Fug or Fab: Jessica Chastain in Zac Posen

So, Jessica Chastain is about to hit it big, potentially — I’d never heard of her, but suddenly here she is, with The Help coming in 2011 alongside The Tree of Life and a two other projects, and two other biggies for 2012, including one by Terence Malick. And it’s certainly something of a coming-out party to debut at Cannes alongside Sean “Bouffant” Penn and Brad “Ewffant” Pitt, neither of whom let her out of their (somewhat creepy-looking) sights during the entire premiere. But how has she done on the red carpet? Let’s take a look at her three Cannes events, and what the hell, we’ll throw in the Met Ball too. Welcome to the spotlight, kiddo.

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Comments (43):

  1. Jacq

    I’m not loving that pale yellow shade on this pale-skinned blonde. If you compare it with Kiki in mustard, I think it demonstrates why we paler women need to be very careful about shade selection…

  2. Billie

    Overall she gets a B, it would’ve been an A- if it weren’t for the giant Fail at the Met Ball.

  3. Cecily

    That yellow dress is really pretty. Jack Mazda. Hilarious.

  4. Erika

    What Billie said.

  5. vandalfan

    Yes, that Met Ball outfit is cray-tastic, and that red belt must go, stat. I love the other color choices, all nice with her hair and complexion, although I really am annoyed by the shredded and unfinished stray threads on the yellow.

  6. Lynne

    Those shots with Brad and Sean are creepy as hell. Why are they clutching onto her like that? Why is Brad so greasy now? Ew.

  7. Helen

    Apparently she was shaking the entire time, and would have fallen down the stairs if they hadn’t both held her hands. They were also narrating events sotto voce as they went inside “Now we’re going to go upstairs…smile….” etc. From stills of The Tree of Live alone, this girl looks like the real deal. It’s great to see a talented artist hit it big.

  8. Jeanie

    I think she looks great! Brad, on the other hand, yuck.

  9. Dina

    I’ve seen other photos of the yellow where you can see it’s a very vibrant shade and while it shouldn’t work on her, it totally does to me. The dress itself is a bit fussy and overdesigned, but I thought she looked beautiful in it.

    And Tree of Life is the Malick film she’s starring in, and he chose not to attend the festival, leaving the actors to explain/defend the film. Which supposedly got booed before it was cheered so, par for his course at Cannes. I can’t imagine how overwhelming it would be to have your “coming out” be as the star of a Malick film, and all its attendant neuroses, at Cannes. That she’s standing on her own at all is a testament to her.

  10. Kris

    For me, it’s the design of the yellow dress and the colours of the red (I’m ignoring the Met Ball dress). Red hair looks fantastic in many nice colours. Bright red is not one of them. The yellow, I like the colour on her, but the rest of it was not fantastic.

  11. marcia

    That whole hand-holding thing seems very affected and silly….on everyone’s parts. So actor-y.

  12. marcia

    and the reason she’s got to have them pull her up the steps is BECAUSE they’re holding her hands. Seriously, try to climb a flight of steps, in heels, with a dress you are trying not to trip on, with your hands tethered. It can’t be done, I bet, without raising them like that and holding on for dear life and getting hoisted.

  13. marcia

    seriously. the hand holding is DRIVING ME CRAZY.

  14. Lina

    B overall, but really she gets an A for an awesome debut. What a great beginning!

  15. zut

    In the clutch-y photo? She looks like Daniel Tosh in drag.

  16. Sandra

    The Librarian Corpse Bride will also smack your hand for misidentifying her jugular notch as her nape. Nape is the back of the neck.

    Yes, I looked up “jugular notch” and yes, I am a librarian also. But even a fashion victim like me would know better than to wear that dress in public.

  17. Lori

    She’s lovely! I was wondering if she *begged* Pitt and Penn to hold onto her for dear life. Maybe she was terribly nervous, who knows? At any rate, I’m rather meh on all the dresses. She does look gorgeous in black, I think, especially that dramatically matte black.

    Now I have to start covering up Brad with my hand in these photos. SIGH. To think of the very… active fantasy life I once had with him.

  18. Erin

    So, it’s Penn and Pitt? What, is this movie for the Pennsylvania-universities crowd?

  19. Sajorina

    I don’t known who she is either! I gave her a B because I like her style, but there’s always something I would change, except for the Met Ball look, which I love as is!

  20. nichole

    I actually really like the Met Ball dress. It was different and I think it makes her skin look radiant. Also I want the shoes she was wearing.

  21. Anne B

    I don’t know who this is. I do not mind her dress at all. Buttercream is generally delicious.

    That said, Kate Winslet was introduced to the world at Cannes, I believe. (She was so young! And blond!) By Ken Branagh, who was photographed sort of cradling her in a half-body hug at all times: she was Ophelia to his Hamlet, the one to end all Hamlets, in the screen version I still prefer above all others.

