Monday, February 28, 2011

POPped Review: 83rd Academy Awards

Photo: Michael Yada / ©A.M.P.A.S.
The 83rd Academy Awards have now passed, and many of us are still trying to figure out what we just saw.  What was being promoted as a new direction for the Oscars by bringing in younger hosts, just turned into the same old thing with no clear direction.

The broadcast started off promising with a very funny opening sequence that had Anne Hathaway and James Franco being put into scenes of the Best Picture nominees.  Not an original idea, but it was done very well.  Both James and Anne are good actors and very likable, but I don't think that they knew what to do up on the stage when they weren't performing a piece.  

Photo: Greg Harbaugh/©A.M.P.A.S
That's not to say that I didn't enjoy some of their moments while hosting.  I found some of Franco's delivery to be very funny.  One example was when he commented on the sexuality of some movie titles, including 'How to Train Your Dragon'.  "That's disgusting."   The other moment that gave us a glimpse as to the over the top silliness that they should have done more of was when Franco came on stage in drag dressed as Marilyn Monroe.  This was right after a very forced singing number with Anne about how Hugh Jackman didn't do the number with her.  Yes, she sounded great.  But there was no reason for the song other than someone saying, "You know, people liked it when she sang a little piece before." 

Outside of their hosting, the show in general never really found its footing.  From bringing out ABC executives to pat themselves on the back for re-signing the Oscars, to the kids from PS-22 lip syncing a song after the ceremony (forcing people to stay); Academy producers had no idea what to do with the show.  

One of the few highlights of the show was presenter Kirk Douglas going off script when presenting the Best Supporting Actress award.  He flirted with Anne and was much better at stalling than Ryan Seacrest on American Idol.  Speaking of music, another highlight was the remix of scenes from Harry Potter, Twilight and Toy Story 3 to turn them in to Auto Tune musicals.  That was pretty funny.

It was those kinds of clever moments that the Oscars could have used more of. While it is no fault of the hosts who did they best they could, they are not comedians.  If the Academy is not going to hire comedians to host, they should at least look to hiring their writers to work on the tone of the show if they want it to be funny.  If they don't, then just come out and say that it will be a serious affair, hand out trophy's and get it over in an hour.  To quote David Letterman when he hosted, "Let's have all the nominees form a line and we'll start handing out awards."  (Personally, I thought Letterman was a great host.  Here is his hard to find opening monologue.)

They even tried to bring some of that feel back and it kind of back fired a little bit.   They managed to get Billy Crystal to come out and say a couple of words. He received a standing ovation from the audience and Twitter exploded with tweets of "Bring Billy Back."

With the reception he received, and the reviews coming out...that just might happen.  

What say you?  

POPped on the red carpet
Jungle Jesse

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