2011 Oscars In Review – A Hot Mess
Last night’s 83rd Academy Awards were like the messy, awkward family party that happens when your grandfather (Kirk Douglas) has had too much “punch”, your uncle (Christian Bale) is having a drinking contest with random family members you don’t know, and your sister (Anne Hathaway) is shouting personal information to the whole room, while her polite and lovely husband (Colin Firth) sits in the corner uncomfortably. But those kinds of parties always make for the best stories, and last night’s Oscars were pretty entertaining due to the simple fact that everyone was a mess.
Let’s start with the Hosts.
They were first timers for the position and unusual choices in my opinion.
James Franco. James just kind of hung out on stage for the whole show, and I think he could have brought more energy to hosting, but judging from his perma-high expression, I’m guessing it’s hard for him to be energetic. He’s super awkward in drag, but delivered the line about Charlie Sheen really well.
Anne Hathaway. Anne balanced James’ laid back style with her incredibly bubbly personality, seemingly uncontrollable giggle, and multitude of mistakes. After messing up introducing Sandra Bullock, Anne exclaimed “Drink at home!”, in reference to the drinking game where you take a swig when the host screws up. It was painfully awkward, but I think her honesty and ability to laugh off her mistakes made her more likeable.
Moving on to the Presenters.
Robert Downey Jr./Jude Law – One of my favorites. Downey and Law capitalized on their chemistry established during their time together on Sherlock Holmes and delivered their script well. Also, I don’t doubt for a second that Downey has gotten it on with Wonder Woman. Please let that be a scene in Iron Man 3!
Jeff Bridges – Jeff Bridges always brings his warm personality to the stage, and I feel like he would be such a great guy to hang out with. He basically is The Dude.
Dame Helen Mirren/Russell Brand – The most bizarre and hilarious pairing of the night. I don’t think Dame Mirren was faking any of the contempt in her voice.
Kirk Douglas – The biggest WTF? moment of the night. Kirk Douglas is literally 94 years old. 94! His funny but overly long presentation of the Best Supporting Actress award is one that will be hard to top in next year’s ceremony. Maybe next year they can get Sean Connery to do it, or William Shatner…
Finally, the Winners.
Melissa Leo – While she definitely deserved the statuette for Best Supporting Actress, she was anything but poised or gracious on stage. Her speech was disjointed and without any sense of humility. I’m sure she was just too shocked to put anything coherent together, but it was a disappointing moment. She did drop the F bomb, so that was pretty funny.
Randy Newman – He needed to have been played off way earlier than he was. Sure the guy has had like 50 Oscar nominations (okay, only 20 but still) and has only won twice, but we didn’t need to hear all of his banter about being an Oscar institution. We get it.
Christian Bale – I love Christian Bale as an actor, but I’m terrified of him as a person. I always feel like he’s just about to snap. So I was worried about his acceptance speech, but he was actually pretty well spoken and self-effacing (he said he wasn’t going to drop the F bomb because he’s already done that enough).
Colin Firth – It’s no surprise that Colin Firth was the best of the night. He’s a charming adorable British guy. He did kind of imply he was going to puke, but I can overlook that. I would have liked to see him dance on stage though.
I hope the Oscars continue on this path of improvised, unscripted disasters. I thought it was much more entertaining than the normal awards ceremony, and helps to remind everyone that famous people are people too, just that when they drop the F bomb they’re doing it in front of millions of people.
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