripping them off.
I have to admit I don't even miss seeing Fassy's gorgeous mug in it...

Excited about the new Soderbergh flicks?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Lanvin Does Right for Emma (Duh?)


I know how much Andrew loves when I talk fashion with Nat over at The Film Experience. But what about the rest of you guys? Head over to Nat's right away and read our latest red carpet lineup!

Potiche **


Director: François Ozon
Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Gerard Depardieu, Fabrice Luchini
Karin Viard, Jérémie Renier, Judith Godrèche

Watching Catherine Deneuve act is one of those things that ultimately can only be called: a pleasure. The way in which she takes hold of the screen with her majestic beauty to deliver uncharacteristically quirky but always marvelous performances, is one of the reasons why anything starring her is an instant must watch.
In Potiche she receives yet another chance to shine on her own terms. She plays Suzanne Pujol, the wife of a wealthy umbrella-factory owner (Luchini) who goes from being a mere "potiche" (French for flower vase and trophy wife) to running her husband's company and eventually finding that she might just be made for politics.
What could've been a forced enlightenment melodrama is instead a whimsical tale about families and creating your identity despite being labeled by others. As usual Ozon lets his flair for the dramatic get the best of him and the movie, which is set in the 1970s, uses some stylistic flourishes that distract from the main plot and the film never really decides if it wants to be whimsical or more character centric.
The supporting cast is extraordinary, Depardieu in particular who has great chemistry with Deneuve but with such an uneven screenplay it's difficult to know exactly what the movie is trying to achieve which makes its twists seem arbitrary and rather ridiculous at times. Ozon can master farce when he wants to but Potiche leaves much to be desired.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Boat.


WWII movies are not my forte (they're my dad's...) but this Blu-ray version of Das Boot must be seen to be believed! Go to PopMatters and read my review.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Let's Not Ask the Moon.

During one of the most haunting scenes in Rebel Without a Cause we see a group of high school students going to the Los Angeles observatory where they take part of a planetarium exposition.
The sense that there is a world larger than their teenager problems isn't completely evident to them and we see how they all pretty much ignore the stars and do their own thing.

One of them however is concentrating on a star, only not the kind you'd expect. Little Plato (Mineo) is starstruck by the enigmatic Jim Stark (Dean) and who can blame him?
The young actor was the epitome of screen magnetism in this film!

I have always loved how Plato contemplates Jim as if trying to crack into his mind. The bewitching qualities of Dean and their influence on Mineo go beyond vulgar homoerotic suggestions and turn into something magical, they also lead to my favorite shot in the film, only this one has sexual connotations as well:


Just how much beauty can the screen contain at once?

This post is part of Nathaniel's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" series.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sweet HD Tooth.


Y'all remember Chocolat? That cute little movie people grew to hate because it got a Best Picture Oscar nomination? Which also kept me all confused throughout the entire awards season because Juliette Binoche and Julia Roberts were nominated for Best Actress and their smiles were so similar! Julia kept all demure in the tiny boxes, saving that toothy hole until she won the Oscar. Anyway, the movie came out on Blu-ray and I reviewed it for PopMatters, so go check that out.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Style Sunday.

The first thing I thought when I saw this dress was "the French are glad to die for love". It's Satine! Nicole Kidman looks better than she has in years in this lush Ellie Saab cherry dress. The length works wonders for her and the tiny flaps on her hips make her look curvier and sexy. Gotta love how the color brings out her hair's fiery richness too!

SJP rocks this Oscar de la Renta, which resembles the Alexander McQueen she wore last year to the CFDA awards. Best of all? The jacket she paired it with, looks like she just "threw something on" before attending a red carpet.


Finally Emma Watson blew me away in this truly magnificent Bottega Veneta. The color isn't only perfect for her pale skin tone, it actually makes her glow! Notice the structural beauty of the dress, on top its nude-ish corset, paired with her slick hair makes it seem like she's a bathing beauty and below the cascading pieces of fabric give her a truly regal appearance. I thought this was a Marchesa but regardless of the couturier, Emma looks magical!

