With world luminaries hitting the red carpet from here until, oh, late February, it's time for the high season of Red Carpet Convos. Once again I'm chatting with Jose from Movies Kick Ass. This week we travel to Venice with a brief layover in China.
Nathaniel: Shall we start with Madonna or the "Pierces"?
Jose: As you wish. I was just so happy to see Madge in a pretty dress that all the awful things people have been saying about "W.E" slipped my mind.
Nathaniel: Then that's where we start.
Nathaniel: Of all the things people could fault her for, I hope this look isn't one of them. Every thing about it is working. It's memorable. The glasses are a fun diva choice.
Jose: They so are. She looks so happy.
Nathaniel: If this look were a single I'd say it's definitely "Take a Bow"
Jose: The dress actually reminds me of "Love Profusion" now that you bring up her singles.
Nathaniel: You've just named the single that describes me looking at her in this.
Jose: The gown also reminds me of this ...which makes sense because the dress is Vionett as well.
Nathaniel: I never care about "who" people are wearing but I'm glad you always know. I care only about "who" they are presenting themselves as while they're wearing it, you know?
Jose: Don't make me do Meryl's cerulean monologue... Do you think Madonna was on meds. She looks TOO happy given the reviews earlier in the day.
Nathaniel: I'm guessing no celebrity has a thicker skin at this point.
Jose: Cher maybe but for all the wrong reasons.
Did you see the slutty Catholic librarian thing Madonna had been doing earlier that day? She looked fantastic.
Nathaniel: I'm a huge fan of slutty librarians; promote literacy however you can!
Jose: Now I'm thinking of "Spanish Lesson"...but sigh Madge can spank me whenever she wants and FYI dear Madge lovers, almost everything she says in that song is inaccurately translated.
Nathaniel: This is an Italian lesson, actually. I threw two actual Italians in so this Venice red carpet lineup would feel more at home. But the Italians just aren't trying as hard this time. Valeria Golina looks classy but it's so black sheath plain.
Jose: Maybe she's trying to go for "I'm a serious actress, stop staring at my boobs"?
Nathaniel: And Asia Argento is a crazy person so why is she wearing such a normal dress... and black too!
Jose: Maybe Madonna stole her happy meds?
Nathaniel: And I can't even start on Monica Bellucci (not pictured, but obvs one of the most beautiful women in the world) who just wore a black pantsuit to her photocall. She better turn it out when she hits her premiere tonight.
Jose: Although Ms. Ciccone is representing Italy quite well, I think.
Nathaniel: Oh right. Madonna Ciccone. We keep coming back to her because she wiped the floor with the other divas the dress is so great. I'm glad we're back to her because she's distracting me anyway. Now I'm remembering those doves exploding from her gown in "Bedtime Stories"... translated to butterflies here. Though now I'm lamenting AGAIN that she isn't desperate enough for attention to walk the Venice red carpet in a wedding dress with a lion by her side. Because that would be... I would die. Dead. Do not resuscitate.
Jose: I'd make her perform an exorcism to "Like a Prayer" to bring you back to life
Nathaniel: Cruel! But this is the only time I've ever wished "has-been" status on Madonna because only an attention starved diva would attempt to relive their über iconic breakthrough in its original locale you know?
Jose: Ha. But "Madge" and "has-been" will never go together.
Nathaniel: True. Moving on. I think Abbie Cornish looks fab. Great styling choice with her hair and the dress has so much texture and structure. And I'm thrilled that she looks womanly in it and not stick-like the way so many young rising stars try for.
Jose: When I first saw Abbie's pic I thought to myself "my does Jennifer Coolidge look fantastic". What is wrong with her makeup people? They overdo her ALL the time. Dress is fab I agree, love the curves.
Nathaniel: I learned a new word on Project Runway... "ombré" It's the color gradation how it changes as it goes along. I love the ombré on this dress but the only problem with this new favorite word o' mine is the other night I mispronounced it as "Hombre" and my friends all laughed at me.
Nathaniel: Abbie has no trouble attracting beautiful hombre, either. Please note Oscar Isaac on her arm.
Jose: In my mind she will always belong to John Keats...
Nathaniel: As well she should.
Anyway... I keep wanting peope to go ALL OUT with the color but the trending in Venice so far is definitely "classy"... lots of whites, blacks, creams, and such. Tasteful.
Jose: And this is freaking Venice! God knows what people will wear to the Oscars...muumuus?
