More taste, less tackiness at this year's Oscar night


You watched the Oscars Monday night because you cared, more than life itself, whether "Dances With Wolves" won a stampede of statues.

Yeah, right.

OK, so you watched because life, as we know it, is so deplete of surprise, shock and occasional horror that you tuned in just to revive your meager existence.

Gimme a break.

No, you and 879 zillion other people were glued to the 63rd annual Academy Awards because you wished to snicker at the tasteless, overpriced and utterly inappropriate garments that Hollywood's finest chose to wear; you wanted to witness the Left Coast at its worst, making vacuous speeches and looking dumber than toast; and you wanted to see what overmoussed and underdressed bimbo showed up with what too-tan and too-tall slab of beef.

Unfortunately, you were disappointed.

This was the year that Hollywood actresses had the temerity, the gall, dare I say the unmitigated chutzpah, to dress like "movie stars."

This was the year that the many winners made amazingly short and modest acceptance speeches and were on their best behavior which they must have rented with their jewels for the occasion.

It was enough to make an Oscar-lover burn her Fredericks of LaLa Land, chuck her rhinestones and give up her personal trainer for good.

Kim Basinger, who last year left one of her sleeves at home, showed up this year without either (or her then-prince, Prince) but in a pink-satin gown that actually was pretty. (And with this year's model, Alec Baldwin.) Basinger, however, was on some other planet, so out of it that she managed to embarrass Baldwin, her co-presenter.

And Supporting Best Actress winner Whoopi Goldberg we're talking Our Lady of the Perpetual Sneaks and Sweats here showed up in an elegant black-sequined sheath and diamonds by Nolan Miller.

The nerve!

It was a big night for heavy metal. Besides Goldberg in black sequins, there were Dianne Wiest in bronze lace, Anne Archer in bronze (Question: How does this one-shot wonder get to be a presenter?), Glenn Close in a partially blue-sequined dress (and an uber-cool, slicked-back haircut), Annette Bening in silver Lurex and, of course, the Modest One Madonna in white-sequined Bob Mackie.

Anjelica Huston not only sounds like a movie star and looks like a movie star but, year in and year out, she continues to dress like one. This year, she looked like true celluloid royalty in a smashing fTC gown of black-sequined lace over pale-pink satin and chandelier-length pink earrings.

For Body of Work Award, it was a three-way tie between statuesque Davis in a one-shouldered bronze satin gown; Bening in a knockout retro dress, and supermodel Cindy Crawford, Richard Gere's date, in a red Versace number that was cut to her knees and enough underwire to short the cable industry.

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