Oscar Recap: Who would have thought they could make us long for Billy Crystal?

Let’s recap the 2011 Academy Awards by handing out some awards, shall we?

The James Franco award for “Man Ain’t James Franco Awesome” goes to, who else, but James Franco. I’m not sure if he was just high, bored, or both, but it was just brutal to watch him up there smirking and self satisfied. I’m not sure if anybody has done a quicker career 180 than he did in about the first 15 minutes. He went from being seemingly a good guy to the rich kid in class who doesn’t care how well he does because he knows he’s inheriting $50 million when he turns 18. Well done.

Best award speech: (tie) between Luke Matheny and Randy Newman. Congrats Luke (the dude who looked like Howard Stern from the 70s and won for best Short Film live action). That speech alone probably got you a multi-million dollar film deal. Well played. And if only Randy Newman would write songs again as funny as his crusty old man acceptance speech.

The I’m an Old Man and I’ll Drive as Fast as I want to award goes to Kirk Douglas. If you saw his presentation you know what I mean. Rock on. That was awesome. About the only thing he didn’t do was pull out a newspaper and start clipping coupons before he announced the Best Supporting Actress award.

Photo by Alan Light

Most surprising award that went to the favorite anyway: Natalie Portman winning for Black Swan. I was positive that the conservative academy voters would bypass giving any awards to an Aronofsky film sneak in a win for Annette Bening, if only to reward her for sticking with the re-animated corpse of Warren Beaty. AB, next you need to play a character who “overcomes the odds,” preferably in a historical period piece.

Least surprising winner: The King’s Speech, everything it seems. First of, let me say that I liked The King’s Speech, even though it is a bit shady in terms of historical accuracy, and was glad to see that Colin Firth won for Best Actor. There was some buzz that David Fincher and The Social Network would win director and best picture, which they probably should have, but these were really the easiest predictions of the night. Fact remains that the Academy voters are a conservative lot, and are suckers for any historical period piece or an “overcomes the odds” saga. Anybody who has seen Ricky Gervais’ brilliant Extras scene with Kate Winslet knows this mildly NSFW for language). As does anybody who saw Tropic Thunder for that matter. The King’s Speech was both for the love of Pete. OF COURSE it was going to win. The only thing more of a lock is Herbie Hancock at any Grammy ceremony.

Most Intimidating Backstage Presence: Billy Crystal. In retrospect, was it a chock that Franco and Hathaway were such poor hosts, when Billy Crystal is stalking around backstage like Mariano Rivera, ready to warm up and take over at a moment’s notice? Not to say that he would have been any less painful to watch, but at least it would have been a familiar pain. I nominate Ricky Gervais to host all awards shows from now on.

Moment That was Kind of Funny but Really Shouldn’t Have Been: The autotune remix of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Twilight scenes to make them into musicals. Sadly, Black Eyed Peas will release this soon and sell 9 million copies of it.

Most Surreal Scene: Trent Reznor cleaned up and wearing a tux. I’m still a bit unnerved by that.

Repeated Meme that Got really old quick: Every person onstage who claimed to be Banksy. 99.9% of them still don’t know who he is I’m sure, but I was disappointed that he didn’t secretly tag the Kodak Theater while everybody else was inside.

Thing I missed most at this years ceremony: Kate Winslet. It’s always good to have more of her, though Helena Bonhem Carter rocking her Bellatrix Lestrange hairdo vaulted her to the Sneaky Hot award winner for the evening.

So that was the 2011 Oscars. All the people you thought would win did, lots of people who deserved to win didn’t, and the show ran long. What else is new? Also Dennis Hopper was robbed of the coveted Anchorman position in the “celebs who died last year” montage, while poor old Corey Haim was left out altogether. I have expected the other Corey to rush the stage from the crowd in protest.

On an unrelated note, spent most of last week in the Baltimore/Philadelphia area. This means I had to fly, which I despise more than just about anything. (Take a 6’4″ claustrophobic who doesn’t like crowds and stick him in a tightly pack cylindrical tube hurtling through the air at 500 mph and watch the sparks fly!). Made it with no real issues, except for the fact that it was 84 when we left Orlando and was 18 with snow on the ground when we got to our hotel in Maryland.

Made it to dinner one night in the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore, which is still very nice, at the James Joyce Irish Pub. Had an excellent Irish Lamb stew and a well poured pint of Guinness, very tough to beat that combo. As for the rest of Baltimore, it’s just like I remember it, by which I mean you can see why they made The Wire.

Cheers.

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Posted on February 28, 2011, in Movies. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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