I feel like the disappointed parent of a giggling school girl and a stoner-underachiever. And here’s why: after seeing the teaser for the 83rd Academy Awards on TV a few weeks ago, I was really looking forward to the “young, hip” hosts.
Up until now, I’ve had pretty lukewarm feelings about Anne Hathaway, but James Franco is another story. I’ve had a crush on the handsome devil since my high school days, and recently this has turned into a deeper respect for Franco as an actor, author, and a pretty face.
So I think it’s safe to say that I was looking forward to these Academy Awards. I have always loved the Oscars, so I assumed that the Franco/Hathaway duo could only increase my fondness for the cinematic spectacle.
Boy was I wrong.
Anne Hathaway came across as a hyperactive giggling girl, whose “Woos!” could be heard on the telecast after every award announcement. Yeah, she can sing, but her performance was upstaged by her Brian Atwood heels and James Franco’s brief appearance in drag.
The only thing I liked about Anne Hathaway was her wardrobe. Styled by Rachel Zoe, the actress sported 7 on-stage looks in addition to the Valentino gown that she walked the red carpet in. Everything she wore was beautiful, but one of my favorite looks was a one-shouldered gold Oscar de la Renta dress. It featured beaded fringe and was right on trend with its glamorous ‘70s vibe. My other favorite was a stunning off-the-shoulder cobalt blue column dress by Giorgio Armani Privé. The satin gown looked like liquid metal as it caught the stage lights–it was stunning.
But as excited and glamorous as Hathaway was, Franco was the opposite. He went from looking high at the beginning of the show to simply looking bored. I swear I saw him roll his eyes at Anne Hathaway at least once. His backstage tweets were much more entertaining than his onstage performance.
The couple added no entertainment value to the show, and they were hardly even on stage. I think the show would have been the same, if not better, if it hadn’t had a host at all. This fact was even more apparent when Billy Crystal waltzed onstage and upstaged the hosts in about .2 seconds. Then, just to tease us a little more, they flashed back to clips of Bob Hope hosting the Oscars. Now there was an entertainer.
But enough about the disappointing duo. Allow me to say a brief word about the onstage performances of the night. The only one I really enjoyed was the duet between Zachary Levi (from Tangled and Chuck) and Mandy Moore. Her dress was amazing; they can both actually sing, and all in all it was a very Jasmine/Aladdin moment.
A little later, Gwyenth Paltrow came onstage to reprise her Grammy gig as a “singer”–a title which I use with trepidation. Yes, she looked gorgeous all night, but she can only sing as well as your average non-tonedeaf civilian. Plus, she looked like she was about to throw up by the time her song was over.
On a more positive note, there were the usual priceless acceptance speech moments, which are always the most heartwarming occurrences of the night. Melissa Leo of The Fighter was so stunned when she won for Best Supporting Actress that she dropped the F-Bomb onstage.
Then there was Christian Bale, who looked like a hairy caveman when he accepted his Best Supporting Actor Oscar with unusual grace. I’m still shocked every time I hear him speak in his native cockney accent, but I do love British men.
Finally, the winners of the Best Actress and Actor awards, Natalie Portman and Colin Firth respectively, were two of the most graceful and deserving recipients of late. Portman was glowing in all her pregnant glory, and I’m not going to lie, I teared up a little bit when she thanked her fiance and film choreographer Benjamin Millepied for giving her the most important role of her life (motherhood).
I was equally thrilled with Colin Firth’s win and subsequent speech. Maybe it was because I very recently saw The King’s Speech (and loved it!) or maybe it’s because I’ve been smitten with him ever since he was Mr. Darcy. Nevertheless, his speech was witty, entertaining and sweet–a combination which was made even better by his buttery English accent.
And then it was over. Franco and Hathaway signed off for the night, thank goodness, and the school kids from the PS 22 Chorus closed the show with a cheesy but cute rendition of “Over the Rainbow.”
Yes, it had it’s highlights, but even cute kids couldn’t save this show.