The 2011 Academy Awards started out with a lot of promised. James Franco and Anne Hathaway are young, vibrant, and appeal to a younger demographic, which is a good thing for an awards show when the top accolades are expected to go to a movie targeted at the over-50 demographic (yeah, “The King’s Speech”, we’re looking at you). The show started off strong with an almost funny “Inception”-themed opener:
Then Melissa Leo won for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “The Fighter” and dropped the first ever Oscars F-bomb, making her one of our all time favorite winners. But from that high point (for those entertained by an irrepressible potty-mouth) things started to get a bit sleepy. Our hopes were high when Christian Bale, who is usually good for a crazy or two, won for Best Supporting Actor in The Fighter:
But instead he gave an endearing shout-out to his wife and daughter and hardly a hint of humor. We were still optimistic when Aaron Sorkin won for Best Adapted Screenplay for “The Social Network” for making this magic happen:
In fact, Sorkin and Best Original Screenplay winner David Seidler of “The King’s Speech”, had the best speeches of the night, which makes sense as they are writers. Too bad they couldn’t have lent some of their talent to the producers of the Academy Awards. Instead the hosts were delivering clunkers about lesbians in the Best Picture nominees:
Even Oprah coming out to present the best documentary couldn’t save the show:
We were kind of hoping that Banksy would win for his film, “Exit Through the Gift Shop” just so we could see who and/or what the incognito artist would send to collect his award. Maybe Justin Timberlake?
Guess the Academy pulled the ultimate prank on him when they gave the award for Best Documentary to “The Inside Job”, which was deserving, but added no drama to the ceremony.
Similarly lacking in drama, were the Best Actor and Actress awards. Natalie Portman for her role in “Black Swan” and Colin Firth for his in “The King’s Speech” were the top of everyone’s Oscar pools for Best Actress and Actor. Their wins were well-deserved, but unexpected and when you combine a lack of upsets with really awkward dialogue… well, let’s have Helena Bonham Carter sum it up:
The lack of suspense continued through the rest of the ceremony. While we love “The King’s Speech”:
It was the odds-on favorite to win, so when it was crowned Best Picture and Tom Hooper took home Best Director, we weren’t exactly surprised:
But at least we could still chuckle over it’s secret.
Next year our vote for host is show stealer Kirk Douglas or these guys:
Preferably wearing Anne Hathaway’s dress:
That’s a wrap for the awards season. See you next year!