Nathaniel: But we do have some color. What do we think of the mustard on Marisa Tomei?
Jose: It reminds me of Sandy Powell's costumes for Cate as Kate in "The Aviator" kinda has that retro thing going for it, no?
Nathaniel: Yes. What do you think of the necklace being part of the dress? It feels like you're supposed to yank her towards you with it for a mad embrace? It's... weird. But i'm not saying I don't like it.
Jose: It's a bit weird but I guess if you're going to go for pearls you might as well try to spice 'em up a bit? maybe she was afraid of losing the necklace those festival parties are insane and that's her way of keeping it safe.
Nathaniel: Sure. I'm probs projecting anyway since I always want to yank Marisa into a mad embrace. LOVE HER.
Jose: Haha. I want to drink with her!
Nathaniel: I want to leave Venice behind -- very briefly -- for China.
Jose: What were these awards?
Nathaniel: I included a lineup of Asian superstars since they were all at the Huabaiao Awards in Beijing earlier this week.
Jose: oh is that where the awesome Crouching Tiger reunion happened?
Nathaniel: YES! So I was reading up on these awards because I love three of these women muchly (not as familiar with Kara Hui) and I'm like how did they get ALL the superstars there? And it turns out it's a movie awards show that only happens once every other year.
Jose: like an eclipse
Nathaniel: like an abomination! A crime against cinematic nature. It has to be every year. So then i lost interest. Biannual is just... I'm not sure it even exists. Like bisexuality.
Nathaniel: So they all look lovely, agreed?
Jose: Yes, I love how Asian women aren't afraid of bringing on the sparkles in dresses.
Nathaniel: Yes. though it's weirdly lacking in color. Also check out this headline from the awards show. I sincerely hope that is just an English as a second language problem and not a joke cuz it's just so wrong.
Nathaniel: All because he stepped on Gong Li's glamour train, poor thing.
Jose: Ugh she's too amazing and graceful for me to laugh but that headline is sick and then the first picture with the statuette is just wrong
Nathaniel: Yes. This is neither here nor there but Andy Lau is a fox. I've rarely enjoyed a bow tie more. He turns 50 this year. just saying. OKAY.... moving on. Back to Venice to wrap up.
Jose: Veda and Mildred time.
Nathaniel: Since both actresses had two premieres to attend I thought we should have a total throwdown here. From left to right that's Kate representing CARNAGE and MILDRED PIERCE and then Evan representing MILDRED PIERCE and THE IDES OF MARCH.
Jose: I'd no idea they were showing Mildred in theaters, but Venice does love Todd Haynes, right? Not that I blame them.
Nathaniel: Yes. and he's on the jury this year.
Jose: Oh true! Hopefully Kate will get a Volpi Cup.
Nathaniel: I laughed at what Manolis wrote about his response when a journalist asked him if he could be impartial about judging Kate's performance in Carnage... "He answered politely and predictably and persuaded nobody."
Nathaniel: So who wins the fashion sweepstakes for you here?
Jose: I'll have to go with Evan this time. I absolutely adore Kate but I'm sick, SICK I tell you, of her tight fitting "look how hot I am" looks.
Nathaniel: She's gone with very severe beauty lately, huh. It's always very structural, very stiff... I've forgotten what she looks like in something flowy and more girlish. Not that she ever totally favored that look exactly.
Jose: I totally dig the Metropolic robot look Kate is doing in the first number but it bores me...I have had enough of her calves.I like movement, perhaps I'm just favoring her because Kate's dresses feel like tattoos and I love the way in which fabric moves. I've always loved how adventurous Evan is and the Alessandra Rich dress (the white shirty one) is just perfect.
Nathaniel: Really? Maybe I'm just not a fan of her new hair. It's throwing me. Though I like it with the retro eye makeup like in her Mildred premiere dress.
Jose: I've gotten used to the hair by now and she's working it nicely.
Nathaniel: I'm a huge fan of Kate's fashion robot look myself. I think she looks utterly sensational and that color which should be boring is somehow perfect with what she's been aiming for so much lately. This fierce mature beauty. So for me the winner of all of these is Kate's Carnage dress.
Jose: She sure looks like she could cut a bitch with those heels, she's fierce, but I'm still siding with Veda.
Nathaniel: Split opinion. We'll have to let the readers decide.
Jose: Or wait, if it was a fave of ALL, I'll go with Madge, just looking at her makes me smile.
Nathaniel: Oh, yup, Madonna wins it all. "Love Profusion" on loop.