FASHIONS OF THE EMMYS 2014: Star-Maker Gowns, Beach-y Babes + Duds

Lizzy Caplan in Donna Karan Atelier. Photo courtesy of Getty Images

I paid a lot of attention to the red carpet last night. It was an emotional journey–one that I live-tweeted my way through (are you following @BlackBook!?) and, in the process, became really flustered by how many women wore red gowns. The Emmys being a bigger event than the humble VMAs, there were a lot of looks to take in, and a lot of reactions to process.

If you didn’t watch, feel free to trust my sartorial judgment, and if you did, feel free to tweet me and tell me how wrong or right I am! Cool? Here goes!

The Winner: Lizzy Caplan
That Donna Karan Atelier dress was a starmaker. Caplan’s long been on the rise, but a look like this one is iconic, and she wore it with perfect grace.

 

Reds on the Red Carpet: Julia Louis-Dreyfus
I got in a bit of a tizzy when I realized just how under-utilized half the rainbow was on this year’s red carpet, but Julia looked flawless in Carolina Herrera. Some people are lucky enough to work wonders in the simplest of garments and this was a lovely example of that. The crowd was practically a sea of red, but Uzo Aduba also looked radiant in Christian Siriano’s design in the bright hue.

 

The Object of the Male Gaze: Sofia Vergara
Sofia Vergara both embraces and laughs at her own overt sexuality and is pretty lovable in the process. Her strapless, curve hugging Roberto Cavalli was gorgeous in spite of her declaration that she couldn’t bring boyfriend Joe Mangienello because he is too hot.

 

The Can-do-no-wrong-in-my-book: Lena Dunham
Was it a dress? Was it a top and a skirt? (It was the latter and it was by Giambattista Valli). Who knows but I love Lena Dunham so much that I will let her wear whatever she damn pleases. Though proportionally speaking the Peter Pan collar pink blouse was too much fabric in conjunction with that ombré-d wedding cake of a skirt, I loved seeing Lena explore new color palettes to complement her new bleach-blonde ‘do. I think she would have stunned in a strapless top with all that skirt going on, but like I said, in this case, my fandom supersedes my critical ability and I will be the first to admit it! Theoretically speaking, Sarah Hyland’s was probably the better of the cake-invoking skirts, but Lena’s comes out on top for its loud personality.

 

The Minimalist Bride: Kristen Wiig
This dress would make a very pretty wedding gown (it’s Vera Wang after all), but oh well, white is a nice color, it’s August, and many celebs choose longer lengths for the red carpet. It fit her well, but in a casual way, and in some pictures she almost looked like an edgy Jen Aniston. Very chic.

 

Sleekest: Robin Wright
Ralph Lauren suit, androgynous hair– the whole thing was so simultaneously effortless and polished. Absolutely love.

 

Best Departure: Julie Bowen
The Modern Family star usually sticks to solid colors that accentuate her killer body. They look good and that’s cool. But last night’s ‘70s-inspired Peter Som gown was the definition of a pattern done right. It’s not easy, so major kudos to Bowen for owning it.

 

The Secret Beach Goddess: Amy Poehler
It’s easy to forget that Amy Poehler is kind of a bombshell underneath the barrage of suits Leslie Knope wears on Parks and Recreation. But then the Emmys (or the Globes) come around and there’s Amy with The OC-worthy beach waves in a silver Theia gown.

 

Bland but Beautiful: Taylor Schilling
Taylor Schilling, that’s Piper to anyone with a Netflix account, wore a beaded nude Zuhair Maurad gown that hit in all the right places. Props, too, to the gorgeous racerback.

 

Undecided: Kiernan Shipka
Kiernan Shipka is a red carpet favorite, and objectively speaking, this Antonio Berardi dress (put on hold by Rachel Zoe’s styling team minutes after it hit style.com) is a stunner. Still, Shipka is still just 14 and I thought a little more color and youthfulness would have been lovely on the young starlet.

 

The Makeover: Gwen Stefani
OK, so it wasn’t quite a makeover, but I don’t think I was alone when it took me a moment to recognize Gwen Stefani tonight. Clad in metallic Versace and pin straight blonde hair, Stefani looked sleek and semi-futuristic.

 

The Try-Again-Next-Year Crew

Debra Messing: Honestly, if I had that red hair I would put on an emerald colored gown and never take it off. Sometimes you just shouldn’t mess with perfection. This black sheer thing was shapeless and did nothing for Messing who is a beaut!

 

Sarah Paulson: #Sorrynotsorry that this is the stuff of nightmares. It looks, quite frankly, like Paulson had an accident in a tulle factory, or got caught in a swarm of ladybugs.

 

Laura Prepon: She could have looked so good, and yet, she looked like she got stuck in the prom department at a Midwest department store. Sigh.

A Colorful New Trailer for Ari Folman’s ‘The Congress’

We haven’t heard much from Ari Folman since his widely praised, Oscar-nominated animated feature Waltz With Bashir, which was up for the Palme d’Or back at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. Now, he will return to Cannes with his latest feature film, The Congress, which will premiere during the Directors’ Fortnight. And if the first trailer for the film is any indication, Folman’s return to the big screen will be quite the ride.

In the film, Robin Wright plays a more worn-out, less-successful version of herself, a fading presence trying to save her career in an ever-changing, younger-skewed, tech-savvy industry. She gives her identity and likeness to a shady enterprise to be copied, preserved and used in the pictures, and begins to developed a skewed sense of self, as often happens in these kinds of situations. Her adventure unfolds in a bright, trippy animated world, or rather several worlds, each with new twists and turns, and, at one point, a pretty obvious and beautifully-rendered Dr. Strangelove homage.  

