Annette Bening is one of those completely self-possessed women who is very good at her job and doesn't get into the hub-bub around it. It's fine to not be using the red carpet to angle for a beauty contract, but that doesn't mean you need to phone it in. For a simple, elegant, grown up look, try this steely Alberta Ferretti. Being such a confident woman, I'd like to see Bening rock a suit on the red carpet, and no one does suits better than Armani.
While I love her, I can never remember anything Julianne Moore* wears on the red carpet. When it's good, it's a standard, forgettable silhouette. When the poor dear does branch out into something fun (like at the Globes), it tends to go awry. I'd love to see her in texture with a bright like this Resort gown from Naeem Khan or texture and pale a'la this season's Chanel. Both dresses bring something her usual choices don't: a proper fit.
*If your movie and all your costars get nominated, I get to count you.
Guidelines for Natalie Portman's big night: No not wear black, white or pale pink. Do not wear feathers. Do not wear anything of balletic grace. Stapling a crystal rose to your chest will not fix any of these things. Since she's pregnant, I'll fudge one of those rules, as this short Marchesa would be perfect for a baby bump. It emphasizes the legs and shoulders and even though it's a mini, that amount of built in bling is Oscar ready. For a more traditional pregnancy look, Reem Acra's red cape gown is easy breezy and ready for flats. Of course, I also have a weakness for capes.
Nicole Kidman is better than what she's been wearing, but maybe I'm projecting an awesome personality on her because I love Moulin Rouge and red hair. Operating on the assumption that she's awesome, here's how I'd dress her. This navy Armani is minimal with an unexpected surprise, and it would look fantastic with her hair. On the opposite end of the detail spectrum, this embroidered, feathered extravaganza from Alexander McQueen is built for drama. Unfortunately, it's from his Spring 2001 collection, so Nicole may have to call Bjork or Daphne Guinness if she wants to wear it.
Michelle Williams usually does not need my help. She wore one of my favorite red carpet looks ever. It's on my inspiration wall. However, I was sad that she didn't bring it at the Globes. Michelle generally rocks two looks: matronly-twee and vintage. This couture Chanel gown with its cap sleeves and disco ball dreams fits perfectly into the former category. Swing over to Dior, the opposite pillar of glam, for a vintage-inspired look. The dreamsicle fabric and Flemish embroidery on this couture gown keep if from being predictable.