Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Two-Cents on the 2011 Oscars

"Train wreck" is probably too harsh of a word to describe the 2011 Academy Awards telecast, but it was a chore to sit through. Mis-matched hosts, unnecessary history lessons, and about a run time that was about an hour too long added up to an tedious Oscars night.

The Hosts
Anne Hathaway and James Franco were very aware of why they were there: to pander to the youth demographic, but I'm not sure they were successful at doing just that. Aside from Anne's energy, I cannot really pinpoint what about their performance screamed "young". I guess Franco's laid back, stoner shtick was also supposed to tap into the coveted demographic, but I don't think many were in on the joke.

Out of the two, Hathaway was clearly the best as she had the pep and charisma to carry the night. Her commitment to the jokes, and her rendition of "On My Own" with lyrics aimed at her former duet partner Hugh Jackman was one of the rare highlights of the night. Her hosting gig actually got me excited about her much talked about guest spot on Glee later this year.

Franco on the other hand was kind of a buzzkill. He just acted like he didn't care what was going on, and made his co-host pick up the slack. His on-screen persona was inline with what I know about the actor, so I shouldn't have been surprised, but this was the freaking Oscars so I figured he would've manned up.

If I had to grade the two of them, I'd give Anne a solid B+ since she actually pretended that she wanted to be there. I'd give James an F-ed Up for the fact that I couldn't tell if he toked up before, during, and after the entire telecast. I guess the fact that I couldn't tell should be proof of why he was nominated for Best Actor.

The Winners and Losers
I didn't see all of the Best Picture nominees, I paid very little attention to the entire awards season, and I slapped together my predictions and I still got 8 out of 9. I'm not saying this to brag (OK, maybe a little), but to show how predicable this year was.

The King's Speech hit its stride towards the end of the awards season, so the fact that it beat out The Social Network shouldn't have shocked anyone. Ditto for Colin Firth's win for Best Actor. The rest of the acting statues went to the same three winners (Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, and Melissa Leo), so there was very little to get excited about.

The only upset that I felt was going to happen was a Christopher Nolan win for Best Original Screenplay, and I only made that pick because usually that award goes to the more deserving film. Instead, the biggest shockers of the night had to do with the fact that Alice and Wonderland and The Wolf Man will forever be called Academy Award winning films.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • Every one knows that Jack Donaghy does not sleep on planes so he can't be incepted.
  • Alec Baldwin and Anne Hathaway were the only parts of the old school "insert the hosts into the BP noms" tactic that made me laugh.
  • I figured since ABC and the Academy felt that they were going to get so many young'uns thanks to Catwoman and Tristan they give the entire audience a history lesson on the Oscars. By far the most pointless element of the show.
  • Nothing screams "18-49 Demo" like Gone with the Wind, Tom Hanks, and Kirk Douglas.
  • Was it ironic that Matthew McConaughey and Scarlett Johansson couldn't pronounce the winners for Sound Mixing?
  • Another highlight was the Best Original Song montage; too bad Chuck (Zachary Levi) didn't win it though.
  • Speaking of Zachary Levi, my Twitter feed was inundated with "swoon" comments. I wish I was tall, that good looking, and the star of my own cult TV show. Lucky bastard.
  • Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law's banter during their presentation got my pumped up for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.
  • I swear this telecast felt like it was never going to end.
At the end of the night, I felt that I wasted over three hours of my life and I couldn't believe that I endured all of it instead of watching the Knicks/Heat game. I'll gladly give up my Man Card now. I do feel that too much of the blame will be given to the hosts, but it wasn't just on them. The jokes usually fell flat, the theme of the night was coincidently outdated, and the pacing was horrendous. You can't pin all of that on Anne and James. That being said, the 83rd Annual Academy Awards was a giant waste of time.

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