|Hathaway and Franco. Paging Billy Crystal|
Franco and Anne Hathaway were awkward at best as Oscar hosts. He looked like he was hung over, playing it too cool or perhaps taking a drink every time Hathaway went for another costume change--which, by the way, was the only way to enjoy this show. She was overcompensating for his total detachment, playing the wife who tried too hard when her husband arrives drunk at the party. At one point she even tried to coax the crowd into some affirmation for Franco, who was getting killed on the twitter feeds. These kids were not alright.
Rubbing it in was that loud standing ovation for Billy Crystal who arrived two-thirds in like the answer to viewer's prayers. Crystal struck just the right note, putting on a short clinic on timing and storytelling. He set up a tribute to long time Oscar host Bob Hope. As Bill Maher tweeted, "get to the part about how Bob Hope got a hooker every night."
After the film clip, "Hope" introduced the next two presenters. It was ex-SCTV mimic Dave Thomas at the mike. Would that he had hosted the entire night as Hope.
Everything from Franco and Hathaway seemed like rehearsal, including a mirthless opening montage of movie clips that pointlessly reached back to Back to the Future. Even in drag Franco was a drag, throwing on a dress without anything funny to say, although he did finally work in a Charlie Sheen joke--an hour into the broadcast. Were the writers stuck in traffic or could nobody see the TelePrompTer?
|"I am Sparticus!"|
There was some attempted banter between presenters Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law but frankly it just lay there like Downey's last movie. Ben Stiller and Will Ferrell these two aren't.
Aaron Sorkin won for writing The Social Network and spoke over the orchestra for much of his long acceptance speech. Ask NBC about this guy getting his words in on time.
Some of the funnier tweets as the night wore on: when Crystal came out, Norm Macdonald quipped, "When Hairplugs Met Sally." Maher even joked about the "In Memoriam" segment, "or as I call them on this show the lucky ones."
It took so long to get to Natalie Portman's win for Best Actress for The Swan that it looked like she was in her eighth trimester.
Anyway, it was three hours and eleven minutes I'll never get back. Thankfully, a nation can now turn its attention back to Charlie Sheen.
|Rush, Bonham-Carter and Firth from The King's Speech|
|Jeff Bridges and clan on the red carpet|
|Best actress winner Natalie Portman|