Award season, we’re in it now, and it was the Gotham Awards last night celebrating independent film where Kristen Stewart was honoured with the Performer Tribute Award. This, of course, is connected to her recent acclaimed performance in Pablo Larraín’s Spencer but she wasn’t nominated for it in a competitive category so the recognition felt more like a lifetime achievement – which in itself is exceptional considering she’s only 31 years old.
Kristen Stewart, of course, has been in the business a long time, and has worked with a lot of people; among them Oscar winner Julianne Moore who presented to Kristen alongside Pablo Larraín. It seems like a sure thing at this point that Kristen will be nominated for her first Oscar this year and she’s been campaigning for weeks now. But Julianne, on this night, probably did most of the campaign work for Kristen here, speaking for several minutes about Kristen’s commitment to the work and to how much she cares about the work, that she’s never not completely invested in the character, in the performance, and in the collective on a set. We’ve been talking a lot this season about celebrity Oscar endorsements and, clearly, Julianne Moore is throwing her support behind Kristen. It’s a major one given Julianne’s credentials, how respected she is in the industry, and what she represents where the actors’ branch of the Academy is concerned. The acting branch is the biggest Oscar voting block and many of them speak the same language when it comes to how their craft is represented. Kristen Stewart 100% hits most of the boxes off that traditional Oscar checklist – for all the reasons that Julianne lays out in her speech last night (video embedded below). Kristen is very much a part of the Hollywood establishment. And at the same time, she maintains an outsider’s energy, not unlike Joaquin Phoenix; he too started out as a child actor, he too has been in this game for a long time and has worked with almost everyone, and he too stays on the fringes of it…and is highly admired for that detachment.
I’ll continue with that comparison for Kristen’s acceptance speech which went exactly how you would imagine. Some eventual Oscar winners audition for their victories at these events by showing the Academy what it would look like on the biggest stage and it definitely helps their campaigns. Think Matthew McConaughey. The Kristen and Joaquins of Hollywood keep their signature vibe – awkward, maybe a little embarrassed, occasionally earnest, but very much in “the artist who isn’t comfortable with accolades” energy. That’s always been Kristen Stewart and I don’t think it’ll hurt her with the Academy voters. For many of them, that’s the Kristen they’ve known for “two thirds of her life”, as Julianne says.
As for her dress, because styling is definitely a part of the campaign effort, I love this unexpected choice. I would have never predicted this poppy pink colour on her. And a column gown too. This is August Getty Atelier, which is also surprising because she’s so often in Chanel, a silhouette we don’t see too much on her but that’s what makes it extra delightful. It’d be less special on someone else who doesn’t favour Kristen’s typical choices. This hair knot is cute too – a little messy, working perfectly with her length, and the blonde, and I also like the decision to go with a heavily-lined eye but spare on makeup and accessories everywhere else so as not to clash too much with the dress. She’s going to be at probably every major film award show from now until March. On fashion then, we’re off to a really promising start.