Well it brings me no pleasure to say that this year’s Oscar telecast was sort of a bust. And I’m not talking about the ridiculously predictable winners (those should come as no surprise to any viewer who’s been around for the past few years). It’s the fact that in my 17 times watching the Oscars, this was easily the most uneven, confusing, and poorly put together telecast thus far. But, let’s start with the good moments…
Top 5 Best Moments of Oscars 2010
#5 – Presenters Robert Downey, Jr. and Jude Law
As most of the hosts’ banter went from painfully uninspired to just plain bizarre, it was refreshing to see some more old pros on the stage. Downey Jr. was charming as ever presenting Best Visual Effects with Jude Law, and it reminded (hopefully) the producers why you never leave the show in the hands of the kids…
#4 – Kirk Douglas gives the Oscar to Melissa Leo
In one of the more deserving wins of the night (in my humble opinion), Melissa Leo’s bad press was superseded by her great performance. And thank goodness they were able to pull out at least some stops by featuring an actual legend during the telecast. Kirk Douglas was charming and witty throughout, and Melissa Leo’s f-bomb at least provided some surprise for the evening…
#3 – Billy Crystal saves the day
Mr. Crystal (probably the all-time best host, in my book) put the flailing and unfortunate Franco/Hathaway duo to shame by appearing mid-way through the show to talk about Bob Hope. He has just as much finesse and style as he did the last time he hosted. The biggest downside to his typically hilarious and flawless appearance? It just made me wish that he’d been hosting all along. (Sorry Anne and James – Billy’s much more of a natural at this.)
#2 – Jeff and Sandra present the lead trophies
At last the show managed some prestige and some class. Thanks to the eloquent words of Mr. Bridges and the effervescent charm and humor of Ms. Bullock, it felt like the Oscars again at last. I’m just going to put it out there – if they insist on hiring celebrity actor duos as hosts, can we go for a Bridges/Bullock ticket next year? They’re so natural on stage, and they’ve actually worked with many of the audience members. I think the chemistry would be fantastic.
#1 – Cate Blanchett chimes in
After a series of missteps and odd choices in presentations and blips, Best Makeup provided a surprising breath of fresh air as Oscar vet Cate Blanchett gave her two cents following a particularly graphic clip from The Wolfman – “That’s gross.” Definitely caused the biggest laughs of the night at our get-together.
…and the less fortunate portions
As for the reasoning behind the frustratingly hard-to-love ceremony, it seems to rest solely on choices made by the production team. Where last year’s ceremony embraced the allure and elegance of the history of the Oscars with homages and speeches that had dignity and grace, the focus on youth culture this time around was a major backfire. The Oscars should just come to realize that young Twitterers and Twihards will not be watching no matter what. But us lifelong Oscarphiles will, so try catering to your demographic.
As much as I hate to say it, as Anne Hathaway and James Franco are wonderful actors, the two were a mess as hosts. Between the awkwardly written banter and Franco’s apparent stoned state throughout, their moments on stage were a little too uneven for my taste. In fact, as suggested by our roomful of viewers, Hathaway probably would’ve been better working solo, as her lone bits were far superior. Franco really missed an opportunity by what appeared to be nerves, perhaps?
Aside from the hosts, who aren’t solely to blame, the camera work was a little strange. Who were those random teenagers that kept showing up on screen? Were they someone’s kids? Whatever the reason, the night’s audience shots became a game of trying to locate any recognizable faces in a given frame. One particular one had about a dozen folks in it, and the only one I knew was Kathryn Bigelow, tucked away in a corner. And the Coen Bros. nose-picking fiasco was the pinnacle of the poor camera choices. The whole night seemed to be going off without so much as a rehearsal beforehand. All too messy and flaky it seemed. And I will never forgive them for spending more time catering to kids with questionable taste by spending a good two or three minutes paying tribute to Twilight and then left the lifetime achievement recipients a mere few seconds of waving onstage before rushing to commercial. That’s gross.
**How did you feel about this year’s awards? Was I crazy to think they kind of stunk from a production standpoint?**