First time co-hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco, are young, full of energy, hip, and gorgeous. Well, sort of. To be honest I had my doubts about the pairing from the initial announcement. I am, however, a huge fan of Anne and James is tolerable. Unfortunately, that was the same feeling I had last night.
Anne’s enthusiasm was magnetic, and she looked stunning in all of her selected gowns. The perky host was relaxed and went with the flow of the show. James, on the other hand, was stiff, unyielding, dry, and seemed eternally bored. This may have been the planned scenario, Franco playing the straight, serious, dry humored actor, and Hathaway playing the star struck, giggling, starlet. If it was planned, it failed. If I am being bare bones blunt, Billy Crystal and the interactive holograph of the late Bob Hope brought more entertainment to the broadcast in their three minute stint than the entire three hour collaboration of Hathaway and Franco.
I will preface that with a frown at the writers and the director who are responsible for making the dialog at the very least watchable. So the failing was from the inside out.
My favorite part of the evening was the regal Kirk Douglas presenting the award for Best Supporting Actress. Out of the five amazing nominees, the Oscar went to Melissa Leo for The Fighter. He looked so handsome, and he is as feisty as ever. He had the entire audience in the palm of his hand. It was a classic moment that will be replayed for years to come.
My second favorite was the banter between Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, specifically the staged, but none-the less hilarious, comments in regards to a cheap hotel room and a Bat Girl, excuse me, a Wonder Woman costume.
Lastly, the musical montage was mildly amusing, having spliced songs together via dialog for Harry Potter, Social Network, Toy Story 3, and my favorite chuckle, Twilight.
I will also give props to the set designers. The stage was exquisite, and the technology they employed within the Kodak Theatre was awe inspiring.
There were a few noted changes in the overall format. This broadcast marked the first year that the honorary awards were done in a separate event, similar to the Art and Technical Oscars. Awards went to Francis Ford Coppola, the recipient of the Irving Thalberg. Eli Wallach, director Jean-Luc Godard, and historian Kevin Brownlow all received special honorary Oscars for their individual bodies of work.
There has been some controversy in regards to this move, as it is sometimes the last chance for the recipients to get a resounding cheer that reverberates as a sign of career success. The reported reason for the change, per the Academy, is in reverence to the recipients, allowing for a more focused celebration in their honor.
Overall one of the more disappointing Academy Awards telecasts, although certainly not the worst. Thankfully, the glamor of Hollywood is always the shining star. Everyone made a formal showing. Gone are the days of the comfortable Oscars, and the Red Carpet is half the fun! Despite poor performances, Oscar will always remain golden in the hearts of the masses, and will never lose his genuine shining appeal.
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