There was glitz, glamour, a wealth of cleavage, and a litany of awkward jokes read not-so-subtly from a teleprompter. It’s easy – and hilarious – to poke fun at Hollywood’s frequently botoxed royalty, but there’s no denying the rich crop of excellent films they made last year, and rightfully celebrated at last night’s Academy Awards. Here are our top six best moments from the evening’s festivities, plus a couple of blunders.
The opening: Expectations were high for hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway, and they started the evening on a high note. The clever opening montage featured the youthful pair green-screened into scenes from each of the best film nominees. Fun fact: Anne Hathaway looks totally at home on horseback wearing two eye patches, a la True Grit.
Franco’s grandma: Hosting the Academy Awards comes with special privileges, like giving shout-outs to your relatives. James Franco did just that, to his elderly grandmother who was seated in the audience. Her response: “I’ve just seen Marky Mark!” It’s Mr. Wahlberg to you, granny.
Melissa Leo drops an F-bomb: Best supporting actress winner Melissa Leo gave an agonizingly saccharine and tearful speech, but managed to spice it up momentarily by blurting out “When I watched Kate two years ago, it looked so f—ing easy!” It may have been edited out on ABC, but here in Canada we got to hear the offending adverb in all it’s f—ing glory.
James Franco in a dress: Franco has been known to don womenswear on occasion, and last night was no exception. His rational – that if Hathaway gets to wear a tux, he gets to wear a dress – seems fair to us. Plus, lets face it, he’s got pretty great gams.
Celine Dion: We’ve got to hand it to Celine Dion for regularly upping the Canadian content at the Oscars. Dion kept it classy with her rendition of “Smile,” which played during the “In Memoriam” portion of the evening. Which is more than we can say for Gwyneth Paltrow, who’s flat performance of “Coming Home” paled in comparison to Dion’s dulcet tones.
Natalie Portman: As was expected, a very pregnant Portman took home the award for best actress, and the glowing mom-to-be delivered a charming, heartfelt and tastefully tearful acceptance speech. Naturally she thanked the father of her future child, choreographer Benjamin Millepied, whom she described as having given her the “most important role of my life.” Queue chorus of aws.
Where it all went horribly wrong:
Sticky envelopes: It seemed that every utterance of the words “And the Oscar goes to…” was immediately followed by an uncomfortable struggle with the likely-expensive but less-than-functional envelope. You would think that for a televised event with an audience of hundreds of millions, you’d try to get envelopes that, you know, open. It’s one of the things envelopes are supposed to do. Sort it out, Academy.
The hosts: As much as we wanted to love Anne and James, the new “young and hip” Oscar hosts fell more than a little flat. As many bloggers were eager to point out, Franco appeared to be under the influence of a substance perhaps more at home in Pineapple Express. Hathaway tried to make up for her partner’s lack of enthusiasm by gesticulating and emoting frantically. The result? Franco looked bored and Hathaway looked like a lunatic. We miss you, Billy Crystal. Heck, at this point, we’d even take David Letterman.