And maybe The Congress will earn Folman more acclaim. People love movies about movies, although “the magic of the movies” tends to go better as a theme than “rampant narcissism will cause the entertainment industry to spiral out into chaos and despair.” Nevertheless, check out the trailer below.

[via Indiewire]

Counterpoint: ‘House of Cards’ Is Just Plain Dreadful

[Ed. note: on Monday, our frequent contributor Jolie Kerr sung the praises of House of Cards, the David Fincher-directed series that is single-handedly proving the success of Netflix and internet streaming. But our other frequent contributor Miles Klee is not buying it.]

No no no no. No. Do not do this to me, America. Do not believe the hype. Do not line up to watch the first and ideally last season of this show in one sitting. Re-watch a show you already know you like, I’m telling you. Take up knitting. Whittling. Anything. Just step away from the screen. I’d never normally say it, but you deserve better than this.

You can get your political intrigue elsewhere! Hell, stream Patrick Stewart’s Macbeth before you watch Kevin Spacey mercy-kill an injured dog on a Georgetown sidewalk whilst soliloquizing in formalwear. Rip through The Thick of It or Veep and get a superior satire of government that’s also funny. Read just about any book featuring Richard Nixon: it will be both more incredible and more relevant.

HoC, it would seem, has it all—decorated actors, fearless director, a poster that’s very Mad Men circa season three—everything but a glimmer of entertainment value. It’s not even as good as Lilyhammer, Netlix’s first flop of a foray into original programming, which once you get past the god-awful setup actually earns its mobster-out-of-water storyline. If this overnarrated mess takes off, it will prove nothing but the marketability of “[blank] of [blanks]” titles.

Follow Miles Klee on Twitter.

Binging and Urging: You Must All Watch ‘House of Cards’ NOW

Holy mackerel, is House of Cards ever great. Overblown, overwrought, soap opera-esque at times, it still manages to offer up enough political dialogue and stunning business attire to keep from insulting its viewers. Kevin Spacey’s Shakespearian asides to the audience—and even the inclusion of Kevin Spacey doling out Shakespearian asides in and of itself—are mostly absurd, but then he drops a perfect eye-roll in your lap and all is forgiven. Shakespearianishly.

Robin Wright, looking unsettlingly like Ur-mommyblogger Heather Armstrong, is sublime as Spacey’s icy cold wife. Kate Mara as a social media-savvy political reporter Zoe Barnes—and even the inclusion of a social media-savvy political reporter in and of itself—is excruciating. Mostly because her presence allowed for terms like "Twitter twat" to be bandied about and DO NOT WANT EL OH EL. Looming over them all is Kevin Spacey at his most Kevin Spaceyest as Congressman Francis Underwood.

And oh my God the echo joke. (Oh my God the echo joke.)

Much has been made of the decision on the part of Netflix to dump all 13 episodes on its audience at once, hoping to capitalize on what’s been dubbed the binge-style viewing habits of subscribers to the streaming video service. Time will bear out the relative strength or weakness of the strategy, but from where I’m sitting it sure does look to be slam dunk. Because holy mackerel, is House of Cards ever great. So great that in spite of having a heap of weekend chores and brunch with friends, I still managed to clear out thirteen hours to blow through the entire series. On Saturday, I stayed up well past my bedtime, so hooked was I, and woke up with a violent House of Cards hangover on Sunday morning. I figured a little hair of the dog was what the situation called for and fired up another episode while I drank my first cup of coffee. On Sunday night, when the closing shot of the final episode startled a loud yelp out of me, I immediately went back to the first episode and began House of Cards Binge Two: The Shuffling.

Now I need you all to go watch the entire thing so we can dissect every detail and so you’ll understand about that echo joke. (That echo joke.)

Follow Jolie Kerr on Twitter.

New York Film Festival Hosts ‘Princess Bride’ Reunion

How should I start this one? "Speaking of Mandy Patinkin…" or "Do you want to feel really fucking old? Because it’s the twenty-fifth anniversary of The Princess Bride…" As much as I’d rather go with the former, I’ll have to go with the latter, as my theory that we all have a piece of Mandy Patinkin in our hearts has sadly not been proven as fact. So here we go: Holy shit, you guys, it’s been twenty-five years since The Princess Bride swash-buckled into our lives. Inconceivable! (Sorry.) To celebrate, The Film Society of Lincoln Center is hosting a cast reunion in early October as part of the New York Film Festival. 

According to The New York Times, original cast members Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane, Mandy Patinkin (Mandy Patinkin!), and Chris Sarandon will be stopping by the festival along with director Rob Reiner for a conversation and likely Q&A after a screening of the comedy-fantasy film on October 2. Notably absent: Fred Savage, Christopher Guest, and Wallace Shawn. What the hell are they doing? And, of course, no Peter Falk. R.I.P. Peter Falk, America’s Grandpa. 

Follow Tyler Coates on Twitter.

Links: Lindsay Lohan’s 100th Birthday, Steve Martin + Alec Baldwin

● Jeremy Piven says his “moobs” (man boobs) came from soy milk abuse; the actor started out as the “guy that dabbled in soy milk” but it quickly escalated into drinking 12 cups a day — which contained enough estrogen to give him boobs. [Us] ● Michael Lohan says Lindsay Lohan is a “beautiful girl” but “she looks 100 years old.” [E!] ●What men think about, according to Kate Hudson: “Game scores, masturbation, and food.” [Us]

● Veteran Hollywood casting director Bonnie Timmermann reveals what Scarlett Johansson, Mickey Rourke, and Robin Wright (before the Penn) were like before the fame. [Elle] ● Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin have been tapped to fill Hugh Jackman’s shoes as Oscar hosts. Martin joked he’s “happy to co-host the Oscars with my enemy Alec Baldwin.” [Reuters]