It’s so sad. For weeks James Franco has been building his cool guy reputation. Leaked videos only increased the anticipation. And the opening segment they filmed seemed to at least satisfy. And then he came on stage stoned, with an awful opening, leaving poor Anne Hathaway stranded and in way over her head, and the Oscars never recovered. Combined with the usual predictability(bring back the extra campaign month!) and even the nominated songs weren’t very good(that was a default win right there!), and by the time the kids finished singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” everyone was just glad it was over. The saddest moment was when Billy Crystal came out and for a couple of minutes everything perked up, which only showed how weak the current ceremony is(it’s very telling he was trending on Twitter this morning). Can he do a 9th run as host next year?
As for the wins themselves, they could have been worse. I wouldn’t assume The King’s Speech is the best film of the year by a long shot, but at least I’d seen it. And Colin Firth got his Oscar the year after he was robbed, though he may have robbed Javier Bardem in the process(but Bardem’s got one at home already, so…). Also big yay to Inside Job winning for Documentary, even if Biutiful lost to a Danish movie that I’m not sure has even been released in the U.S. yet, leaving us unable to judge whether it deserved to win or not(the Academy should arrange for release of all Foreign Language films not already out in the U.S. just after nominations; would make a few of us much more interested).
Some of the presenters were much more amusing than the hosts, Helen Mirren and Russell Brand in particular. The best speeches were probably given by the two writers, between Aaron Sorkin’s guinea pig comment and David Seidler making it personal-why didn’t the story of him as a stutterer himself writing this get noticed earlier? And Colin Firth was amusing, but we knew he would be by now. Otherwise, Kirk Douglas stole the show, though I found myself earnestly wishing the fourteen year old wouldn’t win and be subjected to him; fortunately the older woman won, and while I don’t think I’ve ever seen Melissa Leo, I found myself liking her a great deal, especially when the camera caught her singing along with the kids at the end.
Now I’m left with the “He doesn’t have a shirt” autotune number stuck in my head. Which maybe sums up where this year’s Oscars ended up, in a weird way. Don’t know what they’re going to do next year, but I hope they fire the producer.