Tuesday, January 15, 2008

I miss the red carpet

by Trish Milburn

A few days ago, Jo blogged about her love of television and how the writers' strike has upset her and her TV viewing. I have to say I'm in agreement, especially after the strike's latest casualty -- the Golden Globes broadcast. I've heard all the arguments against the big awards shows -- they're long, they're self-congratulatory, blah, blah, blah -- but I don't care. I love them, particularly the Golden Globes and the Oscars. I love the glitter of Hollywood and the magic of seeing films on the big screen. And I love watching the red-carpet arrivals, seeing which actresses have the most fabulous -- and most atrocious -- dresses. I mean, who among us hasn't seen an A-list actress arrive at the Globes or Oscars and wonder if Bjork picked her dress and Edward Scissorhands did her hair? By the way, I think Keira Knightley looks lovely in this past Globes photo even if she didn't get a red-carpet moment this year despite being a Best Actress nominee.

I'm not saying the writers shouldn't be striking, but at the same time I feel as if this year's crop of Golden Globe nominees got a raw deal. The winners' accomplishments didn't get all the pomp and circumstance as past winners. It's kind of like Olympic athletes who train for years to compete only to have their country boycott the Games the year they're slated to compete. You understand why, but the timing still stinks.

I think it's been my lifelong love of these awards shows that makes me really enjoy the RITA/Golden Heart ceremony at the RWA National Conference each year. RWA really goes all out to honor the nominees for these top awards. I may never get on stage to give an Oscar speech, but I have to say giving a Golden Heart speech and getting all spiffied up in evening attire is pretty darn cool. And perhaps for writers it's an even bigger deal because so much of our work is solitary, behind the scenes so to speak. To walk the red carpet, be interviewed by Romance Novel TV, and have your name, book title and picture flashed on the big screen is our own Oscar moment. We might even have "You like me, you really like me" flash through our minds. That's me in the blue below with good friend Mary Fechter (aka MJ Fredrick) at the ceremony in Atlanta in 2006.

But since the RITA/Golden Heart ceremony is still six months away, I'm hopeful that the writers' strike will end soon and I'll at least get to enjoy the glitter of the Oscars.

By the way, if you missed the list of Golden Globe winners, including Atonement as best picture, you can see it here.

Do you have any favorite red-carpet fashions from past Golden Globe or Oscar ceremonies? Are you a fan of awards shows?


Joan said...


Gillian Layne said...

Hello? Can it be?

Gillian Layne said...

Oh, Joan.....I was so close...I can't quit laughing now. You would think grown women would have better things to do than chase roosters :)

Trish Milburn said...

Wow, three comments while I was still tweaking the post! You all must be sitting there waiting. :)

Gillian Layne said...

Trish, it's a great post!

My family couldn't get over how weird it was to watch one or two people announcing the winners to...no one!

And after experiencing the pomp and circumstance of Nationals for the first time last summer, I'd say the GH/Rita awards gives the rest of those shows a good run for their money :)

Joan said...

Ah, gillian, chicks chasing roosters is a tradition imprinted on our DNA.

Trish, I am in total agreement with your appreciation of awards shows. I adore watching all the elegant dresses and bling strolling down the red carpet. I really don't need to know the NAME of the bling but just appreciate the elegance of it all.

I watched the Golden Globe "report" show and felt SO bad for the nominees especially the first time ones.

To be recognized for an accomplishment in your given field (movies, TV, romance fiction writing) with a nomination is in and of itself magical. But to have the opportunity to dress to the nines (even if your bling is from Macy's LOL)and attend the RWA RITA/GH awards is like glittering pixie dust on a dream.

Now, I have to go and tuck the GR in for the night. Kentucky has a wind chill of 19 and it's quite a shock to his little chickie system.

It's ok, honey....

Anonymous said...

I totally agree--I miss the red carpet like crazy! And that picture of Keira makes me drool! I love watching gorgeous women and seeing the fashions and gossiping about the fashion disasters. Yum.

I have been to two RWA conferences and not been to either GH/RITA ceremony--even when I was a GH finalist. It just added to an already long time away from the family, when I have limited vacation days available from work. But no more excuses!! This year I'm stayin'!! :-)

You know, the thing I miss most about leaving private practice as an attorney is no longer having a fancy Christmas party to dress up for, or swanky events to take clients to. Isn't that crazy? You work a million hours and suffer horrible stress, but you do get excuses to wear great clothes.

doglady said...

Joan, you sound like my niece when she was about three and everything was "MINE MINE MINE!" And you are right. Chasing "Roosters" is in our DNA! I am really bummed about the Golden Globes. I feel so sorry for the people for whom this was a first time deal. I love the awards shows, especially the Oscars. And I love to ooh and aah at the gorgeous clothes and hoot at the ugly ones. My friends all over the country (and some overseas) get online and watch together. I am going to be very angry if I don't get to do that this year. This year is my first to enter the GH so I don't look to make the finals, but one of these days I hope to be there and I hope to see ALL of the Banditas there. I am going to have a dress made with golden feathers and a hat like a rooster comb!

p226 said...


