Pairs Division: Davis and Gyllenhaal

Posted on September 25, 2012

Well, this should be an interesting experiment, darlings. One ladystar whose red carpet choices tend to have us singing hosannas paired with another ladystar whose red carpet choices tend to make us shriek in horror and rage. Let’s see what happens!


Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal attend the premiere of ‘Won’t Back Down’ in New York City.

From the left…

SHE: Is a goddamned fucking DIVA (meant in the absolute best possible way, of course). Everything here is giving us life; the dress and its gorgeous color, the silver accents (especially those killer earrings) and, of course, the hair, which is gorgeous and so much more flattering than the wigs she tends to deploy more often than not. Think of it this way: put any other starlet in this outfit, and you might come away thinking it’s a little standard and maybe a little on the boring side. Put Miss Viola in this outfit, and suddenly it’s stunning. Score: 9.5/10. Half point off because we think those lashes are a bit overdone, tipping over into drag land and fighting the slightly played-down vibe the rest of the outfit is putting out.

SHE: Must have realized “Shit, I’ll be standing next to a stunning diva. Maybe I should try not to dress like an 80-year-old secretary, just this once.” Mission accomplished, girl. This is easily the best she’s looked on the red carpet in ages. Again; it’s a relatively simple dress, but it’s got impact to it and it flatters her tremendously. Love the bracelets and LOVELOVELOVE the flat sandals. Elegant and chic. And did you ever think we’d use those words to describe Miss Maggie, who once prompted us to admit that we always think she smells like nursing home pee? We certainly never did. Score: 9/10, mostly for putting out a personal best.

Combined Score: 9.25/10. Maggie, can we suggest you always take Viola along with you for public appearances? She seems to bring out the best in you.



[Photo Credit: Getty]

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  • Nothing to add … agree 1000%!

  • Really? You like Maggie’s dress? How… it looks like a Project Runway reject. It’s pulling funny and gives her body a horrible silhouette. I don’t see the happiness here.  It might be a personal best for Maggie, but I don’t think it’s a 9.

    • agentilities

      TLO must be grading Maggie on a curve. That dress is a 5

      • call_me_schmeg

        baby steps, baby steps. though it does seem like miss mags knows she looks better than usual. 

      • gabbilevy

        They admitted as much: “Score: 9/10, mostly for putting out a personal best.”

        • bitchybitchybitchy

          Considering that Maggie’s style is usually tending toward tragic, this look is a step forward.  I’m not crazy about the eye-makeup, but the dress is a definite improvement over her usual “I’m a SERIOUS actress and therefore I don’t care how I look” pose.

      • That’s what I figured. Not to mention it’s wrinkled as shit.

    • mshesterp

      Yeah, I was surprised too.  I don’t mind it until the bottom, and then it’s like the Joker’s sister’s dress. It’s just weird.  Definitely better (maybe the best she’s ever looked), but they’re grading on a steep curve!

      • Yeah, when I looked at it, all I could think was, TWO FACE! (Her dead boyfriend in The Dark Knight.) (Probably not a lot of Batman enthusiasts up in here.)

        • TropiCarla

          You’re not alone in your Batman enthusiasm. Bitter kittens come in all different favors. 🙂

        • Kristin McNamara

          I got you! 🙂

      • turtleemily

        Joker’s boyfriend’s sister.

    • neofashionista

      I completely concur!

    •  Frankendress. I thought she looked good in the first shot where I didn’t notice the pink.

      I do love the flat sandals, very beach-glam without trying to hard like so many starlets.

      • Introspective

        exactly what i said when i saw MG- total frankendress. & wth a train?? no boo, try again.

        viola- snaps all around cause bitch is fab.

    • leilah

      I agree that “an ‘A’ for effort” shouldn’t be a 9 — but you’ve gotta realize that the boys are probably just delirious at seeing MG step out of her normal “Pruneface’s wallflower daughter” mode….

    • I thought I was missing something until I read through the comments. I can’t agree with TLo on Maggie’s dress or her shoes. 

    • Spreecord

       It might be a personal best, but there’s no excuse for a Harvey Dent dress. Ever.

    • turtleemily

       Didn’t Mondo do a pink and black recycled bridesmaid dress for a challenge?

  • jmorino08

    I think Maggie looks like a fashion-themed Batman villian.

    • 3boysful

       *guffawing aloud*

    • She looks like Two Face!! That is who her boyfriend becomes after her character dies in the Dark Knight!

    • Rand Ortega

       “The Harletquin”.
       Nimble circus performer by day, scantily dressed anarchist emissary of Satan in chiffon by night.

      • jmorino08


  • Lizzyisi

    I just wish Maggie Gyllenhaal was wearing an actual *shoe* and not a flip flop. It’s not even a *fancy* flip flop.

    • HomeOfficeGirl

      Agreed… the too casual shoe is out of place here.

