Oscar Night Recap

Posted on December 4, 2011

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3/4/11- Well the big event has passed. James Franco and Anne Hathaway performed their hosting duties, and the actors, actresses, directors and others received their moment in the spotlight and were recognized for their creative endeavors.

There were laughs, tears and awkward moments.  But was the show successful?

Hathaway and Franco’s hosting abilities

The duo was satisfactory, and I mean this in a good way. They served their purpose while providing a few good laughs. Franco delivered a dry, humorous performance that highlighted the fact that he could still handle the Apatow-esque comedy skills he refined in Pineapple Express.  He never stole Hathaway’s spotlight.

Hathaway delivered a bubbly, giddy performance that emphasized her many talents. Her singing was spot-on, and she delivered dialogue in a manner that prevented drollness.

The pairing had excellent chemistry based on the opening skit, parodying the Best Picture nominees. They made fun of the “controversy” surrounding their hosting duties only being a publicity stunt to draw in younger viewers.

Essentially, the duo did well for their first hosting gig, but they did not live up to the success of their predecessors.

Celebrity appearances and presenters

The presenters helped keep the pace of show quick and lively. In terms of the behind-the-scenes type categories, such as sound editing and cinematography, presenters like Tom Hanks made it easier to actually be concerned about who would win. The appearances of Morgan Freeman and Alec Baldwin in the opening were hysterical, but they should have played more of a part in the night’s festivities.

The important categories like Best Actor and Director were great, because the presenters were able to surprise the audience and keep them engaged since the nominees were already well-known.

Kirk Douglas presenting the award for Best Supporting Actress was a highlight of the night. Despite his occasionally unintelligible speech, he alleviated the tension in the room a bit. It was important, since the nominees obviously needed to relax.

Justin Timberlake imitating him afterwards was not cool. JT should remember that Douglas is a screen legend. The guy deserves respect. Billy Crystal appeared and received a standing ovation, delivering a delightful speech on the history of the show and reiterating that the night was to be spent honoring all of the achievements in the film industry from the previous year.

Awards results

Well, I wish I could say I was surprised, but nearly every prediction I made came true. Christian Bale and Melissa Leo winning both supporting categories was no surprise, since these two literally embodied their characters, while their competition simply played another role.

The Best Actor and Actress winners were no surprise either, since Firth and Portman had delivered stunning performances in their respective films. Firth was predicted to win as well, since he had been snubbed at last year’s show.

Again, it was no surprise that Inception took the technical awards while Aaron Sorkin won Best Adapted Screenplay for The Social Network. Finally, the winner of best picture became obvious when The King’s Speech started racking up the awards. It was good to see some of these people and their films win, but it was a shame to not have any upsets.

Conclusion

The 83rd Oscars were successful, but not as successful as they could have been. Hathaway and Franco could have done a lot more to give the audience some shock and awe. There could have been more surprises like random cameos and some upsets in the award categories.

The backdrop of the Oscars was very interesting on the other hand.  The constant shifting of the imagery helped make the broadcast feel slightly more immersive. The scene shifting for best song and music was creative since it allowed viewers to be able to enjoy it.

While the Oscars did not make any real history, it was beneficial to let Hathaway and Franco host, since it can allow more variety for the show each year.

Overall, the show was an interesting one, and it leaves hope that we should expect more great things.

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