What do you think of these ladies? Love Satine as much as I do? Did you go see Harry Potter this weekend?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sick!

I am dying to see this movie, pardon the pun and I discussed the trailer over at The Film Experience, so go check it out!

Sheet-y Saturday.

Where we take a look at posters for upcoming features.

After the rather surprising trailer that shows us a playful Marty, now we get this rather tame teaser poster for the upcoming Hugo.
Can't say this poster screams "I'm dying to see this ASAP!", it looks more like a leftover piece from The Golden Compass movies that never came to happen...


This slightly updated version of Brave's teaser gives us a glimpse at how influenced the movie will be by Celtic and Medieval traditions. The way in which the artists achieved movement with such grace and beauty in this poster is truly remarkable. Please let Cars 2 be behind us and have Pixar deliver this to us today!

What were your thoughts on the Hugo trailer? Excited about Brave?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 ***


Director. David Yates
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
Ralph Fiennes, Julie Walters, Maggie Smith, John Hurt
Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman,Clémence Poésy

Can mediocre literature make good cinema? This, and not how to kill Voldemort, has been the biggest mystery in the entire Harry Potter movie saga which began precisely a decade ago. Perhaps under precise hands even things as immaturely misguided as J.K. Rowling's bestsellers could achieve some sort of efficiency or even brilliance (Alfonso Cuarón's entry in the series is still the only one that came close to this) but most of the Potter films have reveled in big setpieces, lazy performances and too much information that might've worked in literature but feels muddled and conspicuous in cinema.
Take for example the horocruxes Harry (Radcliffe) has been searching for the last two films. In all honesty anyone could've told him about this since the beginning and get Voldemort done with. Why wait ten years to let him know how to destroy his biggest enemy? Raising values and teaching children how to find their true worth in the face of adversity by way of faceless demon creature? Maybe.
More cynical audience members might be willing to call it squeezing money out of your wallet though and they might be right. In all cases, these movies could've been retitled Harry Potter and the Efficiency of the Red Herring. The fact that this is the last film and therefore forces the director and writer to tie everything up gives it an urgency that the other movies never had. This is obviously evident in the huge dramatic punch the movie carries. There are farewells, deaths, shocking twists (Gambon's Dumbledore wasn't as nice as we thought and Rickman's Snape was!) and it all comes down to an anticlimactic showdown between the young wizard and Voldemort (Fiennes who will be remembered as one of the creepiest villains in film history).
For all its flaws the film results quite entertaining and after a tedious start picks up and delivers the goods at a brisk pace.
The children still are rather dull actors (except for Granger who oozes onscreen charm) but lukcy for them they are surrounded by astonishing actors. Smith gets more of a chance to shine this time around and in a fantastic fight scene, Walters goes all Lt. Ripley on the equally superb Bonham-Carter.
This time more than ever, the visual effects and production design seem to click and some scenes are completely spellbinding but perhaps most of the film's value is merely because it's the last one. As such it comes as a complex beast to evaluate in terms of purely adequate artistic value. The Potter films were never meditations on life and to come out of them with the desire to engage in Bergman-ian dialogues is out of the question, but they could've had a little something extra that went beyond the notions of just telling a story.
As exciting and harmlessly captivating as this installment is, leaving the theater you might notice you have already forgotten what the movie was all about.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

While Watching "Aliens"...



...I wondered if anyone else was reminded of Avatar by this scene?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

NSFW.


That cute little acronym pretty much defines Jeon Do-yeon's character in The Housemaid, which I just reviewed for PopMatters.
Have you seen it? Were you shocked by its use of camp?

Oh, Mother.

Regardless of its status as one of the best action films of all time, Aliens is essentially an old fashioned story about mothers, a la Mrs. Miniver or Terms of Endearment.
While James Cameron's visual subtleties have never been praised, truth is that the guy should get more credit when it comes to representing ideas through images.
In my favorite sequence in the film, Cameron essentially recreates birth as Lt. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and company, try to take little Newt (Carrie Henn) out of the evil aliens' sight. Ripley has developed a complicated relationship with the child after finding out her own kid had died and in this sequence we see their bond materialize.
The picture above shows us Newt's passage from the mother's womb through the tunnels where she will be expelled.

