Oscars Telecast Lacks Verve

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Robert Gauthier/MCT

The Academy Awards were held on Sunday February 27.

Megan Freeman, Staff Writer

The 83rd annual Academy Awards took place last Sunday, hosted by the lovely young celebrities Anne Hathaway and James Franco. Unfortunately it appeared that, in a Red Bull-induced frenzy, Hathaway accidentally slipped several doses of Ambien into Franco’s pre-show cocktail. She was reduced to a babbling, arm-flailing, “whooo”-ing cheerleader, while he had about as much personality as a cardboard cutout. It’s understandable that the Academy wanted to appeal to a younger demographic with the “hip” hosts, but perhaps they should instead invest in writers who can actually produce a decent joke.

The night began well enough – rhinestone-clad stars shook hands amicably, the orchestra played in the background, and the ceremony started. Hathaway and Franco bantered, there was a nice little movie montage – the usual Oscar shenanigans. One highlight of the night came early on: Franco’s grandmother announcing excitedly from the audience, “I just saw Marky Mark!”

The awards themselves were predictable enough, no big surprises. The King’s Speech cleaned up with four awards total, including best picture, best actor and best director. Inception also took four, despite the Academy’s snubbing of Christopher Nolan for a best director nomination. Another Oscar favorite, The Social Network, received three, including adapted screenplay, editing and original score.

All in all, the ceremony ran smoothly enough, with only a few snags (Melissa Leo dropping the f-bomb, and a long-winded speech here and there) but it just didn’t have anything great. No standout moments, nothing hilarious or mortifyingly embarrassing, it just was. When the most entertaining presenter is a 94-year-old stroke victim (screen legend Kirk Douglas), you know there is something wrong with the program.