We’ve heard from several sources that Jacki Weaver is both totally scary and totally awesome in Animal Kingdom. For as much as the HFPA seems cracked-out at times in its choices, I do love that it recognized a performance in a movie very few people seem to have heard of, because that can only do good things for small movies and it just goes to show that if you act the hell out of it, good things will come your way.

Jacki was a complete unknown commodity when it came to red-carpet prognostication, just because… well, she’s not usually on them. So in a way this sort of feels like fugging that really nice lady who smiles at you every week in the supermarket checkout line, or something — like, I suspect Jacki Weaver was not given quite all the clothing options her fellow nominees were, due to her comparative anonymity and the fact that she’s not nineteen. I don’t mean that to sound pandering, at all — I’m not trying to pat her on the head and say, “There, there, you TRIED,” or anything like that. But in the end it’s sort of apples and oranges to compare her with a Melissa Leo, who is also not a household name, but is a prior nominee, is attached to a major film, and was just on a big HBO show (Treme), and thus probably has more pull when she — or her people, or her studio’s people — picks up a phone. Can you imagine? If I were ever nominated for anything in the company of famous people who will be wearing Armani and Prada and Marchesa, I’d be like, “What? I have a Bloomies budget. I’m NOT GOING AND YOU CAN’T MAKE ME.” Because despite all the jokes I make about how ancient I am, I am also secretly twelve.

So yes, this dress’s beading on the front of it seems a little close to an homage to the Great Barrier Reef and/or other creatures you might find in her home nation’s sparkling waters. But Jacki also looks comfortable, and happy, and like herself. And that, I think, makes the dress really shine. I mean, if you show up at an awards show and you don’t look like you, then you’ve already lost. Well, unless you’re Bjork. But she’s very special.

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