Oscars 2011: My Take

The Oscars tried to market to a younger audience – and they failed. The Academy Awards, as an institution, is not regarded as movie judges for the younger demographic. Hearing a movie is an Oscar-winner doesn’t draw them to the theatres; they are going to see the Twilight movies and the Harry Potter movies – and it doesn’t matter if any of them ever see a gold statue.

Anne Hathaway as a host was fathomable, but James Franco was just ridiculous. It was as if his agent offered him the gig and he didn’t want to do it – but they insisted on it. He seemed completely disinterested in the whole spectacle and his lackluster performance seemed to make Anne’s seem like she was trying too hard. There were moments when she was being sugary sweet and other times when it seemed like her true self showed (like when she high-5ed the PS 22 Chorus members after their performance). I would have rather seen more of the latter.

The Academy Awards is traditional Hollywood. It is respected by the generation that still remembers the foundation upon which the institution was based. But we are a few generations removed and it’s becoming more about how much money movies bring in rather than recognizing cinematic excellence.

The speeches were boring. Other than Melissa Leo who dropped the F-bomb, fewer winners are giving tear-jerker speeches. They get on the podium and rattle off a laundry list of names that don’t mean anything; it’s like pay back. “When I win the Oscar, dude, I’ll thank you on stage.” You have your stage for 30-seconds; I just wish they would use that time to say something more poignant.

On the upside, I enjoyed watching Anne Hathaway’s wardrobe changes. Like a slowed down version of Katherine Hiegel’s scene in 27 Dresses, she conducted herself like a lady of grace, and wore her gowns and coordinating hair styles beautifully.

Billy Crystal earned his applause. At that point in the evening, I think everyone was secretly hoping he was coming in to takeover. When he said he was going to fast forward to the best picture award, I was excited. Unfortunately he was kidding.

I loved Kirk Douglas, although at points I felt a bit nervous for him, and wished he had some subtitles.

Finally, loved the P.S. 22 chorus – not just because they were from the borough where I spent my adolescence, but because their teacher was the only one who brought tears to my eyes last night. He could teach a thing or two to the Academy-or the Governors or whomever. “You have to feel it,” he tells the children “and then you open your mouth. That’s what makes it beautiful.” He’s right. No one at the Oscars was feeling it, and though they are Hollywood’s most elite, they seemed less beautiful.

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