Oscars night means I'm watching something on Tivo. Or playing guitar. Or catching up on some work. Or slowly running a wood rasp between my toes.

ANYTHING but that.


flchen1 said...

Oooh, congrats, Joan! And sooooo close, Gillian!

Trish, I do love seeing the glamour and the gorgeous gowns and the elegance and the bling, but in reality, I don't spend much time watching them. I often get my fix by flipping through InStyle the month after, so I can drool over the lovely dresses and diamonds ;)

And I agree with you Kirsten, one of the few things I miss about working for someone else is the chance to dress up for a party at least once a year ;) I think I need to get invited to another wedding or something--anyone getting hitched?

Jane said...

I love award shows with their glitz and glamour. I love when a winner gives a funny speech. I think Hugh Laurie gave a humorous speech when he won last year.

Donna MacMeans said...

As I'm usually working on tax returns doing the Oscars, I don't really get to watch them, but I do listen. I like hearing the list of nominees, the drumroll, the annoucement and speeches. I esp. like the funny ones (you and I are one of a kind, Jane).

But what I really like about the Oscars is trying to see all the nominees in the weeks before the winners are announced. I like to pick my own favorites and see if they win. It's a great excuse to sit in the dark theatre with my husband happily munching on popcorn *g*. And it sure beats doing tax returns.

Tawny said...

Woot, Joannie T!!!! GO you :-) You have a good ole time with that rooster.

Trish, I loooooove award shows. The dresses, the style, the glitz and glitter. Ooohlala. I think my inner mean-girl comes out, though, because I have so much fun rolling my eyes and asking "what WAS SHE thinking? doesn't she have a stylist?" (I say this as I sit in my jammies, of course *g*)

Tawny said...

I am going to have a dress made with golden feathers and a hat like a rooster comb!

ROFLMAO... OMG yes please *g*

jo robertson said...

Trish, I love the Oscars, including the politics behind who wins what on any given year and who wins but refuses to give a speech as a protest against . . . whatever.

I love the hosts, Ellen Degeneres and Billy Crystal being my favorites. I'm not so much for the fashions and glitter, but I enjoy seeing people rewarded for stellar performances or writing or musical scores.

I have a list of the Academy winner from 1929 (I believe the first one) on and I'm always surprised at what outstanding films got passed over.

Christine Wells said...

Hi Trish, great post! I'm a sucker for the red carpet but I must admit I go for the highlights, rather than the verrrry long real-time coverage. Aussie Cate Blanchett always looks stunning--there was a creation with butterflies on her back one year that really stood out for me. And Halle Berry has made memorable appearances too.

Jo, I agree, Billy Crystal always did a great job of hosting the Oscars.

Gillian, snorked at your comment about the rooster. What are we thinking? But still we strive to win that bird. He must have clocked up some serious frequent flyer mileage by now. Congrats, Joanie T!

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

Joan, school is on delay so tell the GR he doesn't have to get up. Just put a quilt around him to keep the chill off.

Caren Crane said...

Wow, congrats, Joan! What a cool nab that was. *g*

Doglady, I am so standing around with my digital camera waiting for a picture of your ensemble. Lest we forget, all, this woman sang opera. She is liable to wear anything! *g*

P226, my dh feels just like you about the Oscars. But I'm with Trish on this one. I love the Oscars! My bff often has an Oscar party. We generally do not dress up (comfort being the point for us, you see), but love to dish on everyone else's garb as they sashay down the runway.

The best is when Joan Rivers (or whoever is doing commentary) oohs and aahs over a dress and we are scratching our heads because it's hideous. It's so much fun! The awards themselves are only fun because we place a small wager on who can pick the most winners. It's really fun for the obscure categories. *eg*

Gannon Carr said...

I love to watch the Globes and the Oscars every year! I felt cheated the other night. Of course, I didn't have a chance to be catty and critique everyone's dresses and hair. Isn't that part of the fun?! I really missed that! *sigh*

Beth said...

I miss the red carpet too, Trish (along with non-reality TV shows - Chuck! I hope you return soon!)

I love the glitz and glamour and fashions, although I'm just as happy to catch the recaps if I miss the actual awards show :-)

As for the GH/RITA ceremony, I think it's extremely well done! I'm always impressed with the show itself and how collected and relaxed the winners are up on that stage *g* And yes, I love the chance to dress up ;-)

Trish Milburn said...

Joan, I hear you on the cold rooster. I'm ready for spring!

