I don’t know what I was expecting, in particular. Brie has had some choices I liked and some I didn’t and some, like her Golden Globes dress, that I grew into loving, surprising myself.

But this dress did not feel loveworthy at all. It was just too MUCH. The blue and the pleats were okayyyyy, even though this colour is one that can be lovely and rich or completely basic with just a few adjustments in tone. But then the fussing. The belt was too much. The flounces were too much, although all of that could have been saved with some grown up styling.

She looked like a little girl. She looked like she was going to receive the Valedictorian award at her grade 8 graduation. She looked, as I said on Twitter, like she was wearing the hairstyle that I spent all of grade 4 trying to perfect. But it’s not just the hair. The makeup was pretty sanitized, not glamorous, and the hair decorations felt little-girly.

She looks exactly like….Paris Gellar.

Come on! (For those not in the know, Paris Gellar is a fictional character on Gilmore Girls. Actress Liza Weil is not Brie Larson, but obviously might as well be.) 

Still, you know, people make mistakes in styling. I didn’t love what Jennifer Lawrence wore to win her Oscar either, but I barely remember it anymore. 

Where I think it’s getting different for Brie is the innocent-and-pure look seemed to be stemming from an innocent-and-pure routine, or maybe a truth. She is …earnest. You know what I mean? The folksy warmth for everyone and everything (did you know she stood up and hugged all of the survivors in the Lady Gaga number as they exited the stage?), the endless repetitions that she and Jacob Tremblay are buddies who couldn’t have done it without one another, the pursed lips after Ali G (who admittedly trivialized the movie clip, but he didn’t actually jeopardize anything). 

I’m curious about Brie Larson, as I am curious about anyone who wins this award, especially this young—and I don’t want her to have to adopt some sort of sweeter-than-thou routine. Though she didn’t pull a Hathaway when her name was announced, which I loved. She smiled, gratefully accepted, didn’t do a lot of shock and awe. So there’s self-possession there. I’d love to see more of it, and a different side of it, now that she doesn’t have to be everyone’s winsome and heroic Ma who does the right thing in the end. She can have layers.

May the next dress, good decision or bad, show us a whole new side of Brie, the woman. (And may she have a guest appearance on the Gilmore Girls revival.)