The 83rd Annual Academy Awards, which aired on Sunday, February 27, 2011, had its highs and lows, as usual for any Oscar broadcast. There were key wins for The King’s Speech (four), Inception (four), The Social Network (three), The Fighter (two), Toy Story 3 (two), and Alice in Wonderland (two). James Franco and Anne Hathaway co-hosted, and were the first male and female co-hosts since 1957. Franco was also a nominee in the Best Actor category. The following is my list of this year’s Oscar Bests and Worsts.
- Wins for The King’s Speech for Best Picture, Colin Firth as Best Actor, Natalie Portman as Best Actress, Christian Bale as Best Supporting Actor, and Melissa Leo as Best Supporting Actress.
- Kirk Douglas as presenter of the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Douglas, at 94 years of age, was entertaining as he kept the five actresses in suspense by delaying the reading of the winner. Douglas, who was more fun to watch than the co-hosts, kept digressing at the key moment.
- Billy Crystal’s surprise appearance to introduce a projection of Bob Hope. Crystal told an amusing story of how he, as Oscar host, acknowledged Bob Hope sitting in the audience. Hope was a legendary past Oscar host, someone Crystal greatly admired. Hope smiled graciously, but after the camera panned away, Crystal said that Hope flipped him off.
- Kathryn Bigelow, first woman to win Best Director, as presenter of this year’s Best Director. Her presence alone as a historic first was enough. Unfortunately, no women were nominated this year for Best Director.
- Sandra Bullock as presenter of the Best Actor Oscar. Bullock, as last year’s Best Actress winner, made witty comments about each of the five actor nominees. She chastised Jeff Bridges for being nominated so soon after his win last year, and asked if she could become Jesse Eisenberg’s facebook friend.
- Colin Firth’s acceptance speech. The guy is a gentleman and a class act. His remark about trying to stifle an urge to dance was a definite smile moment.
- Anne Hathaway. Though she is a wonderful actress and star of such films as The Devil Wears Prada and the soon to lens The Dark Knight Rises, she could not handle her duties as co-host. Her solo song criticizing Hugh Jackman for not singing a duet with her was supposed to be comic, but came off as strange. Her remark that this is the “young and hip Oscars” was lame. She would have been much improved if she just stood there on stage in her many dresses and smiled, saying nothing.
- James Franco. Though he landed his first Oscar nomination this year, he should have been sitting in the audience, not standing on stage looking uncomfortable. The only good thing to say about him is that he was better than Hathaway, but only slightly. His moment dressed as Marilyn Monroe was his only highlight.
- Melissa Leo’s acceptance speech. She was obviously in shock and did not expect to win, but dropping the F-bomb makes for an awkward moment for everybody.
- No wins for True Grit. I was always a fan of the original film, but the Coen Brothers made a wonderful film that added so much to the story. Jeff Bridges gave an Oscar-worthy performance, and probably did not have a chance to win due to his win last year.
This year’s Academy Awards was not good television overall, but it had its moments, especially for movie buffs who love to see Hollywood glitz and glamour. But let’s get some new hosts next time, please.