Kirsten, I didn't realize you hadn't been to a RITA/GH ceremony. Girl! It really is awesome.

doglady, LOL on your golden dress vision. That I've got to see.

p226, I'm sure my husband thinks much the same. I do think the red carpet is a girlie thing. Even with the men walking the red carpet in evening attire, it's just not as exciting as the endless variety of dresses.

terrio said...

I love the red carpet stuff and have passed the affection down to my daughter who lives for the things. Keira does look incredible in that gown. But she's always a show stopper.

This summer will be my first Nationals and I'm looking forward to attending the awards. And I have a large number of friends who have entered the GH (I'm aiming for next year!) so hopefully, I'll get to cheer some of them on and maybe even get to see one of them win.

I missed the Globes press conference completely and have heard it was a dismal failure in the ratings. But then again, what did they expect?

Trish Milburn said...

I can totally relate to all this talk about having somewhere to get really dressed up. That's one reason I like writing conferences -- I get to bring out the good clothes. :)

Christine, I agree that Halle and Cate look lovely. I will always remember the awesome black and white vintage Valentino dress Julia Roberts wore to the Oscars in 2001 when she won her Best Actress award for her role in Erin Brockovich.

Cassondra said...


I don't watch them. I'd rather eat dirt.(ducks to keep from getting hit by a flying piece of fruit.)

But then, I don't watch tv really either. Honestly if I didn't see it flashed across the home page screen when I log onto the computer, I wouldn't know it was even time for an awards show.

I enjoy seeing actresses in pretty dresses because I have a thing for that kind of clothes.

Ha, Kirsten, if you want to work for a not-for-profit and still wear the glitzy stuff, switch to entertainment law. All the entertainment not-for-profits get invited to the entertainment glitz events like everyone else. SOMETIMES there's even a free ticket. ;0)

Anna Sugden said...

LOL at the chicks chasing roosters!!

Great post, Trish. I love all the fashion and the glitz, the pre-show interviews and so on. The year they did the feature on shoes, I was in heaven *grin*.

I'm even keen to see who won, but I find most award shows really boring. They go on too long!

I feel the same way about the Golden Globes - how sad for those nominees and winners to lose out on what should be a special moment for them.

And I love the GH/RITA ceremony - even though the Great Dress Hunt is always such a stress - hope to see lots of Banditas as finalists again this year!

My fave Oscar dress was that Julia Roberts vintage Valentino - stunning.

brownone said...

Aww man...the blog monster stole my comment!! :-(

Well lets try it again...
Congrats to Joan on nabbing that GR!

As for awards shows, gosh I miss them! I miss everything about them. I LOVE watching the commentaries the next day. You know, the shows they do the day after they told the actor/actress how GREAT they look and then proceed to trash the outfit/hair/accesories.
I miss watching them on the red carpet and asking, "What they heck is he/she wearing?" "Who told him/her THAT looks good?" and my personal favorite: "What, did she forget to pay/not have enough money for the extra cloth on that outfit?"
And sadly, I actually miss the annoying pair of Joan and Melissa! I'm gonna miss the magazines next month with all the highlights....

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Great post, Trish! And how gorgeous you are in that blue! And, JT, oh my! You swoooped in and nabbed the GR. Snorked out loud about the chicks chasing roosters. Of course is DOES work the other 'way round too...I think the GR has a certain fondness for our OZ pals...

I love the glamour of the awards shows, sometimes I even like the hosting - Billy Crystal, yeah! - but they do get SO long. I'm usually guilty of scrolling through the People site or Style to see the dresses. It is fun though to critique as you go and get to do the, "Huh? How is THAT style?" for some of them. I remember a dress Gina Davis wore several years ago. Gorgeous bodice, interesting color and...what the heck was the whale attached to the train? heehee

While I completely support the writer's union, I'm baffled as to why they can't settle it - I know, I know, I'm Pollyanna - BUT, its in the best interest of both parties to settle and the Union has made concessions(Some of which, as a writer, I'd be miffed about!) in an effort to settle. I know Union work, and management and there's something here the reporters aren't getting at. Not that I really want to know - I just want non-rerun CSI. (they're going to run out soon...) :>

As to RITA/GH, what fun. Like Susan, I don't get to attend the fun work things anymore like I did when working for corporations. Sigh. So I love that RITA/GH is there for the fun. Grins. Can't wait to see what everyone wears this year...

Anna Campbell said...

JT, huge congrats!!!

Trish, great blog and congrats again on all your GH success! I was rather sad about the GGs too. That's actually my favourite award show. It's got a touch of reality about it I think the Oscars lack. There was that year Christine Lahti was in the toilet when her best actress award was announced! And I like how they split the categories into dramas and comedies. Think that's much fairer. I don't think a comedy has ever won Best Picture in the Oscars, has it? The odds are definitely stacked in favor of 'worthy' films to win, anyway. Hope they settle the strike soon. It's definitely in everybody's best interests to get this worked out and go back to the job! Entertaining us!

