When I wrote about the Oscars last year (And the Oscar goes to…) I ended by saying that it would be wonderful if they brought back Billy Crystal because he is the true Academy Award winner in my book. A reminder that wishes can be powerful! This year’s 84th Academy Awards was indeed hosted by Billy Crystal for the 9th time, and I think he did a mah-velous job! He was funny and gracious and warm without being mean-spirited or aloof, and it seemed as if everyone was having a good time. I have a childhood friend who fills seats at the theater, and she said this was the best time she had in years. This year’s ceremony touched me, because there were reminders of why we love the movies, including the auditorium set up to look like the old-fashioned movie houses, and the interviews during the show. There is nothing better than having an emotional and shared storytelling experience in a dark theater. For that time, we are not strangers.

I am in heaven because Oscar day celebrates my two passions – movies and fashion. There were a few actors who stood out this year. They are memorable because their look was complete – from the dress to the hair and makeup and the jewelry and accessory selection. They owned their look and wore it with confidence and grace. My favorite was Michelle Williams in a coral Louis Vuitton dress with soft peplum detail. I was so pleased that she lightened her hair since the Golden Globes, because the color was perfection. She also added her own touches, including a pink clutch and pink lipstick, which was darling set against the darker coral of the dress. Loved it! I also enjoyed seeing the actors from The Help: Viola Davis in a striking green Vera Wang gown carried off with her natural hair (Brava, Viola!), Octavia Spencer in a Tadashi Shoji gown which draped her figure beautifully, Jessica Chastain in a black and gold Alexander McQueen gown and her long red hair flowing like tresses from a Pre-Raphaelite picture, and Emma Stone in a bold Giambattista Valli cerise-hue gown with bow. Some did not appreciate her choice because it was so similar to Nicole Kidman’s red Balenciaga gown of a few years ago, but if you look closely there were certainly differences, and a lot of time has passed since 2007. In addition, I think the color was beautiful on Emma, and she made the dress her own. Finally, I give a special nod to Gwyneth Paltrow, who looked elegant and sophisticated in a one-shoulder white gown designed by Tom Ford, with a matching floor-length cape. Her statuesque figure said it all. She kept everything minimal: soft makeup, sleek and simple pulled-back hair and just a few accessories. Uber chic.

There were, of course, fashion misses but I will leave that to Joan Rivers and the Fashion Police to address. I loved the evening and the glamour of it all. No, I won’t be giving up my tradition of watching The Academy Awards. I have too much fun.

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Melissa Kaplan Guarino delights in sharing her love of fashion with you. Check out Melissa’s new blog – speakingoffashion.com.