    Ahhh, those heady days … long before Ken went bonkers and made “Thor” …

    Anyway. This is a relatively tame introduction, by comparison. And yet I manage to be jealous of her position in it. I just love Sean Penn, for one thing (The roles he’s played! Lives he’s saved! Things he knows!).

    For another, I just want to turn to Fiat Bob and say, “Problem with my panties. They’re stuck in second gear.”

  22. Lauren

    Is Brad channeling Jack Nicholson these days or is it just the tinted glasses and greasy hair?

  23. jean

    She’s very pretty. She makes Brad look tall. So all plusses.

  24. Angela Brown

    How fun would it be to find out later that she and Brad started a tawdry affair on set and he left Angelina for her! If only…

    I liked the bright red-orange dress the best on her, even with her red hair. And it’s so refreshing to see someone with natural (I’m assuming) red hair!

  25. Syrax

    Michael K said it best “Jessica Chastain Is The Cream In A Greasy Orange Leather Sandwich”.

  26. Kathleen

    oh man I seriously thought Brad was Jack Nicholson. RETHINK THE LOOK BP

  27. Mahastee

    I like them all – even the librarian :) Prefer the second red dress to the first, and the yellow is lovely. But I do wonder what the world has come to when I just want Brad Pitt to go far, far away.

  28. anny

    The only way that dress belonged at any ball was if she was hired to make sure the punchbowl didn’t get spiked and the kids didn’t dance too close.

  29. Frances

    I like them all too. Don’t like the aging Met ball makeup though. Still, I give her an A. Way to go, kid!

  30. Melanie

    I have no idea who she is but she’s quite lovely. She looks real, which is unusual these days.

    I never thought I’d say this but Brad Pitt needs some help. Yikes.

  31. CJ

    I don’t know her, but she is very lovely. I imagine being an unknown and being thrown on a red carpet at Cannes can be terrifying — I think it’s sweet that her costars are supporting her. The canary yellow looks beautiful on her, the detailing is wonderful and it looks great with her hair. Love her in the dress at the CK event. Not sure why she picked a dress in the same color for the event in the following picture. It’s not that it’s a bad ensemble, but she looks 20 pounds heavier in that dress.

    As for the Met Gala ensemble, if she took off the sadistic librarian shrug and stuck to more natural makeup it would have been much better.

    Looking forward to seeing Tree of Life.

  32. Jenny

    They are merely exchanging long protein strings. If you can think of a simpler way, I’m sure they would like to hear it.

  33. Emma

    She looks fine. I’d kind of like her to invest in a brow pencil, though.

  34. Jules

    First dress was great. The second two not so much. Someone needs to tell her that her hair color and bright red aren’t working together.

  35. Geemee

    I don’t mind the hand-holding. Even before I read the interview where she said she was scared sh!tless and holding on for dear life, I thought the guys seemed supportive, not creepy (and I still think they’re both yummy). I dig all the dresses except that second red one, which makes her look 20 pounds heavier between her belly button and her knees.

  36. Sally

    Erin, I didn’t get the Penn-Pitt-PA universities connection and I graduated from both. More coffee, please.

  37. The Other Molly

    I think she’s got a pretty classy look going that would have been perfect in emerald green.
    So she’s going to play Celia in “The Help”.
    Now I have a mental image of the character.
    I’m listening to that book in the car and loving it.

  38. JanetP

    I gave her an “A” because overall she looks great and thankyougod everything is neatly covered up and what should be private remains so. Love the yellow dress, love her hair with it, not a fan of the CK dress but love the other red one apart from that belt and Met Ball ugh. But way to go! Welcome to fame. Hope it’s kind to you.

  39. Lynnie

    “Sean ‘Bouffant’ Penn and Brad ‘Ewffant’ Pitt”: hahahahahahaha! Thank you for that.

    Erin: clever!

  40. Joni Woodhead

    no one liked the Met Ball dress? I thought she looked good there … the Met Ball is the sort of place to be dramatic and nothing on it was particularly unflattering ….. then again I kinda like when things fasten at my “jugular notch” ( thank you @Sandra for the correct anatomy )

    I also dont think Brad looks particularly greasy, i think his hair looks wet, like just out of the shower or walking up the beach from the waves (my BF always brushes his hair straight back like that when its wet and id like to think about Brad being wet ) so … win/win in my mind lol

  41. Bambi Anne Dear

    I’m not usually a fan of lemon but I think it looks GREAT on her. The first red on is a bit meh and despite being a bit underdressed for the Met Ball I love the dress.

  42. Kristin

    I don’t know. Isn’t she supposed to be in her early/mid-twenties? She looks about ten years older than that. And her clothing choices aren’t doing much to combat that.

  43. Mare

    What’s wrong with Sean’s hair? It looks like something out of a Batman movie.