As I have every year since I can remember, I watched the Oscars last night. For those of you smart enough to watch anything else, you missed the worst telecast in recent memory. It was so bad that I read a book, followed The Fug Girls on Twitter, and kept hopping onto Facebook all while keeping track of my ballot. If my husband hadn’t been busy paying bills and whatnot, I probably would have been playing Scrabble with him as well.
Let’s start with the hosts. Instead of a comedian, or a song-and-dance man, or a combination of the two, the Academy chose two young actors with no experience hosting beyond appearing on SNL. Every time James Franco came out, his eyes were smaller and brighter and his skin was waxier. I’m not sure what he was doing backstage, but by the end of the telecast, he was starting to slur. To combat this, Anne Hathaway ramped up the perkiness and spent more time fawning over all the other performers and acting humble than actually, you know, hosting. Imagine going to a dinner party where instead of entertaining you, one host just got high (without sharing) and the other just kept thanking you for coming over and over and over again when she wasn’t talking about how well another person hosted the same party a few years ago. Poor Hugh Jackman looked like he wanted to crawl underneath his front-row chair to get away from little orphan Annie singing about him.
This year, it was also painfully obvious that the only way you got to present was if you had a movie coming out. This is the only explanation for why Matthew McConaughey shows up year after year, because let’s face it, he’ll never be on that stage accepting an award. In terms of most popular hot young male, last year, we got Robert Pattinson. This year, we got Justin Timberlake. I was actually hoping he was Banksy just so he would throw a hood over his head and go the fuck away. He was on that stage so long I thought they were going to have to get the hook to get him away from the microphone.
The hook was already primed and ready to go anyway after Kirk Douglas got on stage. Who thought it was a good idea to let the Cryptkeeper out? Worse was that he must have thought he was at open mike night instead of the Oscars. First, he hit on Anne Hathaway. Dude, she is old enough to be your great-granddaughter. And poor Anne had to throw him kisses and act as if she was honored that a randy 92 year-old thought she was hot. It was like a scene from the Playboy mansion. Then, instead of reading the name of the winner, he screwed around for another two minutes. It was completely disrespectful to the five women nominated for best supporting actress. Helena Bonham Carter looked like she was going to walk onto the stage, rip the damn envelope out of his hands, beat him with it, and then hand it over to whoever won just to get it over with. Poor winner Melissa Leo got it worse. As they exited the stage, he gave her his cane and put his arm completely around her for support – except he seemed to mistake her tits for her waist because that’s totally where his hand was! Dirty old man.
The whole show was disjointed and odd. There were no upsets, no truly hideous dresses, but no truly fabulous ones either. Some actresses looked lovely, some just looked frightened. Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin chose to exchange their black tux coats for white ones when they presented together, giving the impression that they wandered on set straight from shooting an ice-cream van commercial. For reasons known only to himself and his personal dealer, James Franco felt the need to dress like Marilyn Monroe to deliver the required Charlie Sheen joke. To say it was going the long way around for the laugh is putting it mildly. I also think we are long past the expiration date on Robert Downey Jr. being a druggie jokes. He’s been sober for a decade now, let’s all let it go.
I wish I could speak with more authority on the movies, but I didn’t see many of them. In truth, I’d rather bite my own hand off than watch Franco do it to himself in 127 Hours. Same goes for Rabbit Hole. Does anyone really want to watch two people suffer through losing a child? I turned The Social Network off mid-way through because I could not take anymore Aaron Sorkin-isms. He took the fine wine that was the writing on The West Wing and distilled it until it became bitter vinegar. Read the book, there were far less scenes of people running across Harvard in it. The Kids Are Alright was all right, but not fantastic. I expect excellent acting from the cast and I got it. That shouldn’t be Oscar-worthy, it should be business as usual. Inception was fascinating if terminally stupid since the plot holes in that movie almost negate it entirely. I don’t do Westerns and haven’t made it to the theater to see Black Swan or The King’s Speech, but they are on my Netflix queue. All in all, it wasn’t a good year to be a best picture. Of all of those nominated, I truly believe the only one that will stand the test of time was Toy Story 3. It may have been a cartoon, but it was certainly more real than last year’s Avatar.
All in all, next year, I’m hoping they just let the kids from P.S. 22 sing the whole time. At least they looked like they were having fun.