This year the stars downgraded from limos to town cars, so it's fitting that red carpet fashion went from mostly flashy to just classy.
Style at the 74th Academy Awards took a cue from our nation's current subdued mood, but that didn't mean a flub or two didn't sneak through (Two words: Sally Kirkland).
Overall, the celebrities looked relaxed: soft, tousled hair, understated jewelry and natural-looking makeup.
Most of the women who opted for glamour chose black: Reese Witherspoon in a cap-sleeve Valentino, Julia Roberts in a slashed Armani, Renee Zellweger in a classic Carolina Herrera.
But a few dissenters went (with varying degrees of success) with a pale palette of blushes, nudes and pinks: Nicole Kidman in frothy Chanel and Kirsten Dunst in a sparkly Dior.
Instead of the usual eye-popping jewels to accompany the dark dresses, the actresses relied on tonal sequins, studs or small drop earrings and intense eyes with nude lips to add drama.
Amidst a sea of black dress and low-glam makeup and hair, a there were still individualists.
Barbra Streisand presented in an ethnic poncho-like dress and Cameron Diaz appeared in a floral Emanuel Ungaro gown, which she said was "100% me."
In some cases, the men outshone their female counterparts: Samuel L. Jackson in a jacquard double-breasted jacket, Ben Kingsley in Prada and a pink tie.
J-Lo. Pale pink Versace? A bouffant? Pearls? Almost makes you wish for split-to-there green dresses and mink eyelashes.
Gwyneth Paltrow. Looked more like a trend chaser than a supposed style icon. The braid, goth touches and sheer-topped dress by Alexander McQueen would have been bad enough worn separately, but together they really miss the mark.
Jennifer Connelly. Broke two basic style rules: Winters can't wear summer colors and just because a hip designer (in this case Nicolas Ghesquire for Balenciaga) made the dress it doesn't mean it works.
Halle Berry in Elie Saab. The strategically placed floral appliques and voluminous burgundy gown set her apart from the crowd. But then again, she'd probably look gorgeous wearing a garbage bag.
Will Smith in a champagne shirt and tie and pinstripe suit by Ozwald Boateng. Smashing!
Sandra Bullock. Sure, she's cute and funny, but who knew she could be so glamorous? Her sheer-topped black Valentino was accented with black paillettes.
- Erogenous-zone back. Sharon Stone, Kirsten Dunst and Helen Hunt sported down-to-there dresses that displayed their backs.
- Diamond studs. Bigger is better, and even Denzel Washington sported one.
- Natural hair. From low-slung, pulled back styles like Zellwegger's to Roberts' newly red curly updo, the styles were tousled and touchable.
- Pink, blush, nude. In addition to the clothes, the light palette appeared on faces: pink cheeks, nude lips (offset by dark eyes).