Oscars Gown Showdown: Penélope Cruz vs. Charlize Theron -- Pick Your Favorite!

02/18/2014 at 09:45 AM ET

Oscar Gown Showdown: Penelope Cruz, Charlize TheronGilbert Flores/Celebrity Photo; Jeff Kravitz/FilmM

The Showdown: Penélope Cruz in Atelier Versace (2007) vs. Charlize Theron in Dior (2013)
The Editor’s Pick: Penélope Cruz
Who Made the Call?: Alex Apatoff, Style News Editor
Why She Chose It: For me, the Oscars red carpet is no time to go understated. It’s the one event a year where you can pull out all the stops, choosing the most enormous, most beautiful ballgown around. Don’t get me wrong — I’m all for elegant, modern minimalism, which Charlize Theron’s Dior gown has in spades. But for the biggest night in movies, Penélope Cruz totally gets that “red carpet royalty” feel down to a science — which is why I’ve got to give this win to her.

Check out the full Oscars Gown Showdown bracket here!

Her spun-gold Atelier Versace gown was the epitome of what an Oscars gown should be: glamorous, elegant, timeless and deeply dramatic. And it achieved all those things while still being exciting and unexpected, which is what sets it apart in the pantheon of killer Oscar dresses. Any star can put on a metallic gown with a big ol’ train and call it a day. Penélope’s dress was special thanks to all the unique details, from the carefully constructed silk chiffon bustier to the feathery organza and tulle skirt that had heads turning in her wake. She smartly played off the dress’s drama with a simple updo and some gorgeous diamonds.

We’re bound to see some sweeping ballgowns at this year’s Oscars, but it will take a whole lotta dress to compete with Penélope’s memorable Versace moment.

Voting is now closed but click here to see who came out on top — and to weigh in on today’s matchup: Nicole Kidman vs. Gwyneth Paltrow!

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Showing 6 comments

Ugonna Wosu on

that’s the not the dress of Charlize you should have chosen. Charlize has worn the fluffy skirt thing Penelope has in the past Oscars, why couldn’t you choose one of THOSE and compare two like dresses like you did for Sandra and Cameron yesterday ? Do readers in comments sections have to GUIDE you people for every article? What a let down, I was looking forward to this match and you BLEW IT.

Tony on

I voted for Penelope Cruz for a variety of reasons. While I love the dress (it is one of my favorites ever), I am wondering why they choose this dress for Charlize Theon. I could not vote for her because I know she has had better looks on the Oscar red carpet the past decade. They should have either choose the Haute Couture Dior by John Galliano gown she wore in 2005 or 2006. I believe Versace may have been inspired by the gown Theron wore in 2005, which was a similar silhouette, only in baby ice blue. Or go with 2006, when she wore that stunning, structured/architectural olive green gown with the giant bow on the shoulder. That was truly one her most stunning dresses and overall looks ever. Not to say Penelope Cruz was not stunning and breath taking in this gown.

Tony on

Ugonna Wosu, we posted at the same time and I had to laugh when I saw you said the same thing I did. Charlize was stunning in the minimal white Dior look in 2013, but she has had better. And you are correct, it would have been a better competition had they chosen the similar Haute Couture by John Galliano Christian Dior she wore in 2005.

Ugonna Wosu on

yes, Tony, its ridiculous to choose Penelope over the same woman who wore the SAME style first MANY YEARS earlier. I think the editors here wanted to spread the wealth and make sure Charlize isn’t a “slam dunk” for once, lol.

Ugonna Wosu on

lmao, I think we’re still posting at the same time, tony, lol. I’ll let you comment next time Charlize is involved, since we’re of the same mind!

Valentine Bonnaire on

Agrees on the glam factor of Versace gown… gorgeous…

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