Later, she lands in a place surrounded by water where she still can't call herself "alive" to her mother. This placenta-ish kind of environment forces Ripley to break through to get her, which leads to my favorite shot in the film.

Here we see Ripley trying to get hold of her new daughter by literally breaking her free from her wet captivity. Notice how Cameron shows us three figures: the mother, an invisible father figure (Michael Biehn's hand) and Newt's tiny hand trying to find her way to mother.
We are reminded that the story is not about the child but about the mother and therefore Weaver's face is the only one we see. It's all about her struggles, her compassion and her determination to, well, keep the alien bitch away from her.


Little does mommy know that she won't be able to protect her child all the time...
Beautiful metaphor for life itself, no?

This post is part of Lt. Nathaniel's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" series.

Isn't She Lovely?


Go read Nathaniel. Kurt and I, discussing J. Gar's stunning YSL and more in a fabulous red carpet chat.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

While Watching "Rocco and His Brothers"...

...I saw it again! 1960 and intimate bed scenes followed by stabbings!





What was up with this year?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Style Sunday.

The British were coming at an event held by BAFTA last night in Los Angeles. His royal highness Prince William, who also happens to be President of BAFTA (as if being a future king wasn't cool enough...) attended with his wife, Kate Middleton. Of course, she looked stunning but I keep wondering, where the hell does she find all these wholesome looking Alexander McQueen gowns?
This lavender creation is of course the epitome of classiness but would it kill her to try something a little bit more aggressive and McQueen-ish? Those odd little hats don't count.

Mary Louise-Parker brought her relaxed hippie-ness to the royal table in this cherry Dolce & Gabbana gown. Considering it lacks some oomph for a royal shindig, it's lovely to see her preserve her quirkiness.

Excuse me for saying this but royals should be bowing down to her royal majesty of actressing Nicole Kidman. I love how with the years she's adjusting herself to more sober, but still terrific, looks and how lovely her smile has become with each passing year. This Ellie Saab gown isn't a scene-stealer but Nicole must know that at a royal party, you are not supposed to overshadow the future queen. This well thought dress and demure style make her even more majestic.

Ooh-la-la, god only knows why Blake Lively gets invited to all these amazing red carpets, or perhaps he does, and the reason is merely because she always looks fantastic. This flowy Marchesa gown goes against everything Blake has us used to. Oh no, no boobs or legs! But with the see through loveliness of the fabric and the very Marchesa embroidery she looks like a true goddess. Her simple, unkempt chignon completed a look that reminded me of a Renaissance nymph.

No words describe how magnificent this is and I won't even try.

So, there you go...

Maria Bello was all kinds of lovely in this metallic Donna Karan gown. Gotta love how her tan doesn't make the already shiny fabric look vulgar.

J. Lo probably didn't get the memo that this was a BAFTA event with Prince William and not the Grammys with will.i.am, so she showed up like she always does, flaunting her best assets.
This Emilio Pucci gown will make most women alive envy Lopez's stunning curves but is this the best she could do when she was going to be near the future Queen of England?
How do you even bow before her in this without ripping the fabric and showing Kate your luscious ass?

The Brits weren't the only place for fab fashion this week though...

Anne Hathaway was the fairy tale princess at this year's White Fairy Tale Love Ball, where she opted for a gorgeous Valentino Couture dress. The little details in this dress are best appreciated when you see it in movement, Annie looked like she was hovering while distilling pixie dust. Gotta love her bold red lipstick and romantic hairstyle. Only she can pull off sexy risque and then melt our hearts with this kind of look.

Armani Privé + Cate Blanchett = fashiongasm.

How the hell did she avoid looking like she was part of the red carpet?


This asymmetrical Chanel gown makes the lovely Diane Kruger look like she won best dressed at the 1986 Academy Awards. Make of this what you wish.

Phew, lots of looks this week huh? Can you pick a fave?