I’m Just Being Honest: WTF happened to my usual Oscar trainwrecks?

1 Mar

Last night’s Oscar ceremony was a disappointment on so many levels. It was quite possibly the most boring Oscar telecast I’ve watched in recent memory. James Franco agreed with me, because for most of the broadcast he was backstage tweeting while smoking a spliff. Meanwhile Anne Hathaway just didn’t know when to quit. She seemed determined to ignore the fact that her lines and jokes were lame and that the rest of the presenters and performers were dull and lifeless. By the end of the telecast she seemed strung out and Franco looked ready for a nap. I had a feeling things were going to be awful when James did his pre-telecast interview.  He looked like he’d been prepped for surgery with an epidural anesthetic. He seemed completely numb to everything that was going on around him. He knew the show was going to be shitty, so he just withdrew and that is exactly how self-fulfilling prophecies work. I’m beginning to think that James might need counseling. He has a bit too much of self-sabotage in his history. Anne Hathaway on the other hand needs counseling over her constant need to please and be liked. I found her musical number embarrassing. I did however enjoy all the dress changes including the tuxedo. Maybe the Academy needs to go back to having actual comedians host. People with great comic timing who write their own jokes are less likely to annoy and bomb than actors who are used to getting several takes to get the delivery right. I’m not saying that Franco and Hathaway lack talent (they will both recover from this fairly quickly). However, this is not their thing.

Besides humour and entertainment, the other thing missing from last night’s ceremony was risk-taking or groundbreaking fashion. Long gone are the days of Cher in her Bob Mackie extravaganzas. I was hoping that Helena Bonham Carter would wear something fantastically awful, but her gothic inspired ensemble was tame and disappointing. Cate Blanchett took more risks, but she could wear a bin-liner and still look amazing. The only person that came close to making me wince was Melissa Leo and her trashy doily-inspired dress. As Ayn Rant said, the material could probably have worked as a jacket or a bustier instead of an entire dress. Her f-bomb during her acceptance speech sort of made up for it. Sort of.

Reason’s Oscar 2011 sucked:

They mixed up James Franco’s and Anne Hathaway’s medication: James was given Zanax while Anne was given crack. Remember what Auntie Whitney Houston said, boys and girls? “Crack is whack!” Had they switched it around, things might have been far less awkward and embarrassing. I’m pretty sure we could get Walter Bishop to cook up something that would bring out the best in the two leads. In fact, I think some of the writers could have benefited from a dose of Walter’s homemade LSD.

We needed more Robert Downey Jr./Jude Law Banter: For me it was one of the few successes of the evening. The banter was delivered with comedic perfection and the reactions were spot on. Robert Downey Jr. knows how to do disaffected but charming really well. Take note, James Franco. In fact, there was a lot of under usage of the sublime. The witty and funny Sandra Bullock didn’t show up until the show’s final moments to hand out Best Actor and the absolutely regal Dame Helen Mirren was paired with Russell Brand. F*#$ no! Next ceremony, I want a bigger dose of Bullock, Downey, Law and Mirren. In fact, make it a double.

Hollywood Celebrating Itself Seems Out of Touch: The people of Tunisia, Egypt, Lybia, Iran, Bahrain (and with any luck the Palestinians) have taken to the streets in their respective countries to demand freedom, democratic governance and an end to economic inequalities and dictatorship. Meanwhile, in the US, labour unions are protesting in the midst of a stalled economic recovery, Haiti is still reeling from the re-emergence of a 19th century disease – cholera and in Christchurch, New Zealand, people are still searching for lost family members amid the rubble. A simple mention of the madman that is Gadhafi would have gone a long way to show the world that people in Hollywood care about more than just the Chopard diamonds and Monique Lullier dresses they were wearing. A few winners mentioned their union crew members and one documentary winner mentioned the fraud in the financial crisis, but for the most part, Hollywood seemed to wrapped up in its own shit.

Okay, Gwyneth, we know you can sing. Now get the f*#$ off my TV. Thank you: It’s bad enough she’s on Glee, has her own magazine and website (Goop)  spouting her pearls of wisdom (acquired from years of being exceedingly fortunate and spoiled), and that she’s married to the lead singer of my favourite band. Now she’s stinking up Oscar night with her pleasing but boring vocals. Look, I know there’s nothing Gwynnie can’t do. Whatever happened to her claiming that she didn’t know if she wanted to do anything more than be a mother to Apple? Look, I mocked her for saying that … mercilessly, but you know what? If she wants to retire now and go the f*#$ away, I’m okay with it.

The Kirk Douglas Exploitation Project: I love the man. He’s adorable and funny but a little goes a long way. He was on for 8 minutes and would not go away. Disgusting Melissa Leo had to flirt with him and add to the length of this highly exploitative moment. I cringed much more here than I do when Dick Clark does New Year’s Eve. Look, I loved my nana and she was funny and entertaining to me. However, I wouldn’t expect the rest of the world to love watching her do her thing. There’s a time and a place to bring out living legends like Kirk Douglas, but to have him drag out what must have been agonizing minutes for the Best Supporting Actress nominees was a bad call.

There was no Roberto Benigni/Cuba Gooding Jr. moment: Yes, Melissa Leo said the f-word, but for the most part her feet stayed on the ground. Kirk Douglas didn’t do push ups like Jack Palance. Besides Melissa, no one else seemed particular surprised to win, except for the kid with the EPIC hair who won Best Short film (Dude, don’t cut it EVER!). One lady actually read from folded note paper in a dry monotone voice.

Mila Kunis in Elie Saab was my best dressed of the night

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