The 83rdAcademy Awards held few mysteries about the likely winners, but it was hard to look away from the awkward mess of James Franco and Anne Hathaway’s performance as co-hosts while Melissa Leo provided a deliciously embarrassing acceptance speech complete with an F-bomb. The Oscars always struggle to appeal to everyone, and in 2011 they did their best keeping the musical numbers and special presentations pretty short and tidy. The hosts and a few others may have embarrassed themselves, but the stars always shine bright at the Oscars and it was a success of an evening for a handful of actors, directors and producers.
Hip, Young Hosts an epic fail?
The evening’s opening video was made by acclaimed comedy director Troy Miller and held its own as in entry into the growing tradition of hilarious montage videos at the Oscars. However, Franco and Hathaway began the live portion of the show with an uncomfortable joke about being chosen to host for demographic purposes, and then never got themselves more situated in the role. Franco, stiff as a board, looked away from Hathaway at all times, while the hostess embarrassed herself by playing dumb-too dumb-every time she opened her mouth. Perhaps she was rattled much of the evening from being wrapped in a new, ridiculous gown every few minutes.
Melissa Leo uses some fighting words
Best Actress in a Supporting Role winner Melissa Leo nearly stole the show at the Oscars the way she did in The Fighter . Her acceptance speech hit a pivotal moment, with the audience unsure if she would be able to compose herself enough to speak coherently. Leo apparently gave up on remembering what she had wanted to say and let her brain unravel on national television, brazenly cursing and giving the ABC staff a chance to use their mute button. The Academy and viewers of The Fighter were happy for the actress, but she came off as rude rather than funny. It was too early in the show for a winner to drag out their speech, and the expletive was just unnecessary entirely.
Inception and The King’s Speech get coronated
As expected, Natalie Portman took home the Oscar for Best Actress for her physically and creatively demanding role in Black Swan . Likewise, Christian Bale’s addicted waif character in The Fighter earned a trophy as many anticipated. Otherwise, the 2011 Oscars were dominated by two films that had very little in common with each other. The King’s Speech actually lost in eight categories, but its four wins were some of the most prominent awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Original Screenplay. You can’t argue with the success of an outcome like that, but The King’s Speech is still perhaps just the latest good movie about British royalty to be forgotten soon after. Will the next generation of film students study The King’s Speech , or will it be Inception ? You could argue that Inception did not win any awards that audiences care about most, but it did win for Cinematography, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects. Christopher Nolan would have loved a trophy for his screenplay, but Inception still won as many Oscars as King’s Speech , proving itself the best crafted film technically.