Red carpet fashion duds and delights

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Jessica Chastain shows off her gown on the red carpet of the 84th Annual Academy Awards.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Let's face it: the most wonderful time of the year isn’t the holiday season. It’s award season. Is there a more absolutely delightful, frivolous annual pastime than judging the sartorial choices of millionaire film types while they preen and self-congratulate? Here’s our take on the best and worst dressed at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony.

Best Dressed

Jessica Chastain was dressed in an absolutely luxurious black strapless gown by Alexander McQueen richly embroidered in gold, which contrasted magnificently with her strawberry-blonde updo.

Emma Stone defied the old rule that redheads shouldn’t wear red in a vividly scarlet fitted dress by Giambattista Valli Couture, which featured a high neck and a huge festive bow right at her shoulder.

Winner for Best Supporting Actress Octavia Spencer flattered her curves in a glittering cream gown by designer Tadashi Shoji.

Christopher Plummer showed up all the younger actors on the red carpet in his eggplant velvet smoking jacket and bow tie.

Tina Fey, although we love her, can be hit or miss when it comes to her red carpet looks. This year though, she was a knockout in a form-fitting navy custom Carolina Herrera, with an adorably flouncy peplum accent and a black velvet belt.

Worst Dressed

Shailene Woodley, the 20-year-old actress whose performance in “The Descendants” has been especially praised, dressed far too maturely for her age in a white long-sleeved dress by Valentino Couture.

Berenice Bejo of “The Artist,” the movie which took this year’s Best Picture award, made the same aging mistake in her mint green Elie Saab. The long sleeves on an otherwise delicately gorgeous dress didn’t suit a woman of her youth.

Sandra Bullock, in an ill-fitting black-and-white dress by Marchesa, didn’t nearly live up to her stunning red Vera Wang from last year’s Academy Awards.

Kristen Wiig, despite her uproarious Oscar-nominated script for “Bridesmaids,” made a snoozy show on the red carpet with her too-trendy nude J. Mendel gown.