    • Jillaine13

      I feel like I’m in some altered universe when people rave and love a common flat sandal at a premier.  I don’t see it at all.  No heel?  Nothing strappy or sassy?   

    • LaylaSV

      Agreed. I like the idea of breaking the hegemony of the heel and can definitely get behind the idea of a formal flat or sandal. But not with a train. You can not wear sandals with a train. It just looks sloppy and silly, like your stylist is about to hand you your real shoes…any second now. 

  • Maggie looks like she’s standing barefoot in a pool of fabric. wrinkled fabric.

  • carpediva

    Oh, Miss Viola! (slow claps) Love the hair, the color, the draping, and the properly deployed cleavage.  One of your best ever.  (And nice job, Maggie G!)

    • That is such a good color for her.  She should wear it always, or until we start complaining about how she’s always wearing it.

      • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

        I love that shade of blue on her.  One of my favorites.  And she has such a gorgeous smile!

    • shirab

      Exactly right re: cleavage. Salma and Christina, take note (they do have even more to work with, but still).

      • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

        How awesome would Christina look in that color?

    • kimmeister

      Oh, but she is showcasing a massive titscrepancy!

      • carpediva

        Totally agree; saw it and let it slide because she’s been so egregious in her baby-headednss before that I was just so grateful. But you are well within your rights here! 🙂

  • bittykitty

    i am surprised that tlo approved the frankendress maggie is wearing, but i have to agree that viola is diVINE…

  • Yay, she wore a bra! Looks great, and I love the sandals.

  • Sobaika

    I think you scored Maggie a bit too high. Maybe a 7.5 or 8 from me. She looks washed and happy to be there, but nowhere in the vicinity of Viola’s radiance.

    • Seriously.  I was expecting an average score of like 6.

    • Violina23


    • carpediva

      “Washed and happy to be there.” HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, yessssss.

  • gabbilevy

    Man I love when Viola lets her natural hair roam free. Everything about her outfit is fab. Definitely an improvement for Maggie, but she’s got a long, long way to go. I like her hair, but sorta hate the dress.

    • Verascity

       I wish Viola would also keep her natural hair color, though. I really don’t like that orangey hue on her.

  • Call me Bee

    Agreed on Miss Viola–absolutely stunning tip to toe.  Love her hair–so much better than wigs. 
    On Miss Maggie–not so much.  Hair and make-up are beautiful (her skin looks great!) and her flat sandals are very cute (though I thought she was barefoot for a brief moment.)  The dress, however, is just a sad sac just hanging off her shoulders. It needs a belt or some structure or something–totally droopy and unflattering.

    Miss V: 10,  Miss M:  barely a 5

    • MRC210

      I think it’s the saggy flap of fabric that makes Maggie’s dress so sad.  But now I’m trying to visualise the dress without the flap and it’s still not working. 

  • BelladonnaRising

    I love the idea of Maggie’s dress; it’s arty and dynamic, and not fussy. The execution is flawed; it doesn’t hang quite right. Viola looks just about perfect. 

  • Trisha26

    Viola looks lovely and deserves every bit of that 9.5! Maggie looks like she came in from a day at the beach in Cabo. If she deserves a 9.5 it’s for her acting, not this outfit.

  • Gagging on their cumulative eleganza. 

  • SewingSiren

    They both look great. I love the flat sandals that Maggie is wearing. Both went slightly heavy on the eyes (Maggie more so than Viola). But I agree with your overall scores.

  • In_Stitches

    There’s only so much poise and presence can do to lift a pedestrian dress up; this standard jersey day dress is a drably inoffensive color isn’t what you wear to the premiere of your movie.  I don’t love that hair color on her either.  It’s way too close to her skin tone. 

    Maggie, well, it’s an improvement.  The silhouette is a bit odd, loose and tapered on a gown?, but it’s nice.  The eye makeup needs some serious reworking.  Fill in the brows, use half the liner and steam the bottom third of that dress and she’d have a solid look on her hands. 

    • filmcricket

      I’m so glad someone else doesn’t care for Ms. Davis’ hair colour here. I think it ages her. I am all for African American women ditching the wigs, but I do wish she’d dye it black (I’m assuming this is her natural shade, or close to it).

      Otherwise, though, she looks stunning – love how unafraid of vibrant gowns she is. Maggie, meh. Her head and face look good. That dress is terrible.

  • Lily-Rygh

    I disagree only to say that I don’t care if Viola’s eyelashes are a bit too much: this is a perfect 10 for her.  She looks positively radiant!

    Oh, and I also disagree about Maggie’s shoes.  They take it from mostly okay straight to dumpy.

  • janetjb

    I like the dress Maggie’s wearing.  It’s unusual, for sure, but it suits her. 8/10
    I always approve of Viola not wearing a wig (as if she cares). 9/10

  • mjude


  • I like Maggie’s dress but the flat shoes leave me flat. She looks like she just got out of the shower.

