Academy Awards bring glamour, predictability

James Franco, left, and Anne Hathaway co-hosted the 83rd Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre on the ABC Television Network D'AMICO / COURTESY OF ABC/MCT

By Frank Ladra
The Guardsman

This year’s Oscars are already just a memory, but Hollywood’s annual glamour fest produced poignant and provocative moments while it lasted.

Nearly 40 million viewers tuned in to the 83rd Academy Awards, which took place on Feb. 27 at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre and aired on ABC.

The famed red carpet was a paparazzi dream come true as celebrities arrived on the scene, met by flashing lights and hundreds of eager journalists.

Fashion consumed the majority of pre-award discussion at the Academy Awards. Red couture was popular this year, causing some actresses to camouflage against the carpet. In that monochromatic picture, designer labels like Vera Wang, Calvin Klein and Valentino didn’t pop as much as their stunning complexions, but maybe that was the idea.

In customary Oscar style, the show opened with a spoof-style short film, inserting first-time hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco into scenes from this year’s best picture nominees. Cameos of Alec Baldwin and Morgan Freeman left viewers optimistic for what the night might unveil.

Unfortunately, this year’s Oscar celebration seemed to lack the flair of previous years.
Hathaway and Franco tried to entertain the audience with dry humor and cheesy one-liners. Hathaway’s girl-next-door quirks were charming yet one-dimensional, and resulted in strained chemistry when paired with Franco’s feigned indifference.

Compounding the awkwardness was 94-year-old acting legend Kirk Douglas, who blatantly flirted with young Hathaway in front of the cameras. He slurred his comic efforts when revealing the winner of the Best Supporting Actress, first-timer Melissa Leo for her role in The Fighter.

The winners were well-chosen but predictable: “The King’s Speech” won best picture; Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”) won best actor; Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”) best actress; and Christian Bale (“The Fighter”) won best supporting actor.

Bale’s acceptance speech was most memorable; he choked up while thanking his wife.

“Of course mostly my wonderful wife ah — I didn’t think I was like this — my wonderful wife who is my mast through the storms of life, I hope I’m likewise to you, darling,” he said.

For the “In Memoriam” segment of the show, producers asked the audience to hold their applause until the end of the tribute honoring departed luminaries like Tony Curtis, Lynn Redgrave and Dennis Hopper.

The fifth grade chorus from P.S. 22 in Staten Island, N.Y. ended the show with an adorable performance of ‘’Over the Rainbow,’’ as most of the evening’s winners appeared on stage behind them. Co-host Anne Hathaway’s excitement was more than obvious, as she let out several ‘’wooo’’s and high-fived several of the singing kids.


The Guardsman