EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 - Red Carpet Arrivals

Last night’s BAFTA awards had a little bit of everything–the heinously ugly, the surprisingly passable, and the sublimely gorgeous. The main theme of this year’s best dressed candidates is “I hated this at first but upon closer inspection have found that I love it.” Let’s get into it.

EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 - Red Carpet Arrivals

Unsurprisingly, Helen Mirren makes the list in Jacques Azagury.

EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 - Red Carpet Arrivals

Cate Blanchett manages to make this Alexander McQueen gown with metallic hip flowers seem understated.

EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 - Red Carpet Arrivals

I love that Amy Adams tried something different than her usual fare, and her severe Victoria Beckham look is refreshingly hardcore.

EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 - Red Carpet Arrivals

Look, I am never not going to like a woman in tux. Angelina Jolie‘s Saint Laurent suit is fantastic, and that guy she’s with looks okay, too.

EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 - Red Carpet Arrivals

Here’s another look at that suit. Every man there is all “why didn’t I leave my bowtie undone? I look like such a putz in this bowtie.”

EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 - Red Carpet Arrivals

That color is stunning on Oprah. She’s in Stella McCartney.

EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 - Red Carpet Arrivals

I was really on the fence about Michelle Rodriguez‘s hip embellishments, and still feel uncomfortable with those little bits that extend outward around her fallopian tubes. But the rest of the dress is fantastic and she’s doing a red carpet leather looks that we don’t normally see, so I can forgive the fallopian tubes thing.

EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 - Winners Room

Emma Thompson simply must be congratulated for making a cowl neck look sexy. Her red dress is Maria Grachvogel.

EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 - Red Carpet ArrivalsI have a feeling I might be in the minority here, but I thought that Maggie Gyllenhaal‘s custom Lanvin was perfectly over the top and was a match for her. She kept her make up and jewelry minimal, and I’m a big fan of this whole thing.

EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 - Red Carpet Arrivals

Hot damn, Naomi Harris. Her Gucci gown has just the right amount of visible skin, and the color is perfect. I’m also taken the with surprising three-quarter length sleeves, which add some nice balance.

Next up: our best dressed pick of the night ended in a tie.

EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 - Red Carpet Arrivals

First up: is anyone even a little bit surprised that the night belonged to Lupita Nyong’o? Her Christian Dior gown was theatrical without being over the top, and the way Nyong’o plays with color contributes to the absolute lack of Nyong’o over-saturation on the red carpet. I am always excited to see what she’ll wear.

EE British Academy Film Awards 2014 - Red Carpet Arrivals

And our second best dressed winner? Ladies and gentlemen: Brienne of Tarth Gwendoline Christie.

Photos: Getty Images