As the Oscars creep closer and closer and I get more irrationally het up over Sandra Bullock (she hasn't even WON yet and I'm still a bit sad for Carey) and am more and more in love with Carey Mulligan after she basically told Anna Wintour where to stuff it when the First Lady of Fashion told her to wear a short gown for the ceremony, I thought it was high time to take a look back over the outfits worn by the last nine Best Actresses. None of THEM wore short dresses.
Here's Julia Roberts doing her best 'I'm flying, Jack' after winning the Oscar for Erin Brockovitch. at the 73rd Academy Awards in 2001. She's wearing Valentino (interestingly, I wore a black dress with white piping to a school concert when I was about 14 and felt really uncool, maybe I should have referenced this one) and while it's a pretty safe choice, it's still super-sophisticated. And allows her to make silly happy faces while still looking like the wide-mouthed goddess she is.
My mum hates Halle Berry as a result of this; 'how can a woman look so beautiful while crying her eyes out?' is a rough paraphrase of the reason why. But I think the whole world simultaneously hated and loved Halle when she became the first black woman to win the Best Actress Oscar at the 2002 ceremony for her performance in Monster's Ball. I personally hate her for being brave and having a figure good enough to wear this Ellie Saab net number. Possibly the most sensational Oscar dress of all time.
Here's a ghostly Nicole Kidman wearing...Chanel (yeah I wish she was wearing Ghost too so that that would work as a pun. Ah well) at the 2003 Oscars, where she won for her portrayal of Virgina Woolf in The Hours. In the film she wears a rather large prosthetic nose; thankfully she left it at home on Oscars' Night. Such a shame. Could have started a whole new trend.
Another woman who wisely too off the make-up she'd worn for her Oscar-winning role is Charlize Theron, seen here looking awfully smug after winning for her portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in Monster. I remember the magazines at the time being full of information about her diet post-filming. She dropped over 30 pounds in under 2 months to squeeze into this Gucci gown.
Hilary Swank, having spent most of her winning role dressed in sweats and boxing gloves, slips into this backless number by Guy Laroche to pick up the Oscar in 2005 for playing Million Dollar Baby's Maggie Fitzgerald. This was Swank's second win of the decade, having won the Oscar for the gender-bending Boys Don't Cry at the 2000 ceremony. Clearly, she likes getting rough'n'tough with the boys.