Cassondra said...

You know the thing I'm glad about in connection to this writers' strike?

It's that the whole country finally has to take notice of the WRITER.

Like when everybody started downloading music for free and now a whole generation thinks it should all BE free--I'm like "just because cars are expensive doesn't mean you should steal THEM--MY songs took a lotta work and cost me money to demo and cost the label mucho dollars to produce too...If you're listening to it, I should get PAID."

So if it does anything toward making the public aware of the role of the writer in their entertainment, then I say it's done something good.

I do realize that those of you who consume a lot of entertainment media are in far worse shape than I because of it. Now, if fiction writers went on strike......I'd be in a world of hurt.

Anna Sugden said...

Ah Foanna - you've just hit one of my hot buttons ... worthy films! It annoys me that some of the most entertaining films, which do so well at the box office and clearly thrill the viewing audience don't even make it to the nominations stage of the Oscars. (Kind of like literary books vs novels!) And why certain actors and actresses never get Oscars ... Cary Grant for example.

That's why I like the SAG awards. Much more down to earth. And I like to see the TV progs and films rewarded too.

Suzanne Welsh said...

As usual, I'm half awake and that makes me a little cranky, but I actually have mixed feelings about the awards ceremonies. Maybe because there are SO MANY of them. Geesh.

I like the Oscars and Emmys and the People's Choice. I love the gowns, the jewelry, the men in tuxes, the fantasy world the actors live in. It appeals to the romance writer in me.

The reason I'm torn is.....what exactly beside entertain people do these people do to earn such kudos? (Okay, I know people say the same about books and writers, but come on...)

Do they ever stand in blood up to their ankles trying to save someone? Hold the hand of a dying person while they take their last breath? Search in the cold or dark or dangerous places for a lost child or crash victim? Show a dyslexic child the wonder of reading? Feed homeless people dinner and help them search for a job? (Brad Pitt and the whole N.O. thing aside). I'm just sayin.

Suzanne Welsh said...

BUT...I love the RITA/GH ceremony and getting dressed up and seeing my heroes on stage, so I guess I'm not as jaded as I sounded before! And Congrats to you on the GH win again, Trish and Beth!

Nancy said...

Congratulations, Joan! Gillian, maybe next time.

Trish, I love awards shows. I like looking at the gorgeous dresses. Let's face it, I'll never be in a position to spend the kind of money those dresses cost, and it's fun to admire them. I also sort of enjoy shaking my head at the people whose dresses, as you note, were a disaster, or whose tuxes look like they came off the floor in the corner.

I like getting really dressed up. It's one of the fun things about National, though the fancy stuff can be a nuisance to pack at times.

Terrio, I hope you enjoy your first National. I haven't decided whether I'm going yet, but maybe I'll see you there.

Suz, I agree that we need to keep awards in particular, and Hollywood in general, in perspective. It's entertainment. It won't make or break anyone's life. It's just fun.

Cassondra, you have a good point about the writers. Also about music downloading. I just don't buy the rationale for "free" music-sharing sites. The creative force behind a work should be paid for every use to which it's put.

Fun post, Trish!

Trish Milburn said...

Anna C., I agree with your point about the GGs possibly being more fair because they split the categories into comedy and drama. The Oscars do tend toward more dramatic films. And that was too funny when Christine Lahti got caught in the restroom during her award. She'll never live that down. And thanks for the GH congrats. It felt weird not to enter this year, but I'm TOTALLY okay with the reason I couldn't. :)

Anna S., I was going to make the same point you did about literary novels vs. popular novels. While there's a place for both, 9 times out of 10 I'd go with the popular novel.

Suz, I understand what you mean, but I do think that entertainers serve a wonderful purpose. When the people who do save people on a daily basis or put their lives on the line for others need to get away from their real lives for awhile and just forget all the negative in the world, they can escape for a couple of hours with a movie or even a half hour with their favorite sitcom. Same thing with escaping into the worlds novelists create. I know when I'm stressed out, sometimes I need to just tune out the world and watch a good movie.

Caren Crane said...

Suz, I roll my eyes sometimes at the importance our society places on entertainers, but I LOVE the clothes! Gorgeous dresses everywhere!! *gg*

I think Cate Blanchett is so gorgeous in evening wear. She is so elegant and can pull off such stunning looks. I did love Julia Roberts' Valentino, though. Ah, vintage clothing! Halle's 2003 gold off-the-shoulder dress was gorgeous as well. Kate Winslet also had a red dress I recall that was really beautiful and flattering.

We were denied SO MANY DRESSES this year at the Golden Globes!!