The majority of performances are great, particularly Anne Hathaway playing spoilt, mimicking, hysterical materialism to the hilt as Daphne Kluger, a Hollywood star and socialite who’ll be wearing the diamonds in question. Helena Bonham-Carter suits her role as a down-on-her-luck designer – all incredulous eccentricity and elaborate hats. Cate Blanchett’s an absolutely magnetic, utterly unique presence on-screen, but here she’s the wise stoic, not given a lot to do beyond sport a blonde bob and no-nonsense attitude, while Rhianna’s stuck behind a laptop. The fantastic Sarah Paulson’s equally underserved. Bullock chooses an understated delivery: it’s a far subtler performance, compared to her broader roles. It’s glossy, glamourous fun, but the trailer markets it as far more of a comedy. It could’ve been much funnier – I wish the screenplay shared the same sparkle as the dresses.
The Met Ball sequence itself – a farcical mixture of split-screens, jazzy Daniel Pemberton score, food poisoning and flurry of celebrity cameos, is the apex of a venture with plenty of style, but lacking laughs, structure and pathos.
Rating: * * *