Some snapshots of trends, standouts and major moments on the 82nd annual Academy Awards.
Crimson palette: Vera Farmiga, Penelope Cruz, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sigourney Weaver.
Metallics, in toto or accents: Sandra Bullock & Cameron Diaz in gold; Kathryn Bigelow & Kate Winslet in pewter/taupe.
"Sapphire" sisters: Mo'Nique, Oprah, Gabourey Sidibe, Mariah Carey.
Best Circulated Memo: No cleavage: There was none to be found among the nominees or major presenters.
Runner up: No necklaces: Necks were elongated and unadorned for the most part. Except for Kate Winslet and Helen Mirren, who probably missed that memo whilst on their transatlantic flights.
Best advice to winners by an Oscar organizer: "Make it about something. Don't laundry list!"
Best-Dressed Male: Colin Firth, of course outfitted by Tom Ford, designer extraordinaire and director of "A Single Man," for which Firth was nominated. (Best quote: "Consistency is the hob-goblin of little minds.")
Runner up: Ben Stiller, in his beautiful Avatar-blue hue complete with long purple tail.
Best '80s Retrospective aka John Hughes Tribute: Or the Brat Pack Came Back — Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Molly Ringwald, et al along with Matthew Broderick saluted director John Hughes who brought us decade-defining teen-angsters such as Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club. The last line of Ferris Bueller's Day Off has particular resonance now: "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."
The Biggest Oscar Oops: They forgot Farrah Fawcett and Bea Arthur in the retrospective of those we've lost in the last year!
Best Commercial: The Oscars are the Super Bowl of movies and there were some good ads, but the insouciant ad teaming Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jane Lynch took top billing.
Runner ups: Whoopi Goldberg outfitted as everyone from Cleopatra to Mona Lisa whispered the embarrassment of bladder slips and the saving grace of Poise. And we'll finally know which way the toilet roll should go thanks to Cottonelle.
Thumbs down: Aveeno and Estee Lauder touting anti-aging creams on 20-something models.
But they all got ther money's worth since this was the most watched Oscar show in the last five years.
Best Action Sleep Sequence: Co-hosts Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin.
Runner up: Jimmy Kimmel in bed with Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner in an ad for Kimmel's after-Oscar show.
Burning Question: What is that sparkly eyeshadow Sarah Jessica Parker is wearing? (The dress is Grecian gorgeousness from the spring 2010 Chanel couture collection.)
Best Thoughtful Embrace: Best Costume Design winner Sandy Powell ("The Young Victoria") who has won twice before ("Shakespeare in Love" and "Aviator") gave a shout-out to her fellow costume designers who work on less "dressy" films. "They should get recognized; they work just as hard."
Best Ed Grimley Hairdo: John Travolta.
Best Parental Substitute: Up musical winner Michael Giacchino said his parents encouraged his childhood pursuits, but he acknowledged that not all parents are supportive, so he offered his own props: "If you want to be creative, get out there and do it — it's not a waste of time!"
Best Work Done: Barbra Streisand, who not only looks great, she looks like herself.
Toughest Category: In keeping with the '80s retrospective, the Pat Benetar tune "Sometimes the Good Guys Finish First" from The Secret of My Success comes to mind about winner Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side. The secret of her success — she really is a nice person. Although she quipped that she may have worn everyone down, the standing O she got belied their sincere regard for her worthiness. Best takeaway quote, a dedication to "moms who take care of the babies and the children no matter where they come from." Grace in action: She accepted the worst actress award at the 10th annual Golden Raspberry Awards just the day before with equal aplomb.
Best History Maker: Kathryn Bigelow won Best Director for The Hurt Locker — first time in the history of the Oscars that a woman has won in this category. Just in time for International Women's Day — it's only the fourth time a woman has been nominated in 82 years: Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties in 1976, Jane Campion for 1993's The Piano, and Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation in 2003.
Biggest Two-Fisted Divorce Revenge: In addition to Best Director, The Hurt Locker trumped Avatar in the Best Movie category too — a bit of an upset (although there's another spin to this take), perhaps especially for James Cameron who looked on along with fifth wife Suzy Amis as his third (ex)wife Kathryn Bigelow, looking very Elizabeth Hurley-meets-Rita Wilson, held a statuette in each hand.
Ahh, the whirligig of time…