This is going to hurt.
Well, for me. It’s going to hurt me.
I am, of course, a huge fan of Saoirse Ronan. I think she’s skillful, clever, and nuanced as an actress, and I like watching her play the red carpet game. I’m just going to come out and say it – I think she knows she’s smarter than half the people she’s talking to, but she has fun with it instead of stewing in her own juices like some Best Actors I could mention.
I also think she knows the power of a good dress – she’s had many, many in the past few years, though I think my favourite, even now, is still her 2016 Oscars dress. She’s had looks that were as impressive, but that one remains iconic, mayyyybe tied with her Golden Globes dress in 2018.
But when Greta Gerwig and Little Women were snubbed at the Golden Globes, I posited that Saoirse was making a fashion-related stand, not putting in the full glamour and adventurous style we know she can manage. Why should the show benefit from her presence if they don’t think the actual film is worth seeing?
Last night’s look seems like it’s in a similar vein. I don’t like her dress very much, I’ll admit – I’m not as opposed to the texture-pattern on the heavy satin skirt as some people are, but it just doesn’t add up to a wow – BUT I think it could have been a real look if it was more dramatically styled. The overall effect is of someone who’s going to the event, but didn’t care enough about the specialness of it to get off work early, and so makeup and hair are kind of an afterthought.
She knew, of course, that she wasn’t going to win – how could she, when so few people (in the Academy) had even seen the movie? So why waste an iconic fashion moment on what, on balance, becomes just another work event? What you have in your closet is just fine.
I want to be clear that this theory of mine – that she’s saving her best fashion for when she’s coming to play, or when people ‘deserve’ it – it’s only mine, it’s utterly unproven, and she might adore this dress, for all I know. But for someone who’s had such exquisite wins – even someone who’s had a lot of successful dealings in this colour family! – this seems like a forfeit. That said, it won’t hurt her at all, I’m just sad on my own behalf. Or, more accurately, as the kind of fictional parents I only ever saw on TV might say, “I’m not mad – of course I’m not. I’m just disappointed.”