Now that the smoke has cleared and the winners have been announced at the 83rd Academy Awards, I would like to offer a few thoughts on the ceremony. Let’s begin with the most obvious: that’s it?!
The Oscars came and went almost without incident this year, save for an early F-bomb from The Fighter winner Melissa Leo. She was perhaps the evening’s most enthusiastic and entertaining winner, and she took the stage about 20 minutes into the show. Before and after her it was dull montages interspersed with predictable winners.
The King’s Speech took home most of the night’s big awards, including its biggest. Out of 10 nominees, all more worthy than it, the story of the stuttering king walked home with Best Picture. When you look at the ceremony and its desperate attempts to appeal to the youth and then look at the big winner and its stuffy British trappings, it’s mind-boggling.
The Academy voters and the ones who put on the awards are trapped in an ever-spiriling paradox. Over the past couple of years, it has been out with the old, in with the dull. If the awards given out have been for fresher, more unique visions (The Hurt Locker last year), then the ceremony has struggled to keep up. Last year’s hosts, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, are both veterans of the industry and impeccable showmen. And they’re old.
Aside from an entertaining opening bit showing hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway venturing through the year’s nominated films Inception-style, they were nowhere near experienced enough to host. They are the future of the acting front, and both are tremendous in that department. However, Franco seemed largely absent on stage and Hathaway seemed drunk and wasn’t shy about pointing it out.
If the Oscars really wanted to appeal to a youth audience, they should’ve gone all the way. Cast Justin Bieber as the host, throw in a Career Achievement Oscar for Kristen Stewart, and broadcast the entire thing from the Jersey Shore. In other words, turn it into the MTV Movie Awards.
This is supposed to be the most prestigious honor in the industry, and by desperately appealing to a younger audience and then voting for the stuffy period drama to win all the big awards it has made a full mockery of it. Was it the worst Oscar ceremony in history? No, but it wasn’t new and exciting either unless you enjoy male stars in drag for comedic effect. If that’s the case, I point you to the 1959 comedy classic Some Like It Hot.