Again, this surprises even me. This dress is not my style. I don’t mind risks and cut-outs in theory, but in practice they often seem too extreme or pointed or something. That, combined with the knitted feeling of the dress (it wasn’t actually, they were sequins applied in a knit-pattern) threatened to make it feel too trendy or too casual or something.

But damned if she wasn’t wearing the hell out of that dress.

I never caught her looking self-conscious or wrapping an arm across her stomach, and she seemed to light up later in the night—one of the few cases where a glass of wine also did some good. There’s also something about the dress that so exemplifies who ‘Ma’ is and I think that’s another smart strategic thing to do.

I think I’m the person who ‘likes’ Room, the book, the best of anyone I know. I read it about once a year. And though I found the movie not as good as the book, because how could it be, it took Brie Larson to remind me that Ma was, in the World, essentially a teenager. In Room she was Ma, but once she was out, she was someone else, and the way she transitioned from being Jack’s Ma to something closer to his older sister was a dimension that I really hadn’t considered. Brie made it real.

She also shouted out Emma Donoghue first, before anyone or anything else, and generally made me feel like any given story would be secure in her hands. Somehow, she did the same for the dress. I felt good about it, in her hands.