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2011 Oscars: No Surprises, No Fun
February 28, 2011 - April Diodato
Young Hollywood hosts plus a three-hour-long film history lesson, multiplied by dull acceptance speeches, equals an Academy Awards revived by youthful energy. Right? Unfortunately, this equation didn't quite compute at last night's Oscar ceremony – perhaps instead of largely snubbing “The Social Network,” they should have asked those guys for some help coming up with a better algorithm.
Having actors instead of comedians as hosts: bad idea. James Franco appeared medicated and Anne Hathaway tried to compensate by cranking up the cheerfulness to an unprecedented volume. It was as if for every Valium her co-host took, Hathaway had a triple-shot latte. But even extreme enthusiasm from half of the hosting team couldn't save the Oscars from being like a strong sedative in and of itself.
Every single shoo-in nominee went home with an award – there wasn't a single upset. “The King's Speech” took Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Original Screenplay; Natalie Portman won for Best Actress, Christian Bale for Best Supporting Actor and Melissa Leo for Best Supporting Actress. “The Social Network,” tipped to win big early on, only awarded Aaron Sorkin for his Original Screenplay, as well as awards for Editing and Score.
Here is what we can glean from the 2011 Oscars:
- Who to NOT invite to your next dinner party: Melissa Leo. Even though she tried to seem polite and patient as Kirk Douglas – Hollywood royalty, continuing to cheat death at 94 years old – took his time presenting the award, it couldn't have been more obvious that Leo couldn't wait to knock Douglas out of the way and savor the spotlight with what was by far the most obnoxious, over-the-top, classless acceptance speech of the night.
- Best Diversion: A commercial promoting ABC's interview with Charlie Sheen. In it, Sheen raved, “I am on a drug – it's called Charlie Sheen.” If the side effects include unemployment, I think I'll pass. Tune in for the ABC News special at 10 p.m. Tuesday. Check out the trailer here.
- Oscar redux: Next year, avoid all of the boredom and just tune in at 11 p.m. It was in the last 30 minutes or so that the major awards, including Best Actor, Actress and Picture, were presented.
- Who looked awesome: Mila Kunis, Natalie Portman (she wisely saved her best maternity-friendly dress for the Oscars), Hailee Steinfeld (very age-appropriate)
- Who looked crazy: Sunrise Coigney (Mark Ruffalo's wife, in a one-puff-sleeved wonder), Scarlett Johansson (with a team of hairstylists, that's what she ended up with?), Cate Blanchett.
Better luck next year.
Mila Kunis looked gorgeous. AP photo.