  • frannyprof

    This is easily my favorite look from Ms. Vi. LOVE the color. Covet the dress. Not 100% sold on Maggie, but it’s an improvement, to be sure.

  • Ryan Williamson

    I don’t get what people like about Viola’s hair, she looks much better in the wigs to me. 

    • KateWo

      I think it’s more about embracing the natural hair and not conforming to western ideals

  • Oh Dearest Uncles, I must protest. Ms. Maggie looks like she’s just come from the beach with the coverup she bought at Sandals resort. I bow to your wisdom, but that dress is doing nothing for her and I detest that pink ruffle thing running the vertical length of the dress.

  • I don’t know how Viola Davis does it. And by “it” I mean “making a dress that would scream early-aughts bridesmaid on anyone else, look like a million bucks.” I bow down in the face of superior talent.

  • TonyGo

    Kinda love how the movie poster is making them photbomb each other.

  • neofashionista

    I thing you guys were extremely generous to ms Maggie even given her past deficiencies this is a 7 at best and possible lower because she is wearing sandals at the end of September
    I will be eternally perplexed at how she can look so stunning in movies and yet come off so mediocre when she dresses herself
    Oh well viola does look good

  • MilaXX

    Yes! Both these ladies look great. Special applause goes to Maggie for finally dressing like the New York mom on the go vibe I always get from her interviews. Whoever styled you for this, deserves a cookie. Viola my number 1 girl crush, I love you in this!

    BTW this movie looks interesting. Any BK’s going to see it?

  • Vanja

    Viola looks stunning, that’s a great colour s on her. I think I would like Maggie’s dress a bit more, if it didn’t have that sad looking train. 

  • MsAfroCAN


  • Maggie’s dress… what is going on with the hem? Also, generally shapeless. 
    Viola… is amazing. Love that color on her. I so prefer the natural hair, but I don’t love this color so much.

  • mmc2315

    Viola is taking what is essentially a very simple dress up about 100 notches.   She looks so put together, head to toe.  Look at the second picture, how comfortable & poised she looks.  The dress color is gorgeous against her skin color.  And her natural hair?  I’m unreasonably joyful every time I see it.  

  • marilyn

    MG’s shoes look horrible.  They are flat sandals, more for the beach than the red carpet.  The dress is shapeless and the colors are odd.  The random ruffle down the pink side does nothing for the dress, except make it look more dowdy and baggy.  This dress should be worn by someone who just put on a lot of weight and is trying to hide it.

  • I love Viola’s lashes.  I’d make it a 10, or take the .5 for boob discrepancy.

  • Kayceed

    Viola’s skin is luminous in that color – she is really elevating a rather simple dress. Maggie looks a bit too resort for a New York event, but I’m not recoiling, so there’s that. It would be great to see a really chic flat sandal deployed, instead of a thong.

  • ojosazules

    Maggie’s dress would look strange with anything but flats. And I love how she is looking here. Sleek. Elegant.
    Viola is just stunning. I am stunned. Wow.

  • julnyes

    Viola – that shade of blue is perfection with her coloring. I love the style of her natural hair, but think she should wear wigs if she darn well likes. I would love it if her hair color was either darker or lighter to contrast better against her skin

    Maggie – this is one of the best looks I have seen from her on the red carpet. Love the jewelry and the hairstyle, but am not blown away by the dress. Still she is looking age appropriate so that makes me happy.

  • I like her dress but Maggie’s eye make up is awful

  • Viola can work a rainbow of bold, beautiful colors like no other. She is simply divine.

  • melanie0866

    I actually hate the flat sandals.  I think they take the look from Red Carpet to Pool Party.

  • PeggyOC

    Vi, you’re stunning.  Just stunning.

  • Looks like a good movie, too….saw the trailer the other day.

  • Really? I hate Gyllenhaal’s dress. It looks sloppy. Something about the way the fabric is puckering by that center seam makes it look like a sewing class project. The hair, make-up, and accessories aren’t anything special either. 

  • greyhoundgirl

    Viola–the color is so divine on her and I LOVE it when she wears her own hair.

  • nannypoo

    Viola always looks beautiful, but this is really exceptional. I also think Maggie looks good. These pictures are a testament to the power of a good makeup job. She usually looks plain and exhausted, but here she looks beautiful.

  • How can Maggie not see her current hair & makeup AGES HER 30 YEARS.  She’s standing directly in front of photographic proof of her own adorableness and still with the grandma hair and makeup!


  • SapphoPoet

    They both look wonderful. I love that color on Viola. Maggie is so pretty–it’s nice to see her pulled together. I like how their dresses don’t compete with each other. Kudos to both. 

  • Trebawa

    I disagree about Maggenhaal.  I actually gasped in horror when I saw that she’d married Two-Face.

