We talk a lot about campaigning here, that actors have to do this or that to secure the nomination and later, the votes. I will leave the intricacies to Lainey, but you all know what I mean. Suddenly stopping at every point on the carpet, smiles for all, revealing tidbits about your life, one Sunday night at a time.

It seems as though the Big Movie Stars of a few years ago – George and Brad, sure – but also Renee Zellweger and Sandra Bullock and Julia Roberts (what I would not give for some Julia Roberts in this award season) were sort of able to do it with a wink. You know, that conspiratorial glimmer in their eye that says “can you believe I’m doing this? Me either, but part of the gig, you know. Wanna drink later?”

But I don’t feel like Michelle Williams has that. It’s like she has to believe her own shtick in order for it to work. This is where it begins to be a problem for me.

The carefully placed short hair that we all have an explanation for. The endless mentions of the daughter, over and over again. The suddenly full-to-bursting face which looks awfully botoxy to me   t’s all in service of this idea that she’s just so wonderful and gentle and maternal, and doesn’t she evoke a certain ethereal beauty in our minds? One she might have played?

Worst of all, there’s the clear refusal to be in the same frame as a man, lest we think of her as anything other than a fragile flower who portrayed another fragile flower.

It’s actually insulting. To assume that we don’t see what she’s doing. To assume that having a male friend – where’s Jake Gyllenhaal? – would automatically undo everything she’s campaigned for. To assume that Busy Phillips just waits around to attend these things, neglecting her own life for the good of Best Friendship?

It often gets to this point, doesn’t it? We’re 27 days out from the Oscars, by my count, and suddenly I am sick of every sound bite and gesture that you’re using to show me how very like your character you are.  Is this part of the cycle?   Campaign, win, and then disappear so people can wash the sickly-sweet out of their mouths? Is this built into the life cycle of an actress now?  

Oh, and the dress was fine, although that length was weird to me. But why exactly did we have the dyed-to-match shoes?  Other than to induce my scorn?