James Franco and Anne Hathaway gave us the worst Oscars ever

Posted by: Nathan Swank

I love the Academy Awards as much as one person can.  My bio explains that I date my life according to films and the Oscars are one way I keep track of that.  I understand I haven’t bore witness to as many Academy Awards as a lot of people but for me this was easily the worst telecast ever.

The funny thing is, my picks were pretty close and my favorite films did all the winning.  Sure my absolute favorite film INCEPTION didn’t win Best Picture but it did tie for the most wins with four.  Plus my next five favorite films won the rest of the awards: BLACK SWAN – 1, THE KING’S SPEECH – 4, THE SOCIAL NETWORK – 3, TOY STORY 3 – 2, THE FIGHTER – 2.  So one would think I would be happy as a clam.

James Franco and Anne Hathaway

Recently, I visited a restaurant that had amazing food but atrocious service.  Now I would always prefer quality food to quality service but that doesn’t mean I will return.  I liken this to this years Academy Awards, the films were great but the presentation was poor, possibly setting up many viewers to not return for next years telecast.  Let’s take a look at went wrong.

I’m confused when the show has consistently been entertaining and funny with recent hosts such as Ellen DeGeneres, Jon Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin that it would digress and change everything that was working.  Beginning with the hosts who are young, extremely talented actors in Hollywood.  Gushing over every single person, Anne Hathaway was far too wide-eyed and excitable, especially when she has been nominated even previously performing on the Oscar stage.  The awards show itself is the epitome of gushing over the Hollywood stars already, plus the winners usually act a little more important than they actually are.  The job of the host is not to perpetuate the ideal that these people and moments are bigger than life but to ground the industry and lighten the mood so we don’t all take it too seriously.

Anne Hathaway and James Franco

With that said, I did appreciate Hathaway’s energy, dress changes and enthusiasm she put into the night unlike her co-host James Franco who was barely on stage and didn’t seem to care one bit.  And when he spouts out a possibly funny line like “Good job Nerds,” to the technical winners, rather than coming off humorous he seems mean.  Young actors don’t have the clout to tease people who have been working hard in the business for years finally getting recognition.

Furthermore, whenever our two young hosts went off the apparent restricted script, we quickly learn they have zero improvising skills.  Those transitions between acceptance speeches and presenters were in badly need of a Bob Hope or Billy Crystal whose appearance accentuated that fact in a segment that basically said, “Remember how good the shows host use to be?”

Melissa Leo

Now onto the production, which seemed to capture odd angles with a misguided hand unaware of its presentation or theme.  Somewhat random on when an old Academy winner was highlighted, the show lacked order and humor.  The opening skit was a clever idea but should have definitely been funnier.  Hathaway’s musical number, while sung beautifully, was awkward and unnecessary.  The only real laugh came from the remix of films into songs like HARRY POTTER and TWILIGHT.  Also the band tended to play off winners of smaller categories who were actually entertaining like the Best Live Action Short winner while they let the Supporting Actress winner ramble on uncomfortably.

Sometimes the Academy Awards has no surprises.  Sometimes all the speeches are boring.  But that is precisely why it is important to have a host or hosts who are quick on their feet that the audience feels comfortable with so they can find moments to keep the show light and entertaining.  It also doesn’t hurt to actually highlight the films you are rewarding.  The Best Picture nominees had a quick mash up together at the beginning and end of the broadcast never being dwelled on individually.  Even the Memoriam left out the split screen of the films from the ones who passed away were famous for.

Natalie Portman

Every year people complain about the show, usually that it’s too long or boring.  Sadly, this year I finally felt the same way.  As a hard-core movie lover that always sees nearly every film nominated in every category, it’s usually not long enough.  I’m grinning ear to ear in eager anticipation during the entire telecast.  I almost always disagree with some of the winners and in the case of the previous year, was absolutely livid, but I always… always enjoy the show.  Thankfully when looking back, the films of the 83rd Academy Awards will be what is remembered.  However, as Comic Book Guy would say, Worst. Show. Ever.

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