  • j_anson

    Oh, Viola Davis, no. I don’t think that looks good on her at all; it looks like department-store kruft. I do actually like Maggie Gyllenhal’s dress, although I’m not sure a woman whose highest-profile role was The Dark Knight should wear a dress with that particular conceit.

  • I agree with Maggie, I think the dress has an easy-breezy quality, but in an elegant, classy way.  The shoes give it that fresh-off-the-beach vibe.  Love it.  While I also like Viola’s dress, I think the bust is a tiny bit low, like she wore the comfy bra that’s a little bit worn in the elastic department.  (Maybe it’s just me.) For that, I’d take off an additional .5 and make it 9’s across the board.

  • Mrs

    I think that one of the best features of that dress is that it’s not so clingy as to overemphasize the fact that not only is she not wearing a bra now, but she may never have worn a bra in her life.  If I could give her only one piece of advise, it would be to buy a bra.  Not even necessarily a fancy one, or a really expensive one.  Just a BRA, for pete’s sake.  I mean that in the nicest way possible, by the way.

  • Beth Mohon

    Maggie looks like crap! That’s a dress lounge dress you throw on for vacation–does NOTHING for her figure.

  • Viola is a 10. No 9.5s on this one, sorry.

  • momogus

    I love both of these dresses on both of these ladies. They look fresh and beautiful and relaxed. And flat sandals on the RC, Maggie? You rock.

  • Oh, Vi, you are WERQing it!  Gorgeous!  

    Maggie still looks crazy to me.  Babysteps, though.

  • AnaRoW

    I still can’t deal with Viola’s hair color.  It matches her skin too closely and ages her. Maggie looks much better than usual.

  • I kind of like the beachy thing Maggie has going on here.  But seems a bit casual for the event.  Her hair and makeup are terrible!  Love Viola.

  • another_laura

    Oh my, TLo, I’m having to wipe the laughter tears from my cheeks after a tough day.  Thanks!

    And I seriously can’t believe that MG and VD managed to kind of find the same level of dressitude for this event.  Did they maybe use the same stylist?  could it be?

  • bitchybitchybitchy

    Viola Davis looks so fabulous. Is there someone else in the photo?

  • YourBaloneyDontGotNoSecondName

    When the time comes for the movie, we all know who will be playing the FLOTUS.

  • No one with that big a titscrepancy can get a 9.5, surely! Despite that, Viola’s hair looks awesome. Maggie looks surprisingly good here also.

  • quiltrx

    Standing next to a goddess obviously has a great effect on Maggie.  Always cast her with people more fabulous than her, and maybe this can become a regular thing.

  • holdmewhileimnaked

    they both look very nice. i tend to like MG’s lace number [i think it was D&G] a little better as a dress, but the close up looks really great here. VD always looks good, here is no different. i wish i knew who made the blue dress–i have one like it, but mine is, oh, forty years old. i’m curious to know whether this is forty years old also, or marc jacobs, or whomsoever.

  • pookiesmom

    Maggie’s dress, whatever, better than usual but nothing extraordinary. I’m most impressed, though, with her makeup and hair! I haven’t seen her face look that good in ages. 

    These two look gorgeous.

  • e jerry powell

    I’m not completely comfortable with Maggie’s sandals, but I am so in love with Vi’s natural still.

  • bellesprit

    I agree with TLo on Maggie. Let’s encourage her to go in this direction. She’s such a talented actress yet has dressed tragically for so long. This is a huge improvement for her. I’m not crazy about the dress, but she has a certain Grecian elegance (complete with sandals) going on that I think basically works for her. Hopefully, she’ll keep going in that direction with gays who know how to make her red carpet look as shining as her talent. (By the way, a higher heel would have her towering over Viola. As it is, they’re at the same height–a nice touch for costars.)
    Viola is stunning here. Lovelovelove her hair.

  • They are both going to kick ass in that movie!

  • bellafigura1

    Vi’s dress color and skin color are sublime together, topped off by that gorgeous coppery hue of her hair, wow.

  • Judih1

    While it is a personal best for Maggie – it is the wrong dress for this time of year. It is practically fall and she is wearing a sleeveless, flowing frock with made for the beach sandals. Just because 1/2 of the color is brown, doesn’t make it a fall dress.

  • butterflysunita

    Viola looks fabulous.  She looks so much better than Maggie that I can’t see giving them such close scores.  

  • EEKstl

    Viola…well of course (but not in the way you say that about Lea Michelle).  Maggie: You go girl, I really like this dress and agree the flats are the perfect shoe for it.  She looks easy, breezy and chic.  

  • lilazander

    Maggie G. looks SLOPPY and bipolar–what a horrendous dress!

  • ccm800

    spot on – but obv MG gets extra credit for where the bar is usually set with her.